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. 5 Shaun Dion Hamilton
With Reuben Foster moving on to the NFL, Shaun Dion Hamilton will be the leader in the middle of Alabama’s defense this season.
Hamilton tore his ACL in the first half of the SEC Championship Game vs. Florida. While going to make a tackle, Hamilton’s foot got stuck in the turf and his knee twisted.
Prior to the injury, Hamilton was in the midst of a breakout junior season. He was third on the team with 64 tackles, including 9 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. Hamilton also added 2 interceptions and a forced fumble.
He spent the spring rehabbing his knee to make sure he would be ready for the season. Barring any setbacks, Hamilton should be back in his position at the start of fall camp.
Hamilton will be in charge of making all of the on-field calls and adjustments for the Crimson Tide’s defense this season. He’s Alabama’s next great middle linebacker.
Coming Tuesday: A run-stuffing defensive lineman
SEC Country’s Top 25 Alabama football players:
- No. 6: A veteran offensive lineman
- No. 7: A lockdown corner
- 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’