Butch Dill/Associated Press
First, it should be noted that Alabama cornerback Tony Brown could slide into a starting role by Week 1 against West Virginia. For now, though, he is an early enrollee learning the ins and outs of playing college ball.
Cornerback was a problem area for the Tide last year and it was especially evident in the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
Brown could earn some playing time as a freshman. As B/R colleague Michael Felder previously noted, Brown is one of two new Crimson Tide corners, along with Marlon Humphrey, who could be the future faces of the position:
Saban addressed the issue in recruiting, pulling in the nation's top two cornerback prospects in Tony Brown, an early enrollee, and Humphrey. Brown's a tremendous athlete who should blossom into another great Alabama defensive back, but Humphrey is the pill that should remedy the issue immediately because he is ready to play.
Humphrey is the nation's No. 1 cornerback, according to 247sports.com, and at 6'1" has the length to be a problem both at the line of scrimmage and in coverage. The long arms will help him press at the point, to reroute receivers and disrupt timing, and in the back-end the length will aid him in raking arms, knocking down passes and closing down quarterback windows.
Humphrey could make his impact in preseason camp, but Brown is already pushing for time. That competition will be an improvement for the cornerback position.