Brandon Deaderick is an imposing force on the defensive line, and no team can afford to lose his presence—except Alabama.
The Crimson Tide are unique, they have three imposing forces on the defensive line: Terrence Cody (6'5", 365 lbs), Lorenzo Washington (6'5", 290 lbs) and Brandon Deaderick (6'4", 287 lbs). That is until Deaderick was hospitalized after being shot in an apparent robbery attempt.
Deaderick is listed as being in good condition, if you can be in good condition after being shot. The incident is upsetting as another athlete has been involved in an gun-related incident. It should be upsetting for Alabama fans because Deaderick's safety and well-being are priority No. 1, but it should not be upsetting in the context of how the defense will perform without him.
Deaderick is one of the latest in a long line of great Crimson Tide defensive linemen, but he'll be replaced by another. Luther Davis, a highly touted junior who Tide fans salivated over when he was in high school, is behind Deaderick on the Tide's preseason depth chart. He's 6'3", 299 lbs and no doubt will be looking to make an impact replacing the senior.
On the other side, behind Washington is Marcell Dareus. Washington himself recently said Dareus "pushes me every day. He's going to be the great defensive lineman to come out of here." High praise, indeed.
On top of that, both Cody and Washington are seniors, two of the Tide's linebackers are seniors, and two defensive backs are seniors. Either of the two who step in have the talent and ability to fill the hole, and will have the experience surrounding them to help pick up any slack lost.
Is Davis better than Deaderick? No, because he wouldn't be backing him up if he was. Will the Tide's defense be as good? No, because a starter is lost. But will the Tide's defense be good enough? Absolutely. Finally, after years of paper-thin depth charts, the Tide can sustain a loss as big as Deaderick as not miss a step. And that's exactly what they will do.