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LSU vs. Alabama: Position by Position Depth Chart for the Crimson Tide

Jeremy HillmanContributor INovember 2, 2011

LSU vs. Alabama: Position by Position Depth Chart for the Crimson Tide

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    As we head into this weekend's epic match-up between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers, one thing is for certain; no one player will be enough to win this game.

    It will take a total team effort to claim victory in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

    In that spirit, we are going to take a look at each of the starters, and the depth behind them, for this weekends battle.

    Click through the slide show for a full summary of the Crimson Tide lineup on offense and defense...

Cornerback

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    Starter: Dre Kirkpatrick (6'3'', 192 pounds, junior)

    Kirkpatrick has become a shut-down corner for Alabama and is an explosive hitter when he comes up and makes tackles from the secondary.

    The junior defensive back is a vocal leader on the field and has a strong work ethic off the field.

    He has 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss, eight pass break ups and two forced fumbles on the season. Not bad stats considering opponents very rarely throw the ball to his side of the field.

    Tall and athletic, Kirkpatrick is one of the nation's premier corners and will be coveted by NFL scouts.

    Second String: Senior Phelon Jones

    Third String: Sophomore Dee Milliner

Cornerback

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    Starter: DeQuan Menzie (6'0'', 198 pounds, senior)

    In his first full season of starting, Menzie has developed into a solid corner that seems to do a bit of everything defensively for the Tide.

    He plays tight corner and can drop into a nickle back position on obvious pass plays. Menzie also contributes on special teams. 

    He has recorded 23 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks, has eight pass break ups and has even taken back an interception for a touchdown.

    Look for continued solid play from the veteran defensive back.

    Second String: Sophomore Dee Milliner

    Third String: Sophomore John Fulton

Safety

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    Starter: Mark Barron (6'2'', 218 pounds, senior)

    The talented senior safety bypassed last season's NFL draft to return for one last year with the Crimson Tide.

    It is paying off, as he is having a tremendous season and should be an All-American again this year and a first round pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

    He is a leader of the Tide secondary and makes big plays every week.

    Barron has racked up 37 tackles, including six tackles for a loss, and has five broken up passes and an interception on the season.

    Second String: Junior Will Lowery

    Third String: Sophomore Nick Perry

Safety

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    Starter: Robert Lester (6'2'', 210 pounds, junior)

    Lester, a product of Foley, AL, has started all eight games at strong safety for Alabama this season.

    He makes plays in a variety of ways, as has made 21 tackles in seven games, grabbed an interception against Ole Miss and even blocked a field goal versus North Texas.

    He may not be the very best player on the Alabama defense, but you can count on him to make impacts in ball games.

    Second String: Sophomore Jarrick Williams

    Third String: Freshman Vinnie Sunseri

Linebacker

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    Starter: Dont'a Hightower (6'4'', 260 pounds, junior)

    Hightower is the captain of the dominant Alabama defense and leads the team in tackles. The Crimson Tide linebacker has racked up 47 tackles in just eight games.

    He has also made 6.5 tackles for a loss, earned 1.5 sacks and broken up two passes.

    With tremendous size and athleticism, he makes an impact on games every week.

    Look for Hightower to be a leading candidate for the Butkus award, given to the nations top linebacker.

    Second String: Senior Chris Jordan

    Third String: Freshman Trey DePriest

Linebacker

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    Starter: Nico Johnson (6'3'', 245 pounds, junior)

    Johnson is the starter in Alabama's base 3-4 defense. 

    He doesn't have the overall stats that some of the Alabama defenders have put up, but he is one of the better defenders against the run in the SEC.

    The Junior linebacker has tallied 22 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss and a sack, and has an interception this season.

    Look for a steady performance, especially against the run, from Johnson.

    Second String: Sophomore C.J. Mosley

    Third String: Sophomore Tana Patrick

Linebacker

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    Starter: Courtney Upshaw (6'2'', 265 pounds, senior)

    The big and talented outside linebacker is having a huge senior campaign.

    One of the very best pass rushers in the SEC, Upshaw is a big playmaker for the Tide.

    He has recorded 27 tackles, with an impressive 11.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.

    Upshaw has also forced two fumbles and taken an interception back for a score this season. 

    Look for Courtney Upshaw to continue to make game changing plays.

    Second String: Freshman Adrian Hubbard

    Third String: Freshman Xzavier Dickson

Linebacker

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    Starter: Jerrell Harris (6'3'', 242 pounds, senior)

    Harris is Alabama's starter at Will linebacker when they line up in their base 3-4 defense. When they move to nickle or dime, he does not see as much work.

    He is the least dynamic of the starting defenders for Alabama, but can get the job done when called on.

    The veteran senior has 15 tackles, including two for a loss, so far in 2011.

    Second String: Senior Alex Watkins

    Third String: Freshman Adrian Hubbard

Defensive End

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    Starter: Jesse Williams (6'4'', 319 pounds, junior)

    The big and versatile defensive end can play end and move inside to play tackle.

    He has racked up 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, a sack and broken up a pass over the first eight games.

    Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, William's has come a long way to help Alabama lead the nation in rush defense.

    Second String: Junior Quinton Dial

    Third String: Junior Undra Billingsly

Nose Tackle

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    Starter: Josh Chapman (6'1'', 310 pounds, junior)

    Chapman is a big run stuffing nose tackle that plugs up the middle of the line.

    He routinely takes on multiple blockers and is a probable first round All-SEC selection.

    So far in 2011 in he has 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, a sack and has two broken up passes.

