TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Even though National Signing Day has come and gone, Nick Saban may not be done adding to his Alabama roster.
Saban dropped a pair of hints about two positions during his press conference on Wednesday night, quarterback and defensive end, and his desire to add some depth.
It may not be possible to make additions who could impact the team in 2018, but Alabama only signed 19 players during the past recruiting cycle.
Although Saban doesn’t release scholarship numbers, the Crimson Tide appears to have 84 players set for the upcoming season. That Alabama was trying to fill three, if not four, more slots on Wednesday may indicate that a couple of departures may be looming after the spring, which isn’t unusual.
Regardless, the coach has some room to maneuver, which is something that the Crimson Tide don’t normally have. Here’s where the roster stands as of now:
Alabama roster breakdown
- Quarterbacks: 3
- Running backs: 7
- Wide receivers: 9
- Tight ends: 6
- Offensive line: 18
- Defensive line: 8
- Linebackers: 17
- Secondary: 13
- Special teams: 3
With Alabama listing incoming freshmen Eyabi Anoma, Jordan Davis and Cameron Latu all as outside linebackers, there’s only eight defensive linemen on the roster, and that includes early enrollee Stephon Wynn (listed as 6-foot-4, 308 pounds) and defensive tackle Christian Baramore (6-foot-5, 290).
“Well, were actually hoping to maybe get one more defensive lineman in this class,” Saban said “We feel really good about the two guys we got. Stephon Wynn is a really good player, really big power guy. Baramore is the same kind of guy.
“I think some of the outside backer type guys we’ve recruited here in the past have become defensive linemen. The fact that we got some really good guys at outside backer that have some really good size and really good size potential may grow into something else in their career here. That’s something that remains to be seen.”
The heaviest linebackers on the roster are starter Anfernee Jennings at 262 pounds, freshman grayshirt Jarez Parks at 260 and Terrell Lewis at 254.
Looking to see if someone might have slipped through cracks is another possibility, albeit an unlikely one, and the door is open for a graduate transfer.
Saban hinted that something was in the works at quarterback, although it wasn’t clear if he meant preferred walk-on Braxton Barker, the son of former Crimson Tide quarterback Jay Barker.
“I think that we’ll probably have a quarterback join us, some kind of way between now and then, which I don’t think I can comment about,” he said. “Look, when you have really good young players at a position, sometimes it’s hard to attract another guy at that particular position. I think you all know our circumstance at quarterback right now with the players we have here, the grade they are in and how much more eligibility they have.
“So rather reach for somebody, we would rather try to solve the issue another way. Maybe get a more experienced guy down the road, and certainly think that next year we might be in a position to get a really good player at that position who could be someone who could impact us in the future.”
Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa are expected to compete for the starting job this spring, while Mac Jones is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster. Hurts is heading into his junior year and Tagovailoa will be a sophomore, while Jones redshirted in 2017.