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Alabama 2022 Spring Football Preview: Running Backs look to be in good shape

A key transfer leads a talented room that is a little thin in the spring.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama came into the 2021 season with what seemed like an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. Unfortunately, every one of them suffered an injury of some kind during the season other than a still recovering Trey Sanders, leaving a perilously thin crew that required emergency use of LB Demouy Kennedy and WR Christian Leary in the role. Reinforcements were added for 2022 from both the high school ranks and the transfer portal, and the depth for the fall looks good once again. Hope for some better luck this time around.

The Departed

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Robinson was one of a few senior leaders on last year’s squad, and he did everything in his power to try and will the team to a national championship. B-Rob put up 1,639 scrimmage yards and 16 touchdowns on the season, including his best outing in the national semifinal win over Cincinnati where he carried the offense to the tune of 204 yards on 26 carries. He will be missed.

The Key Transfer

#13 Jahmyr Gibbs, junior

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Gibbs comes to Alabama after managing a highly successful 2021 campaign behind a Georgia Tech offensive line that leaves much to be desired. He was especially explosive in the passing game, hauling in 36 catches for 470 yards, a robust 13.1 per reception that is huge for a running back. There has been buzz around him since he stepped on campus, and he has certainly looked the part in the precious few highlight clips that Saban has blessed us with this spring. It will be something of a surprise if Gibbs isn’t the starter this season.


A pair of juniors, #21 Jase McClellan and #23 Roydell Williams, are expected to make major contributions in the backfield this season, but both are wearing black non-contact jerseys while recovering from major knee injuries and aren’t expected to participate in the spring game.

#6 Trey Sanders, redshirt junior

2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Sanders is reportedly moving better after an additional three months to recover from a horrific car accident that very nearly ended his football career if not his life. Clips show him running effortlessly, with more speed and confidence than last season. Sanders made news earlier in the spring when he publicly thanked Nick Saban for his role in keeping his spirits up during the difficult and lengthy rehab process. He should see a heavy workload on Saturday.

#29 Elijah Crockett

Crockett, a walk-on, was something of a mystery man last season who got a little buzz after reportedly turning some heads during bowl practices. The absence of Williams and McClellan should provide the solidly built 210 pounder some prime opportunities to show what he can do at A Day.

The Freshman

#26, Jamarion Miller

The Tide signed two running backs in the 2022 cycle that are something of a thunder and lightning combo, but only the thunder enrolled early. The 5’10”, 201 lb. Miller has looked nothing like a true freshman out there. This young man runs with a purpose, has power and shake, and looks every bit the part of the next great Alabama running back. Look for him to make some highlights on Saturday.