    Second String: Senior Nick Gentry

    Third String: Junior Jesse Williams

Defensive End

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    Starter: Damion Square (6'3'', 285 pounds, junior)

    Square is a big defensive back that is athletic and strong.

    He may be the least productive player on the Tide defense, but he plays hard and is a reliable lineman.

    Square has 12 tackles and two tackles for a loss on the season.

    Look for a relatively quiet but steady effort from Square.

    Second String: Sophomore Ed Stinson

    Third String: Junior Undra Billingsly

Wide Receiver

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    Starter: Marquis Maze (5'10'', 180 pounds, senior)

    Maze has started 30 games at wide receiver for Alabama in his college career.

    His experience and talent have shown this season, as he has hauled in 39 receptions for 482 yards and a touchdown in eight games.

    The touchdowns have been light, but he has solid hands and runs excellent routes.

    The Crimson Tide's leading receiver is the go-to wide out for the Crimson Tide.

    Second String: Senior Brandon Gibson

    Third String: Sophomore Kevin Norwood

Wide Receiver

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    Starter: Darius Hanks (6'0'', 185 pounds, senior)

    Hanks is an experienced receiver that missed the first two games of the season.

    Since game three, when he returned, he has gradually stepped up as a reliable target for Alabama.

    Hanks has caught 18 balls for 230 yards and a touchdown in six games.

    He isn't the most dynamic receiver in the conference, but he has nice hands and has shown he can make big catches if called upon.

    Second String: Freshman Andrew White

    Third String: Sophomore Kenny Bell

Tight End

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    Starter: Michael Williams (6'6'', 269 pounds, junior)

    Williams is a two year starter at Alabama and is one of the better blocking tight ends in the SEC.

    He can catch some too, as he has 10 receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns already this season.

    Look for Williams to continue to make an impact with key blocks and key catches for the Tide.

    Second String: Senior Chris Underwood

    Third String: Freshman Brian Vogler

Offensive Tackle

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    Starter: Barrett Jones (6'5'', 311 pounds, junior)

    Jones has started 33 games at Alabama and is one of the more versatile offensive lineman in the country.

    This season Jones has spent time at left guard, right tackle and center.

    He is a leader on the line and won SEC offensive lineman of the week against Arkansas.

    Second String: Junior Tyler Love

    Third String: Freshman Cyrus Kouandjio (injured)

Offensive Guard

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    Starter: Chance Warmack (6'3'', 320 pounds, junior)

    The big Junior from Atlanta has started for Alabama for two seasons.

    Warmack excels in run blocking and pass protection and has quick feet for such a big player.

    Look for Warmack to continue to open running lanes for Trent Richardson and the Alabama running game.

    Second String: Junior Barrett Jones

    Third String: Senior Alfred McCullough

Center

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    Starter: William Vlachos (6'1'', 294 pounds, senior)

    Vlachos is a big and experienced center.

    He is in his third year as a starter at center for the Crimson Tide and is the leader of the offensive line.

    Look for the leading candidate for the Remington award, which goes to the nations top center, to continue to effectively guide one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

    Second String: Sophomore Kellen Williams

    Third String: Freshman Chad Lindsay

Offensive Guard

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    Starter: Anthony Steen (6'3'', 303 pounds, sophomore)

    Steen is one of the best run blockers on the offensive line, but has the least experience of the starters.

    He will continue to grow, as a young player, and has limitless potential.

    Look for Steen to continue to blow open holes for the Alabama running backs and use his strength to make an impact in the game.

    Second String: Senior John Boswell

Offensive Tackle

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    Starter: D.J. Fluker (6'6'', 335 pounds, sophomore)

    Fluker is one of the very best young offensive lineman in the nation.

    A first year starter, Fluker has started all eight games for the Tide at right tackle in 2011.

    He has a huge frame and is very athletic for a big tackle and he should continue to be a force on the line for Alabama.

    Second String: Freshman Austin Shepard

H-Back

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    Starter: Brad Smelley (6'3'', 229 pounds, senior)

    A local product from Tuscaloosa, Smelley has started at the H-Back position this season.

    The veteran has 16 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown in eight games this season.

    While he isn't the most prolific pass receiver in the conference, or on the team, Smelley works hard and can make plays when they are needed.

    Eleven of his 16 receptions have gone for first downs this season and he should continue to make clutch plays for Alabama.

    Second String: Freshman Harrison Jones

Running Back

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    Starter: Trent Richardson (5'11'', 224 pounds, junior)

    Richardson is one of the best players in the entire country.

    The Heisman front-runner has already run for 989 yards and 19 touchdowns in just eight games.

    He has added 18 catches out of the backfield for 212 yards and a touchdown. That is 20 total scores already in 2011.

    The dynamic back is big and fast and will keep making huge plays all season.

    Second String: Sophomore Eddie Lacey 

    Third String: Sophomore Jalston Fowler

Quarterback

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    Starter: A.J. McCarron (6'4'', 205 pounds, sophomore)

    First year starter A.J. McCaron had questions surrounding him in the preseason. Some wondered if he was an SEC-caliber quarterback that could lead Alabama to a title.

    So far, so good.

    The young QB has completed an impressive 67 percent of his passes, thrown 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions and lead Alabama to an undefeated record through eight games.

    He is making solid decisions and is developing as a leader on and off the field.

    Look for McCarron to continue to improve each week and maintain his poise throughout.

    Second String: Freshman Phillip Sims

    Third String: Freshman Blake Sims

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