Editor’s note: Coming off its fourth national championship in seven seasons, Alabama returns a ton of talent, and has a great opportunity to repeat as champions in 2016.
Over the next few weeks, SEC Country will take a look at Alabama’s 25 most important players. Obviously, there’ll be coaches and other key members around the program who’ll 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 2016.
18. Dalvin Tomlinson
Tomlinson was one of the rotational players along Alabama’s defensive line who was overshadowed to a degree by A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed.
But now both Robinson and Reed are gone, and Tomlinson should step into a full-time starter role. Tomlinson dealt with injuries early in his career, but when healthy, he can be a game changer.
Last season, Tomlinson finished with 34 tackles and his six pass breakups were the most among the defensive linemen. Tomlinson has a knack for getting his hand in passing lanes and knocking the ball down which is an underrated skill.
This year, Tomlinson will be one of the leaders along the defensive line with Jonathan Allen. Those two plus Da’Shawn Hand and Josh Frazier will be Alabama’s top four defensive lineman.
A high school wrestler, Tomlinson has great technique and violent hands. Look for the the Georgia native to have a breakout campaign in his final season with the Crimson Tide.
It is a different feel because I played alongside them for 2-3 years. There are some new faces we have to get used to on the defensive line, but we are still a big family. It won’t be different for too much longer. — Dalvin Tomlinson on replacing leadership from A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed
Coming Thursday: A heady linebacker