If Terrance Cody was a mountain at 6'5" and 365 pounds, then Josh Chapman is a rather large hill, coming in at 6'1" and only 305 pounds. Chapman has actually already played about as much as his replacement because they rotated in and out for almost the entire year.
Cody was the run stopper and Chapman provided a little more pass rush with his speed and athletic ability to rush. If you like statistics, you will notice that the defensive output was virtually the same no matter which player was in the game.
While you don't replace an All American legend like Cody overnight, having Josh Chapman fill his shoes won't have Alabama fans fretting about losing Cody for long.
If you still crave a bigger, taller run-stopper, then Alabama has Kerry Murphy in the wings as well. He is a 6'4", 327-pound nose tackle from just down the road in Hoover, Ala.
Coaches are saying that you may see Murphy in the mix as much as Chapman was last year with Cody.
Murphy and Chapman were both described by fellow teammates as "human earth movers," and Murphy has already seen a lot of playing time and is seasoned and ready to go.
Both are more durable, in better shape, and can play for longer stretches than Cody, who was often winded after just a few series of downs.
And there is another junior college transfer that may compete for playing time by the name of Brandon Lewis, a 6'3", 275-pound junior who, while being a little lighter than the rest, is very athletic and might be a good choice for a 3rd-and-long nose tackle due to his quickness with his rush.
Lewis is enrolling in January and will be able to do the offseason conditioning program and may be able to contribute very quickly.
He originally signed with the Tide in 2008 but, because of academics, went the JUCO route last year. He has two years of college eligibility remaining, and his former coach said he was a very solid performer.
In the end, the fans will miss Cody's joking personality, his flair for one liners, and his ability to get under coach Nick Saban's skin, but they'll be satisfied with the play and production of Cody's replacements.
The first three chapters have covered the defensive line, all of which will be replacements from last year's starting lineup. Overall, this is a better, more athletic, and faster line than started last year.
This is great news for the Tide and sad news for all the opposing teams' offensive linemen.