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Alabama Football Film Room: LaBryan Ray poised for a bigger role

The talented defensive end looked ready to go at A-Day.

NCAA Football: Alabama A-Day Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s defensive line nominally has three starters, but they always rotate players. That’s how LaBryan Ray got playing time as a true freshman (and filling in for an injured Da’Shawn Hand.)

The first team line at A-Day -- Raekwon Davis, Isaiah Buggs, and Quinnen Williams - all are virtual locks to get significant minutes, but others will see the field as well. True sophomore LaBryan Ray will likely be one of those players.

In a freshman year cut short by injury, Ray flashed promise. When we finally saw him play again at A-Day, he looked to pick up right where he left off.

2nd and 6: Ray (#89) is the right defensive end. He gets low and fires into the left tackle, Chris Owens (#79). Owens doesn’t stand a chance. Ray sees the handoff to Najee Harris (#24) and disengages to the right, right into Harris.

3rd and 9: Ray is the RDE again. He rushes around the edge, but he keeps his eyes on Mac Jones and spots the screen. Ray backs off Owens and jumps into the air, swatting the ball back, which leads to Chris Owens’ possibly only career reception. Ray finishes the play by tackling the big offensive lineman.

1st and 10: The pulling right guard, Hunter Brannon (#50), is tasked with picking up Ray. That doesn’t work. Ray sees Jones keep the ball and shoots forward, and all Brannon can do is give him a little shove as he goes by. Jones unloads it quickly to Harris, who goes for a big pick-up, but Ray provided pressure and almost got his hand on the pass.

1st and 10: Ray rushes inside, shooting for the A gap (between the guard and center). He busts out a pretty swim move and gets right by the left guard, Richie Petitbon (#72). Markail Benton (#36) has come on a blitz, too; and Jones has to scramble to get away from Ray and Benton.

2nd and 10: Ray is going up once more against Petitbon, who’s now at left tackle. Ray doesn’t do anything here; he just bullrushes Petibon. Ray gets low and gets right in Petitbon’s chest, easily driving him backwards into Jones. In a real game, Jones gets a quick pass off for a completion; but at A-Day, Ray’s one-handed grab on Jones’ jersey is enough for the sack.