QB AJ McCarron
8-31-13 Virginia Tech @Atlanta
9-14-13 at Texas A&M
10-12-13 at Kentucky
10-19-13 ARKANSAS
10-26-13 TENNESSEE
11-16-13 at Mississippi State
11-30-13 at Auburn
Head Coach: Nick Saban
63-13, 6 years

2012 Statistics

2012 RESULTS: 13-1
vs. Michigan WON 41-14
at Arkansas WON 52-0
at Missouri WON 42-10
at Tennessee WON 44-13
at Louisiana State WON 21-17
Georgia WON 32-28
Notre Dame WON 42-14

2012 Final Rankings
AP-1, Coaches-1, BCS-2



Off. Coordinator/QB Coach: Doug Nussmeier (2nd season)
Previous: Washington Off. Coor./QB Coach

Def. Coordinator/ILB Coach: Kirby Smart (7th season)
Previous: NFL Dolphins Safeties Coach

Running Backs: Burton Burns (7th season)
Previous: Clemson RB Coach

Receivers: Billy Napier (1st season)
Previous: Colorado State QB Coach

Tight Ends/Sp. Teams: Bobby Williams (6th season)
Previous: NFL Dolphins RB Coach

Offensive Line: Mario Cristobal (1st season)
Previous: Florida International Head Coach

Defensive Line: Chris Rumph (2nd season)
Previous: Clemson DE Coach

Outside Linebackers : Lance Thompson (3rd season)
Previous: Tennessee DL Coach

Defensive Backs: Greg Brown (1st season)
Previous: Colorado Def. Coor.


Some steam has been building coming out of spring ball that Alabama might not be the No. 1 preseason team after all heading into 2013. Could be the noise generated from the NFL Draft where Alabama lost three of the best offensive linemen few college teams could ever dream about. But make no mistake...the depth and talent that head coach Nick Saban has amassed in Tuscaloosa is mind boggling. Watching this team take the field is like watching the best horses take the track at the Kentucky Derby. These are the largest, fastest and best athletes in the country bar none!

Anyone thinking this team is not deserving of starting the 2013 season at the top needs their head examined. The Crimson Tide already has the greatest quarterback in Alabama football history. To demonstrate the insanity the top three running backs are 1,000 yard rusher T.J. Yeldon standing at 6'2, former Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year Kenyan Drake and the nation's all-time career high school rusher Derrick Henry who ran for over 12,000 yards at the prep level. Forget about the backup, Alabama's third string players could start on many other SEC programs. Despite this stockpile of ball carriers there also is a feeling this could be the year of the passing game. Will AJ McCarron get the keys to the Ferrari? It's hard to imagine why he wouldn't considering this receiving corps led by Amari Cooper could be the best in Alabama football history.

Granted the offensive line reconstruction will go a long way into determining how far this team can go, but if the past is any indication Nick Saban knows that recruiting big, mobile offensive linemen is what wins ball games. Don't think for a minute there is a shortage of blockers in Tuscaloosa. Maybe even more important is the fact that Saban struck gold hiring one of the better coaching minds in all of college football to direct the offensive line when Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal became available.

Defense has been one aspect Bama fans never needed to worry about the past four years. The Crimson Tide has dominated all of the NCAA team defensive statistics during that span en route to three BCS titles. A bad defense is about as unlikely as an empty stadium at the home opener. However, there is no anchor on the line with the size and strength of Jesse Williams, no shutdown corner like Dee Milliner and no defensive back with the experience of Robert Lester. Safety is a concern as is size up front on the defensive line. But no one questions the All-America credentials of linebacker C.J. Mosley.

The bottom line that needs to be stressed is that nobody in America has this type of high school talent. Nobody! Sometimes that talent fails to be coached up at many other programs. That's not the case at this institution. Alabama is on the verge of doing something that has never been done in the history of college football...win three consecutive national championships. They got a name for the winners in the world. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide.

Projected 2013 record: 11-1

LB Adrian Hubbard
2012 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: AJ McCarron, 211-314-3, 2933 yds., 30 TD

Rushing: T.J. Yeldon, 175 att., 1108 yds., 12 TD

Receiving: Amari Cooper, 59 rec., 1000 yds., 11 TD

Scoring: T.J. Yeldon, 13 TD, 1 two pt. conv., 80 pts.

Punting: Cody Mandell, 50 punts, 44.3 avg.

Kicking: Cade Foster, 4-9 FG, 0-0 PAT, 12 pts.

