Alabama Football: New Recruits to Shore Up Defensive Line

Nic GulasSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2008

There is no doubt that the shock waves of the 2008 recruiting class for the University of Alabama will be felt for quite some time. 

Coach Nick Saban's first class is the groundwork for what he is hoping to build at Alabama, and Saban has not disappointed so far. 

The 32-man class features some of the top talent in the country, but the depth in one unit stands out the most. 

It is the same unit where Saban received his first commitment for this class in Michael Williams and one of his final commitments in Marcel Dareus. 

The unit I am talking about is the defensive line. 

Sure, all of Alabama's high-profile guys and all the 5-stars are on the offensive side of the ball, but there is no denying how important this class will be in the next four years on that defensive front. 

Saban made the defensive line a priority for this class, and he did not fall short at all.  Out of the 32 commitments, eight are defensive linemen, making a huge 25 percent splash on this class and the highest percentage of the class in one unit. 

The Tide received four commitments at both the end and tackle positions, and their physical size is no joke. 

These eight guys average out to be 6-foot-4.5 tall and weigh 285 pounds, highlighted by JUCO giant Terrance Cody at 6-foot-5, 395. 

Cody is routinely taking on two guys at once at the defensive tackle position, and most fans are expecting to see him, as well as most of the other guys, in the rotation soon. 

Joining Cody at the tackle position is Damion Square, Marcel Dareus, and possibly Kerry Murphy, whose eligibility is still up in the air.  These four guys are expected to be anchors on the defensive front as they mature in years, but for now, the hope is to add depth to a depleted line quickly. 

At the defensive end position, the first commitment in Michael Williams seems to be the most impressive.  Williams is joined at his position by Brandon Lewis, Glenn Harbin, and Undra Billingsley. 

The hopes for these guys in the short term is to provide quick depth, but over time, these guys should be making SEC quarterbacks miserable. 

In a Saban 3-4 defense, having this many guys together for four years will probably not bring results quickly, but it sets the base for what should be Alabama's most dominant unit in 2012.