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.
20. Ross Pierschbacher
From the first day of spring practice, Pierschbacher made the move to center and seemed to run with the first-team offense throughout. Pierschbacher started all 15 games at left guard last season as a redshirt freshman, but with three-year starter Ryan Kelly moving on, the Crimson Tide needed someone to anchor the middle of its offensive line.
Pierschbacher spent all of spring practice at center, and started there with the first-team offensive line on A-Day so this move is a permanent one.
Pierschbacher played well enough last season to be named to the Sporting News and SEC All-Freshman teams.
Prior to this spring, Pierschbacher said he’d played center for a day or two in fall camp during his freshman season. If Pierschbacher can lock down the spot, he could be a three-year starter like Kelly was. That would be a huge plus for the future of Alabama’s offensive line.
Just playing 15 games next to him, you see the looks he’s looking at and how he’s calling it and gain some experience from that. I think that helps going into another year. All those guys on the team saw what he did day in and day out. He left a big mark on this program. — Pierschbacher on what he learned from Ryan Kelly
Coming Tuesday: A young, talented safety