Tackles: C.J. Mosley, 107 tot., 66 solo

Sacks: Adrian Hubbard, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, 5 for 91 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Cyrus Jones, 10 ret., 25.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Christion Jones, 21 ret., 10.1 avg., 0 TD


2013 College Football Preview
OFFENSE: Michael Williams-TE, Chance Warmack-OG, Barrett Jones-C, Jeremy Shelley-K, D.J. Fluker-OT (NFL), Eddie Lacy-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Jesse Williams-NG, Damion Square-DE, Quinton Dial-DE, Nico Johnson-LB, Robert Lester-S, Dee Milliner-CB (NFL)


  • The depth at quarterback is getting insane. While senior AJ McCarron prepares to rewrite the Alabama record book four other highly decorated scholarship signal callers are vying for the back up spot.
  • Will AJ McCarron go down as the greatest Alabama quarterback of all time? With three national championship rings and a SI swimsuit model for a girlfriend the answer is he probably already is. Legendary names like Namath, Stabler and Starr are hard to surpass but McCarron is the only one to guide the Tide to two national titles and counting.
  • McCarron led the nation last season in passing efficiency with three interceptions in 314 attempts. The buzz is that offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and the Tide offense may lean on their passing game more in 2013. If a newly built offensive line can provide time to throw this could be a record breaking season for the passing annals.
  • Six quarterbacks other than McCarron attempted at least two passes in the spring game.
  • Backup Blake Sims as a runner in the open field with the read option is a huge change to the downhill pro style offense Bama runs. Just two seasons ago the Wildcat was in play with Sims but those days have vanished and the talk about Sims with his lackluster passing ability disappeared with it.
  • With a much better arm, big Texas pro-style gunslinger Alec Morris by many accounts is the heir apparent to McCarron. This will be the year to air it out with all these quality receivers, which makes more sense to have Morris behind center.
  • Three highly touted true freshmen will be enrolled this fall with Cooper Bateman (the No. 5 rated pro-style quarterback by 247 Sports), Parker McLeod and Luke Del Rio (son of former NFL head coach Jack Del Rio) who turned down multiple offers to walk-on at Bama.


  • The recent thoroughbred line of ball carriers in Tuscaloosa continues to roll on. From Mark Ingram to Trent Richardson to Eddie Lacy and now to T.J. Yeldon...the running game is still alive and well.
  • No unit can boast as much depth. Once again, instead of mourning another loss of a running back declaring for the NFL here comes T.J. Yeldon and a long list of talented backs that will share the load.
  • 1,000 yard rusher Yeldon made this rushing attack sparkle last fall when Eddie Lacy was hobbled, or even when Lacy wasn't. This is a 6'2 back who combines patience with a smooth, fluid running style and who can also catch passes out of the backfield. Don't be surprised when Yeldon goes to New York for the Heisman presentation with McCarron by his side.
  • Kenyan Drake was forced into action last season due to a rash of injuries. His 6.7 yards per carry were actually higher than that of Lacy and Yeldon. The former Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year continues to give coaches plenty of options while keeping everyone fresh in this backfield.
  • Next up...Derrick Henry. The huge 6'3, 238 pound five-star Florida recruit who set the National high school career rushing record (12,243 yards) enrolled early to get comfortable in this system. While on the rise he fractured his fibula in a scrimmage and will rehab to get ready for August. He will factor into the rotation.


  • Despite the ground it out offensive style Coach Saban has been able to stockpile big time star talent at receiver. Some players are no longer with the team for various reasons but all of the starters are back. This is still potentially the best receiving corps in Tide history.
  • After leading the team in receiving as a true freshman, Amari Cooper is poised for an encore performance of even greater proportions. Through out the spring no defensive back was able to cover him in man with any consistency. For Cooper the sky is the limit. He is poised to be at the top of everyone's NFL Draft Board much sooner than anyone anticipated.
  • Getting Kenny Bell back from a broken leg suffered in the Auburn game will be big. He led the team with an amazing 25.4 yards per catch last fall and can turn the short pass into a huge gainer.
  • DeAndrew White could be poised for a break out year with all of the opposing defenses trying to focus on Cooper and Bell. The four-star recruit out of Texas chose Bama over prolific passing offenses like Oklahoma State and Baylor to play here. One of the team's fastest players White was emerging as a top wide out before an ACL injury ended his season in the fifth game.
  • Kevin Norwood was the team's second leading receiver but off-season surgery to repair his turf toe kept him out of the spring. For over a year now Norwood has been the receivers' leader in terms of work ethic and example-setting.
  • Both Christion Jones and Cyrus Jones are trying their hand in the defensive backfield. Christion has some of the best hands on the team but is also being pushed at slot receiver by Chris Black, who created plenty of havoc for the defense this spring snaring those short pass screens and quick outs while turning them into big gainers.


