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College Football Preview: 4. Alabama Crimson Tide

4. Alabama Crimson Tide
Key Position Players
RB Trent Richardson- Junior
WR Darius Hanks- Senior
C William Vlachos- Senior
LB Dont'a Hightower- Junior
LB Courtney Upshaw- Senior
CB Dre Kirkpatrick- Junior
S Mark Barron- Senior
The Crimson Tide had a tough year in '10 but they are ready to be back on top again in 2011 thanks to the return of all-star back Trent Richardson. He has more speed than Mark Ingram but not as much power. They also have talent in backup sophomore Eddie Lacey. So, Greg McElroy is gone at quarterback. We thought they would struggle without John Parker Wilson but McElroy filled in well. The same might just happen with sophomore A.J. McCarron who willl likely assume the quarterback role for Nick Saban. He lost a prime option in Julio Jones but returns senior wide out Darius Hanks who has good hands. Also back is tight end Michael Williams. The O-Line is much underrated. Center Michael Vachos returns along with Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack. They will have to have big years to keep big SEC pass rushers from pressuring McCarron. The defense was considered to be inexperienced, especially the secondary, but it did surprisingly well. The defensive line is going to lose top prospect Marcell Dareus but still returns 3 starters. The linebacker core is stacked thanks to junior Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw. The secondary for the Crimson Tide may be even better thanks to cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and safeties Mark Barron and Robert Lester. All three were All-SEC Selections. The special teams is led by kicker Jeremy Shelley.

Heisman Hopeful: Trent Richardson
SEC Rank: 2nd

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