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Alabama Football Film Room: Will Matt Womack be the Fifth lineman?

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Saban said the team has 4 linemen, and Womack is battling to be the fifth one.

NCAA Football: Chattanooga at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama has not had continuity at right tackle since Austin Shepherd started in 2013 and 2014. Dominick Jackson manned the spot in 2015 while freshman phenom Jonah Williams ably handled it in 2016. With Williams moving to the left side to replace 2nd round draft pick Cam Robinson, right tackle is vacant once more.

Despite some 4 and 5 star newcomers (Elliot Baker, Alex Leatherwood) along with another already on the team (Scott Lashley), three star Matt Womack got first crack at the job. The 6’7, 316lb redshirt sophomore certainly has the frame; but it remains to be see if he can hold on to the starting gig.

For what it’s worth, I think Womack’s biggest challengers likely come at right guard rather than tackle. Lester Cotton seems like a great bet to start somewhere on the right side of the line. Nick Saban likes to play his five best offensive linemen, and he said at SEC Media Days that they had four offensive linemen playing winning football. So, it likely comes down to whether Womack is better at right tackle than someone like Deonte Brown is at right guard.

1st and 10: Womack’s in at left tackle in this blowout. He’s got tight end (Miller Forristall) help to his left. Womack greets the defensive end knowing he has that help. His initial hand placement isn’t ideal, but he quickly adjusts and gets it in the defender’s chest. Another defender comes around on a stunt, and Forristall bails to pick him up. Womack’s got it under control, though; and the end can’t do a thing about it.

1st and 10: Womack’s still the left tackle. He shows nice movement off the snap; but, unfortunately, he’s too quick about it. Womack overshoots while the defensive end is patient; and he’s left trying to lunge back and wall out the end. He ends up completely turned around and can only watch while the man he was supposed block makes the tackle.

1st and 10: Here, Womack at right tackle quickly steps up to help Cotton with Isaiah Buggs. He then turns to the linebacker and gets square, but he doesn’t have time to drive him back or out of the way before Brian Robinson gets there. Womack did probably stay a hair too long with Buggs before moving on, but that didn’t matter. Keith Holcombe had hit the gap hard and wasn’t effectively blocked by the pulling Hale Hentges.

2nd and 5: It’s the very next play, and Womack does have to engage with Christian Miller this time. He does keep wide base; but, unfortunately, he leans forward too much and is off balance.

2nd and 7: (Apologies for how ESPN had this shot framed.) Hurts is in the gun, and the running back is on Womack’s side. It’s playaction, so Womack steps like he’s blocking for a run, trying to wall off the backside. Anfernee Jennings moves up, taking a couple steps inside. Womack goes to deliver a punch, but Jennings swipes his arms aside and quickly moves to the outside. Womack is left flailing at air as Jennings gets a shot at Hurts, who showcases that escapability we’re all familiar with. It turns into a one yard gain, no thanks to Womack.

2nd and 10: It’s a run to Womack’s side. He kicks out quickly, gets his arms in Christian Miller’s chest, and keeps his feet shuffling outside. Womack takes Miller with him; and he shoves him back with just his left arm before closing back with him.