  • At the close of 2013 tight end Brian Vogler emerged as a better than average blocker opening up the lanes. Vogler was considered a receiver first out of high school but should continue to be an asset in the running game, especially in goal line situations.
  • The loss of Michael Williams at tight end however cannot be underestimated. He represents another lost component from a powerful offensive line.
  • One mark of Saban's offenses has been the role of its H-back from year to year subject to change based on personnel. The addition of five-star superstar recruit OJ Howard and Jalston Fowler, who returns from a medical redshirt, should be a tremendous upgrade.


  • Three of the highest decorated players played on this massive front wall and moved on to be NFL Draft picks, with two of them going in the first round. With the loss of Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker this offensive line will be the subject of many questions and labels.
  • This unit will also be working with a new segment coach but Nick Saban hired a good one in former Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal. The former All-American tackle from Miami bought a fiery personality to spring practice.
  • Ryan Kelly will be the third center quarterback AJ McCarron has worked with in as many years. He has experience here and eventually should be a strength at the position.
  • Cyrus and Arie Kouandjio are a pair of brothers playing beside each other on the left side at tackle and guard respectively. Coming out of Maryland, Cyrus was one of the most sought after high school tackles and was an immediate impact as a starter last fall. He will be the next lineman to make the jump to the pros as a first round pick.
  • Right guard Anthony Steen, one of the strongest players on the team, is the most experienced lineman and will be counted on to be a vocal leader. He is strong to the punch and will be another future NFL Draft pick.
  • Austin Shepherd takes over at right tackle based on his massive playbook experience level over newcomer Leon Brown, who enrolled this spring as one of the nation's top rated JUCO tackles. Another Maryland high school product, Brown didn't come here to ride the pine so this battle could get interesting as the fall progresses.


RB T.J. Yeldon


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB AJ McCarron-Sr (6-4, 208) Blake Sims-Jr (6-0, 202)
Alec Morris-RFr (6-3, 230)
RB T.J. Yeldon-So (6-2, 218) Kenyan Drake-So (6-1, 201)
Derrick Henry-Fr (6-3, 238)
WR Amari Cooper-So (6-1, 202) DeAndrew White-Jr (6-0, 190)
WR Kevin Norwood-Sr (6-2, 195) Kenny Bell-Sr (6-1, 180)
WR Christion Jones-Jr (5-11, 185) Chris Black-RFr (5-11, 182)
HB Jalston Fowler-Jr (6-1, 250) OJ Howard-Fr (6-6, 237)
TE Brian Vogler-Jr (6-7, 260) Malcolm Faciane-So (6-5, 267)
OT Cyrus Kouandjio-Jr (6-6, 310) Brandon Greene-RFr (6-5, 307)
OG Arie Kouandjio-Jr (6-5, 315) Kellen Williams-Sr (6-3, 302)
C Ryan Kelly-So (6-5, 290) Chad Lindsay-Jr (6-2, 302)
OG Anthony Steen-Sr (6-3, 309) Issac Luatua-So (6-2, 313)
OT Austin Shepherd-So (6-5, 315) Leon Brown-Jr (6-6, 313)
K Cade Foster-Sr (6-1, 224) Adam Griffith-RFr (5-10, 187)




  • The list of names and talents at defensive end run deep as all were highly regarded prep stars. But none of them weigh in over 300 pounds, which is outside the norm for ends in this 3-4 alignment. Instead of thick and heavy brickhouse players recruiting has pulled in the slightly smaller more athletic types.
  • Across the board this unit is very young. However the word on the Tuscaloosa street is that this may be the most talented group in the Saban era. We'll see. Stuffing the run has always been the top priority so it will be interesting to see how this size difference translates.
  • Nose tackle Brandon Ivory was a starter last year in goal line and short yardage and completely dominated in this role while making huge stops in big SEC games. His positive asset is quickness off the ball, which is quite noteworthy for a man of 315+ pounds.
  • Ed Stinson has transformed from a freshman linebacker to a senior defensive end. He will be counted on to anchor the run defense while utilizing his quickness. Jeoffrey Pagan is the other athletic type on the other side. The question will be their ability to not get pushed off the line of scrimmage.
  • Second-team defensive ends Dalvin Tomlinson and LaMichael Fanning are both flashing pass rush skills that could make an impact. Both should enter the fall in a strong position for playing time.


