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.
2. Reuben Foster
This is now Foster’s defense to lead as he’ll be the alpha dog in the middle for Alabama.
Foster turned down entering the NFL draft to return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season.
Some of his new responsibilities include putting the defense in the right position. In Alabama’s scheme, the middle linebacker looks to the sideline and gets the call from the coaching staff before relaying it to the rest of the group on the field. If there’s an adjustment or a check to be made, it’s usually the middle linebacker who is in charge of making sure the defense is on the same page.
Throughout his career, Foster had the opportunity to watch and learn from C.J. Mosley, Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland.
Last year, Foster played in all 15 games and is credited with eight starts. He finished second on the team with 73 tackles (48 solo), including eight tackles for loss.
Foster mostly served as the inside linebacker in the Tide’s nickel package, which Alabama played the majority of the time.
Foster likely won’t come off the field much this year, which means he’ll have to take his game to an even higher level.
Reuben has been a leader in his own way since he’s been here. He just hasn’t had to do certain stuff. He’s been a behind-the scenes guy. But he’s Reuben. He’s a leader. Everybody respects him. When he says something, everybody listens. It shouldn’t be that much of a drop off. It will be good. — Ryan Anderson on Foster’s leadership
Coming Friday: The No. 1 player(s)
- No. 3 Cam Robinson
- No. 4 Jonathan Allen
- No. 5 Tim Williams
- No. 6 Ryan Anderson
- No. 7 Calvin Ridley
- No. 8 O.J. Howard
- No. 9 Eddie Jackson
- No. 10 Marlon Humphrey
- No. 11 Minkah Fitzpatrick
- No. 12 Cooper Bateman/David Cornwell/Blake Barnett/Jalen Hurts
- No. 13 Robert Foster
- No. 14 Da’Shawn Hand
- No. 15 Da’Ron Payne
- No. 16 ArDarius Stewart
- No. 17 Shaun Dion Hamilton
- No. 18 Dalvin Tomlinson
- No. 19 Ronnie Harrison
- No. 20 Ross Pierschbacher
- No. 21 Lester Cotton
- No. 22 JK Scott
- No. 23 Rashaan Evans
- No. 24 Jonah Williams
- No. 25 Adam Griffith