Alright, folks. It is that time of the week again, so let's do another round of Roll Bama Roll mailbag.
As always, we remind you that this series is driven by you and your questions, so be sure to fuel the tank. If you have any questions that you'd like to submit for future mailbags, just shoot us an email at RBRmailbag@gmail.com. Let us know if you'd like us to use your first name, username, or be anonymous.
Now on to the questions!
Which true freshman do you think will make the biggest impact this fall? Will it be an early enrollee (like Henry, Falkins or Howard) or a player that reports in the fall (like Robert or Reuben Foster or Allen, etc.)? Predict what their contribution will be: starts, carries, receptions, yards, TD's, tackles, TFL's, INT's, etc. Bonus question: Barring significant injuries to the current roster, how many of the class of 2013 will see significant action and lose their redshirt? - Dukeman
It's really a bit of a strange situation. Alabama's roster is so loaded now, the "impact" question is much less a measure of a new player, and much more an exercise of depth chart evaluation. I think Raheem Falkins would be a breakout star this year if not for the absurdly crowded depth chart at wide receiver. Similarly, I think Robert Foster (if he makes it to campus) will have difficulty making the impact people are projecting for him. Defensively, Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen are both going to be stars in time, but there's no way they're starting this year absent an injury to a star player.
With all of that in mind, I'm afraid I have to fall back on the familiar predictions of Derrick Henry and O.J. Howard. Henry probably only has to be the third best running back to play in meaningful situations this year. I expect him to get 35 carries for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. Howard needs only to prove more useful in passing downs than go-to h-back Jalston Fowler. I look for him to have 10-12 catches on the year for around 100 yards and 1 or 2 touchdowns.
I think we'll see six or seven guys redshirt this year. I've listed five below that I think are likely. In addition to those five, I think at least one of the four stud running backs that signed will redshirt. I think it likely won't be Derrick Henry, but picking which one of the other three (Tyren Jones, Alvin Kamara, Altee Tenpenny) will redshirt is next to impossible. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd go with Jones, but that's mostly a shot in the dark.
Likely redshirts: Anthony Averett (projects as a safety, needs to put on a few pounds), Cooper Bateman (no need to burn a redshirt on a QB this year), Grant Hill (an offensive guard with promise, but will be buried on the depth chart this year), Parker McLeod (another QB), Walker Jones (a smart inside linebacker that will all but certainly redshirt unless he catches on with the special teams)
You think Coach Smart is the coach in waiting at this point? Would you even want him to take the job since he has no head coaching experience? -John
I don't think he's the coach in waiting. I do think he would be one of the leading candidates in a search. I think I'm probably in the minority, but I would tend to support hiring Smart, even without head coaching experience. People gripe about "learning on the fly", but honestly, I think when he finally does move up, Smart will be the best groomed and most job-ready coordinator we've seen in some time.
He knows Saban's system and methodology. He shares his mentality and would run the program as close to what we're used to as anybody in the business. The real downside for me would be managing expectations. I think expectations will be difficult for the next head coach, no matter who he is, but the fanbase would be particularly demanding of the man perceived to be "Saban-lite."
Well, that will wrap up this week's Roll Bama Roll mailbag. Feel free to give your responses in the comments and/or let me know why I'm completely right/wrong about my responses. And remember to send in your questions for future editions of Roll Bama Roll mailbag to RBRmailbag@gmail.com.