  • With all four starters returning and depth plentiful Alabama's vaunted linebacker position is in good hands. Without a doubt, senior All-American C.J. Mosley is the most talented player on this defense.
  • C.J. Mosley was a big time player the minute he stepped on campus. His ability to defend the spread offense while also starring in nickel and dime packages makes him the most valuable asset on this side of the ball. Don't expect to see Mosley leave the field at any point.
  • Sack leader Adrian Hubbard has grown into a terror pressuring the quarterback and containing on the edge. Former five-star high school stud Ryan Anderson is capable of doing much the same.
  • This season Xzavier Dickson will shuffle back and forth between his outside linebacker position and defensive end depending on what the opposing offense is doing. Dickson could wind up a quality speed rusher in passing situations.
  • Denzel Devall played a crucial role as a pass rushing specialist last season. Dickson was a solid player here but Devall's outstanding play may have forced Dickson into another role.
  • Despite the talent and experience on this unit three incoming freshmen are sure to make an impact. Jonathan Allen may be the best recruit ever signed to play the JACK position, Reuben Foster is the five-star force with an Auburn tattoo having committed originally to the Tigers only to switch back to Bama and Tim Williams was the best linebacker steal out of Louisiana.


  • The secondary rotation has been in a relatively constant state of flux and the answers did not come into focus this spring due to the large array of nickel and dime schemes coaches are attempting to employ. This much is true: Belue, Smith and Clinton-Dix won't come off the field regardless of the scheme.
  • Last year the secondary represented the weakest link when it came to beating the Tide much like Texas A&M and LSU did in exploiting mismatches. Now Alabama has to move forward while replacing their best corner and safety in Milliner and Lester making this unit the biggest area of concern.
  • Deion Belue was a pleasant surprise last fall staking his claim as the starter on the corner after coming out of the JUCO ranks. Geno Smith will be the one counted on this fall to improve the coverage leaks after earning starts in nickel and dime packages in big games versus Georgia and Notre Dame.
  • Cyrus Jones has moved from receiver to cornerback this spring, a place many felt he would be playing all along since signing with Bama. Bradley Sylve, another receiver, has also shown he can take the field for significant snaps.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is everything coaches want in a safety with size, speed and skills to cover the field while being a very capable tackler. He is the perfect fit for helping to defend the spread offense.
  • Vinnie Sunseri struggled mightily last season in pass coverage but his skills near the line of scrimmage are much better. Look for him in more of a linebacker role in dime packages. The next man up was Nick Perry who had struggles of his own in pass coverage.
  • Nailing down better production from the safety spot will be crucial. Look for former five-star recruit Landon Collins to play more of a role. This could be one of the most important battles in August camp.


LB C.J. Mosley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Ed Stinson-Sr (6-4, 292) Dalvin Tomlinson-RFr (6-2, 287)
NG Brandon Ivory-Jr (6-4, 310) Darren Lake-So (6-3, 324)
DE Jeoffrey Pagan-Jr (6-4, 290) LaMichael Fanning-So (6-7, 270)
SLB Adrian Hubbard-Jr (6-6, 252) Ryan Anderson-RFr (6-2, 255)
MLB Trey DePriest-Jr (6-2, 245) Reggie Ragland-So (6-2, 259)
WLB C.J. Mosley-Sr (6-2, 232) Tana Patrick-Sr (6-3, 238)
JACK Xzavier Dickson-Jr (6-3, 265) Denzel Devall-So (6-2, 250)
CB Deion Belue-Sr (5-11, 183) Bradley Sylve-So (5-11, 180)
CB Geno Smith-So (6-0, 186) John Fulton-Sr (6-0, 186)
S Vinnie Sunseri-Jr (6-0, 210) Nick Perry-Sr (6-1, 212)
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix-Jr (6-1, 208) Landon Collins-So (6-0, 215)
P Cody Mandell-Sr (6-4, 213) ..



  • Short range kicker Jeremy Shelley is out of eligibility. Senior kicker Cade Foster is competing with redshirt frosh Adam Griffith for the role this fall. Coach Saban has indicated that using both as he did with Shelley and Foster remains an option...a decision that won't be decided until late in fall camp.
  • Cade Foster has a booming leg. He connected on three field goals from 50 yards or longer and had 46 touchbacks on kickoffs.
  • Adam Griffith is the wild card in this formula. The Georgia native signed with Bama as the No. 1 rated high school kicker according to Scout.com.
  • Punter Cody Mandell thrived last year while most important saving his best efforts for the biggest games. Mandell ranked 17th in the nation in net punting.
  • The return game is also loaded with experience as Christion Jones, Cyrus Jones and Dee Hart all proved to be capable at the position.