Alabama tried to get Landon Dickerson out of high school. Dickerson, a high 4 star in the Class of 2016, ultimately picked Florida State, however. He spent three years with the Seminoles, starting games each year - including one against Alabama in 2017 - before each year was cut short with an injury.
Dickerson decided to transfer after the 2018, and Alabama saw its chance to land someone it had coveted. And Alabama did.
There were opportunities for Dickerson, with only two starters on the 2018 offensive line returning. I, for one, was skeptical at first. Dickerson had a lengthy injury history, and Alabama had plenty of highly ranked players waiting in the wings. I began to change my mind after doing a film room on him and saw how good he looked when healthy.
Dickerson came in for fall camp and quickly established himself as one of the best five offensive linemen. He started the first four games at right guard before sliding over to center for the final nine games.
Dickerson was not merely serviceable either; he was excellent. He brought a mean streak with him, and he allowed just one sack and four quarterback hurries all season while missing only four assignments over the course of 727 snaps. His performance earned him second team All-SEC honors at center from the coaches and at guard from the Associated Press.
Dickerson returned for 2020 and flat out dominated. He was named to the All-SEC first team by both the coaches and the AP. He was a unanimous first team All-American (the first Alabama center to become one since Ryan Kelly in 2015). He won the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best center, becoming the third Alabama player to win it (Ryan Kelly in 2015 and Barrett Jones in 2012). He was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman (his teammate Alex Leatherwood won it). He was the co-winner of the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy with Leatherwood.
And those are just the individual accolades. Dickerson was more than that, as anyone who watched him would agree. He was the heart and soul of the team. From his “you just committed a penalty” dance…
Landon Dickerson is a mood pic.twitter.com/ji4tQd0jXf— Tony Tsoukalas (@Tony_Tsoukalas) December 6, 2020
...to some hilarious flopping.
Landon Dickerson - part-time football, part-time flopper pic.twitter.com/2xzqbEjcdl— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) December 6, 2020
Dickerson was named a permanent team captain by his teammates. After suffering a knee injury in the SEC Championship against Florida, the entire team rallied around him.
What do you think Landon Dickerson’s teammates feel about him? Ultimate sign of respect from his guys. pic.twitter.com/vnKlB9ZzTs— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 20, 2020
The injury required surgery, and Dickerson appeared to be done for the season. He missed the semifinal against Notre Dame as expected; but then Alabama fans were greeted with something unexpected: Dickerson warming up in full pads before the national championship. Mere weeks after knee surgery, Dickerson was out on the field supporting his teammates. But surely he wouldn’t play. Well, about that.
Dickerson went out and handled the snaps on the final two kneel downs. Then, of course, we were all treated to this delightful scene.
All this just a few weeks after having knee surgery.
Dickerson was an incredible player and teammate and gave Alabama two incredible seasons. Now he’s off to the draft, and he’s been showing up late in the first round in many recent mocks. We’ll see exactly where he ends up in a couple months; but, regardless, he’s an Alabama legend.
Roll Tide, Landon.