Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer) There could always be more, but here's the prediction on the seven players who could have big breakout years this year on the Crimson Tide football team at Alabama.
Some you may think have already broken out, but not to the extent that they will this year.
Sometimes injury or a decision to red shirt a player could affect such break out years, but if not for that, these seven players certainly have the ability to jump start the excitement level of the fans and start making themselves even more recognizable, not just to the Alabama fans, but to the nation as well.
So sit back and relax and see if you if you agree with the choices, and don't forget if you disagree or strongly agree, please feel free to use the comment section and let us know.
Darius Hanks has to sit out for the two games at the start of the season and Head Coach Nick Saban and Coach Mike Groh have been looking for someone not only to step in, but step up.
Early indications are that this person is the young freshman DeAndrew White.
The 6'0'' 187-pound White, from Houston, Texas, has shown up ready to play this year after red-shirting last season. That time in the program has proven to be a great benefit as he had much time to learn the offense and work with both quarterbacks who are now vying for the starting job.
They both know and trust him and have their timing down with him because they were all working together on the second and scout team offenses last year.
He has great hands and slick moves and may just make the case for more playing time even after this two-game absence from Hanks.
He's going to make some plays this year.
They would love to red shirt Cyrus as they did his brother Arie, but there's just too much talent in that big 6'6'', 325-pound man masher to keep on the bench.
If they don't red shirt him, he'll slowly work his way into the rotation and through just sheer talent and physics, he'll end up getting more and more playing time until simply taking the position and making it his own.
It's not like he will stay past his junior year anyway if he lives up to the talent and ability he possesses.
So look for this man to answer the only question this season for the Tide on the offensive line.
Yes, I know, he's wearing a championship ring. Yes, I know he's a household name in Alabama, but he's just never had that breakout year that everyone knows is inside him.
This year, finally healthy, a senior, and clearly in control of the defensive secondary, Barron will show that coming back for his senior year was a very wise decision, and he should easily secure a first-round draft pick following this year's breakout performance.
After last season and his injury, there were still questions regarding Barron.
They'll all be answered after this year.
If you think that Trent Richardson has already had a breakout year, guess again.
So far he's run for 751 yards his rookie season and 700 last year. If that's a breakout, you need to buy a dictionary.
That may be a breakout for a No. 2 running back, but not for a starter.
Coffee ran for over 1,300 and left early for the NFL, Ingram ran for 1,658 yards in one season and left early for the NFL also.
Those were breakout years.
This is Richardson's year.
So why is he not No. 1? Because it won't come as a shock to many.
Richardson was Yang to Ingram's Ying, one pushed the other and made the other better and gave someone to turn to when they were tired, nicked up or sick.
Everyone who saw Richardson run in his first year as the No. 2 back, knew that this was a superstar in the making.
This year it's time to watch Eddie Lacy do just that.
He will become a star this year, just like Richardson and wait his chance to the be the main man, just like Richardson.
In fact, don't be surprised if he tops Richardson's numbers.
Ready for his breakout year, Marquis Maze will get it.
Marquis Maze has but shown us glimpses of what he's capable of doing on a sustained basis. With Julio Jones gone, Alabama will start looking for new targets, and the one they will find who can find the quickest way to the end zone will be Maze.
And this could be the year that Maze also starts dazzling the cameras and fans with his punt and kick return skills.
There are a lot of guys who don't make the NFL a reality with similar size and speed as a receiver. But Maze will show the NFL scouts this year that he has a whole different dimension to bring to a team with those return skills.
Look for Maze to hold nothing back this season and become a breakout star.
Though Saban would insist that there is still a quarterback battle raging, and indeed there is. But the winner will be A.J. McCarron and just as McElroy did in his rookie year, McCarron will have a breakout year and raise quite a few eyebrows.
It's not just that he will win, but he will win with style.
When I said that Greg McElroy would be better than the senior starter he replaced, people laughed.
Get ready to chuckle again.
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