Saturday was Senior Day for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Before facing the Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins, the program recognized 22 “Seniors”. However as we have seen, some of those players might be back for a bonus Super Senior season.
- OG/OC Darrian Dalcourt has had a rocky college career full of injuries, benchings and reinsertions into the lineup. After a playing in four seasons of five or more games each (2019-2022), he came back for a fifth super-senior season. [SIDE NOTE: Having stood the year before, grad student super senior Dalcourt was not among the seniors honored] Eligibility remaining: NONE.
- DB Jaylen Key came to Alabama after completing a redshirt in 2018 plus four full seasons at UAB. He has been an outstanding addition to the Tide secondary. Eligibility remaining: NONE.
- Like Dalcourt, PK Will Reichard participated in last season’s Senior Day. Everyone - even Will and Nick Saban - thought for sure the Alabama kicker was done with college football. However, something happened and Reichard changed his mind with an announcement of his return just a few days after the 45–20 Sugar Bowl romp over Kansas State. In his freshman year, Will was the placekicker in the first four games but was injured in the fourth game. In Game 5, he returned but unfortunately re-aggravated the injury on a punt attempt early in the game and did not play the rest of the year. The public will probably never know but if Alabama filed for a medical redshirt for that season and it was approved, Reichard might actually have a sixth year waiting for him in 2024. However, it seems highly unlikely that he comes back a second time. Eligibility remaining: MAYBE ONE if Alabama filed for a medical redshirt (2019).
- DL Justin Eboigbe had the misfortune of suffering a neck injury prior in the fourth game of the 2022 season. The fortunate part was that he only played in four games and could use that year as a redshirt year. He had not taken one prior. He is currently in his fifth season at the Capstone and fourth non-redshirt season. He has a bonus season available to him but he has had an excellent 2023 campaign (5 sacks, 9.5 TFL). It would be hard to imagine that he could improve his NFL stock much more by returning to Alabama in 2024. Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- Although LB Chris Braswell is listed as an honoree for Saturday, he is in fact a redshirt junior in his fourth season. In a presser last week, he said he wasn’t “focusing on the NFL right now.” but also stated “I’ve had a great career here.” It has to be assumed he has already decided to test the NFL waters with the excellent season he is having (7 sacks, 9.5 TFL, INT, 2 FF, blocked kick). Eligibility remaining: TWO - Redshirt Senior, Super Senior.
ON THE FENCE
- When asked about a possible return last week, DB Malachi Moore stated “I really haven’t thought about it too much, Senior Day, it’s kind of surreal just to see how quickly everything has been going by so fast. I’m kind of just taking it in each day at a time, and when that time comes, I’ll probably have a little extra emotions running through me on Saturday, just running out of the tunnel, not knowing if it’s going to be my last time running out of the tunnel or not. I’m just looking forward to it.” Moore broke out early with a fantastic freshman campaign. He followed that up with some unsteady performances the next two seasons but has been rock solid this fall. Former Tide CB Josh Jobe is a similar size and skillset. He went undrafted but now he is a regular contributor for the NFC leading Eagles. It would be easy to see an NFL team taking a chance on Moore based on his versatility and pedigree. Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- At his press conference, starting OC Seth McLaughlin gave the company line that he is “focused on the next four games.” Hopefully it will be five but he added “I don’t really know what the future holds for me.” McLaughlin is finishing his Master’s Degree in December - that’s four years! In the preseason, Nick Saban said about him, “he’s always had a tremendous attitude. I don’t think anybody’s ever going to go wrong hiring him, I don’t care what he ends up doing. He’s got the right stuff.” It kind of sounds like Seth will be trading in a helmet and shoulder pads for a coat and tie. Eligibility remaining: TWO - Redshirt Senior, Super Senior.
- This past week when a reporter mentioned the NFL value that Brian Robinson gained after returning for an additional year, RB Roydell Williams replied “that’s a thought, but that’s a conversation between me and Coach Saban. I’ll have to see.” EDITORIAL: I like this guy. He is a hard-worker, he isn’t showy, and he bleeds crimson and white. He has had some nice moments, but also had many two-yards-a-cloud-of-dust moments. If he returned, would Saban feel obligated to play him even more at the expense of younger backs Justice Haynes, Jam Miller, and Richard Young? [SIDE NOTE: Alabama has no RB commitments to the Class of 2024 with the Early Signing Period just a month away.] Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- The numbers may not show it but RB Jase McClellan has had a solid season as the starter. He is a tough runner and should be able to catch on with an NFL team somewhere, at the very least as a special teams player. He could come back to Bama in 2024 with the hope of a Brian Robinson-type season, but he risks injury as well. He played five games in 2021 before tearing an ACL. Did Alabama file for a medical redshirt? If not... Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- The Tide’s leading receiver, Jermaine Burton, has played four full seasons. He is an excellent route-runner and is strong blocker. Those are some attractive traits for a receiver going to the pros. Does he have anything more to prove? Can he increase his value with another year in crimson and white? Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- 2023 is the fifth collegiate season for LB Trezmen Marshall which includes a redshirt. He has been a contributor to the Tide this season, but Alabama is stacked with young talented linebackers chomping at the bit to get on the field. It would be surprising if he came back next year. Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- In that same realm, Quandarrius Robinson also has some young linebackers gaining ground on him. He has had some moments this season and excels on special teams. He redshirted his first year and followed that with three full seasons or participation. He has one full year to go not counting a potential bonus year. It seems odd to honor a RS-Junior. Perhaps he transfers? Eligibility remaining: TWO - Redshirt Senior, Super Senior.
- The Crimson Tide has quelled preseason concerns about the defensive line with a deep rotation of veterans and young players. Tim Smith is definitively a part of that group. He has played a lot of games and has started a lot of games in his four years at the Capstone but has not lived up to the lofty expectations put upon the former 5-star recruit. He might profit from another college season but will it be at Alabama? Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
- Including this year, cornerback Trey Amos has played in four full FBS seasons with no redshirt. He would be a top candidate for starter in the secondary next season should any of Moore, Kool-Aid McKinstry, or Terrion Arnold depart for the NFL (highly likely). Eligibility remaining: ONE - Super Senior.
The following three Tide players are other redshirt juniors who were not part of the Senior Day festivities. Perhaps it has something to do with whether they have graduated or not? They each have a full season and a potential bonus season left at their disposal.
- Safety Kristian Story
- Punter James Burnip - definitively returning.
- DL Jah-Marien Latham
- RB Jonathan Bennett
- TE Robert Ellis
- LB Kyle Flood Jr. - Yes, that is former Tide/current Texas OL coach Kyle Flood’s son.
- WR Zarian Courtney
- DB Caleb McDougle
- TE Charlie Skehan
- LB Jordan Smith
- TE Adam Thorsland
- LB Bennett Whisenhunt
- WR Sam Willoughby
Historically, Coach Nick Saban has not been big on bringing back guys for a Super Senior season. And to be honest, outside of Brian Robinson and Will Reichard, they have been some odd choices who have not been vital to the Tide’s success. If he makes any moves for 2024, don’t expect more than a couple.
- 2021: RB Brian Robinson, OL Chris Owens
- 2022: OL Kendall Randolph, LB Jaylen Moody
- 2023: PK Will Reichard, DB Jaylen Key (transfer), and OL Darrian Dalcourt.