Alabama is set at outside linebacker. Christopher Allen and Will Anderson both returned after terrorizing opposing offenses last year; and, by all accounts, they were tearing it up during spring practice.
Anderson missed A-Day, though; and that gave an opportunity to a fellow member of the Class of 2021. Chris Braswell was a 5 star recruit who hovered between #12 and #22 overall, eventually settling as the #19 overall recruit in the final 247 Composite rankings. Until the final rankings, he was even ahead of Will Anderson. So Braswell was no slouch.
He did not see the field for the Tide last season, though. After watching him at A-Day, you have to think that will change in 2021.
2nd and 6: Braswell (#41) has his hand in the dirt on the right side of the defensive line. Left tackle Evan Neal (#73) turns him out of the way easily, and Roydell Williams (#23) shoots by, but Braswell doesn’t give up. He comes off the block, hustles after the play, and helps clean up the tackle.
3rd and 7: Braswell is standing up on the right, one of three rushers; and he’s matched up against Neal again. Braswell gets his left hand into Neal’s chest, and he drives the 360lb lineman back with one arm. Bryce Young (#9) is able to move to his right and avoid the pressure. But you can see Braswell’s strength on this play, and he did his part in disrupting Young a bit.
1st and 10: Braswell is on the right again. On the snap, he moves forward and gets his hands on tight end Jahleel Billingsley (#19), ensuring he doesn’t get a clean release; and then Braswell turns and runs with Billingsley. He stays tight with him step for step. The pass goes to a wide open Cameron Latu (#81), however. But Braswell, 6 yards back and several to the side, once again chases after the play. He gets slowed down by DeMarcco Hellams (#2) and can’t make the tackle, but you have to love hustle.
2nd and 10: Braswell is on the left, matched up against right tackle Kendall Randolph (#60). And it’s over almost as soon as it starts. Randolph doesn’t kick out enough and isn’t ready for Braswell’s speed. Braswell blows by, and all Randolph is able to do is give him a little shove. He hits Young from behind - and maintains the awareness to not obliterate the black jersey - and the ball flies out. Jaylen Moody (#42) recovers it in the end zone for the scoop and score.
2nd and 5: Braswell is on the left again. He shuffles to his right, going with the play at first. Braswell sees Young pull it and resets to get moving in the right direction. He then hits the boost and closes on the quarterback quickly, giving Young no chance. Even in a real-game situation, Braswell would have blown this play up.