Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Running back Damien Harris is one of Alabama's returning leaders.

Alabama football: New leaders will have to ascend before 2018 season

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Finding new leadership

Alabama deals with roster turnover every year. While replacing those players’ production is tough, substituting their presence in the locker room is equally tough. Many of Alabama’s leaders left for the NFL draft, including safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton. The Crimson Tide will have to find new players to step up and become leaders. Luckily for them, a proven leader in running back Damien Harris decided to return for his senior season.

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In other headlines …

Incoming impact freshmen

Alabama made headlines by signing its lowest-ranked recruiting class since 2007. Still, coach Nick Saban managed to bring in two of the nation’s top recruits in cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. and defensive lineman Eyabi Anoma. Those two players are among the Alabama signees looking to make an impact in their freshman seasons.

NCAA Tournament chances

Alabama basketball has experienced its fair share of ups and downs this season. The team is 5-1 against ranked opponents, while being 11-8 against unranked opponents. Still, those five wins put the Tide in good position to make the NCAA Tournament. Our own Marq Burnett took a look at Alabama’s chances to make the NCAA Tournament.

Getting revenge

When he was at Alabama as the offensive coordinator, Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin would hear it from Alabama defenders. The players would trash talk his offense’s ability to move the ball in practice. Despite that, Kiffin deployed a weapon to exact revenge. In a profile by Chase Goodbread of NFL.com, wide receiver Calvin Ridley revealed that Kiffin would use him to shut up the cocky defenders. 

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