A Crimson Special: A Breakdown of the Crimson Tide

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

Alabama football, what a great tradition it has been over the many years. Last season was a remarkable one for Bama fans, as we got to experience one of the SEC's best wide receivers do his thing.

We were able to see a mixture of promising running backs as well. Ingram started off his first season with the Crimson Tide strong. He showed some great qualities a back in the SEC must have to be "great."

I'm hopeful that all true Bama fans have seen or heard of the truly amazing freshman from Pensacola's Escambia High School. He was remarkable, talented, and showed off many skills. Richardson said earlier this summer:"I'm real excited, ready to go."

I truly can't wait to see this amazing athlete work his wonders. I have my doubts about Richardson, as well. He says he will remain confident and not get a big head—that he is just going to be himself.

Richardson did rack up some amazing stats during his '08-'09 season. He had 2,090 yards on 225 carries, averaged almost 9.3 yards a carry, and had 26 touchdowns on the season.

There are more athletes like him to take into consideration, but I'm trying to concentrate on the ones who will most likely make an impact next season.

Now let's move on to the quarterback of this team next season.

The 6'2", 220 pond quarterback Greg McElory could be a great team leader and spirit lifter this season for the Tide. He has served as John Parker Wilson's back up the past two season.

Although, as a high school senior in Southlake, Texas he racked up 4,687 yards with 56 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in his one year as a starter. 

Let me also mention he palyed behind the 2004 National High School Player of the year, Chase Daniels, who went on to start for Missouri.

McElory had a good attitude going into the spring saying, "I'm ready to go. I'm taking my cleats home right now and getting ready to prepare this spring and prepare myself accordingly to lead this team and get us back to where we were this year."

On the defensive side of the ball, big man Terrance Cody is a beast.

I think this name speaks for itself. He is like a crimson blob on that field when those lights come on at Bryant Denny Stadium.

He electrifies the whole team when he makes a big play and chest bumps the little safeties to the ground. He stands 6'5" and a incredible 365 pounds. Although Alabama only uses this man when there is a threat in the running game, he recorded a amazing 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season.

I think he will be a great player for Nick Saban next season and the Tide's 3-4 defense. He is also suspected a first-round draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

Don’ta Hightower, a well-rounded linebacker, will also be a crucial part of this Alabama defensive unit next season.

Hightower was Class 3A Mr. Football in Tennessee and collected many other awards and was selected to many award teams.

The final piece of this Alabama Crimson Tide football team is none other than the electric wide receiver, Julio Jones.

Jones had an amazing freshman season with the Tide, and I don't even know where to start with this guy! He is one of those players that can make one play and change the impact of the entire game in a few seconds.

He never caught over 10 balls in a single game last season and still manged to rack up 924 yards on 58 receptions. Let me also state that I was informed that he had some slightly strained groin muscles, which contributed to his lack of receptions.

I'm also tired of hearing  "Julio Jones is overrated.  He did not show up big in the SEC championship game!" Man go look up your stats! Julio Jones caught five balls and had his second highest receiving game with 124 yards.

Yes, against Utah Julio did not have a great game, but he was drawing double coverage, so he was mainly a decoy and by then his groin strain had worsened.

Julio Jones is a great player and athlete. He contributed to the Tide a ton last season and will continue to his entire career at Alabama.  

From the looks of the Tide's spring game, I would expect to see more of the fade balls thrown his way, and I'm sure his numbers will improve drastically.

For an overall team, I just hope that our offensive line can hold up and stay healthy this season. With key losses, like Antoine Caldwell and Andre Smith, the offensive line may be a little weak, but I believe in the Tide and I know they will be great next season.

I also have concerns on the special teams part—they play a crucial part on a football team. One mistake on a specialty play, and the whole game can change.

I know Javier Arenas will show up for the kickoffs and punts. He will also be a key player, I just feel he is more of a "Once in a while play maker," and not an every down type guy.

I hope the Tide can pull together and find those special keys like they did last year. But this year I will be looking for them to go all the way. I think I have listed some of the most important players for next season. I would like to hear anything you have to say, good or bad. Do you think someone else plays a big part on this Alabama team that I left out?

Let me know what you have to say.


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