Editor’s note: Alabama football returns a ton of talent, and has a great opportunity to make another run at the SEC championship and earn a College Football Playoff berth.
Over the next few weeks, SEC Country will take a look at Alabama’s 25 most important players. Obviously, there will be coaches and other key members around the program who will have a big impact on the team’s success. But this list is strictly for the top-25 players for the Crimson Tide heading into 2017.
No. 7 Anthony Averett
Anthony Averett is one of the many players for Alabama football who has shown that having patience can pay off. Averett redshirted his first year in Tuscaloosa (2013), played in one game in 2014 and only saw time in mop up duty in 2015.
His shot to start finally came in 2016 and he took full advantage. Few teams threw at Averett as he was usually a blanket in coverage.
Averett has elite speed which allows him to stay close to receivers even if they’re able to beat him off the line of scrimmage initially.
Averett finished last season with 48 tackles, including 39 solo stops. He added 3 tackles for loss, a team-high 8 pass breakups and 2 forced fumble. Averett tied for the team lead with 8 tackles on kickoff coverage.
“From last year, the biggest lesson was just don’t take any plays off, just keep on going hard regardless of what’s going on,” Averett said this spring. “That’s pretty much it.
“I feel like I’ve evolved quite well. It’s going to be my second year, I feel more experienced, I’m more comfortable with the playing calling and everything.”
Alabama football will count on Averett to hold down one side of the field as the top cornerback option with Marlon Humphrey leaving school early for the NFL. Heading into his senior year, Averett is hoping to make a case for why he should be considered one of the top defensive backs in the country.
Coming Friday: A veteran offensive lineman
SEC Country’s Top 25 Alabama football players:
- No. 8: Tide’s next great offensive lineman
- No. 9: A hard-hitting safety
- No. 10: A key play maker
- No. 11: A versatile linebacker
- No. 12: A veteran wide receiver
- No. 13: A key special teams player
- No. 14: An elite defensive lineman
- No. 15: A junior college transfer
- No. 16: A powerful offensive lineman
- No. 17: A young player changing positions
- No. 18: An experienced offensive lineman
- No. 19: A new sack artist
- No 20: A powerful linebacker
- No. 21: A young, explosive linebacker
- No. 22: An inexperienced offensive lineman
- No. 23: A veteran safety
- No. 24: Two talented freshmen
- No. 25: Tide hope he’s ‘special’