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.
23. Rashaan Evans
One of the biggest position changes this spring involved Evans moving from outside linebacker to the inside. The move makes sense as Alabama has a lot of depth at outside linebacker, but not as much on the inside.
Evans showed flashes throughout the spring in his new position, but there was a learning curve. Alabama coach Nick Saban’s message to Evans centered around the rising junior showing more consistency.
Evans has big-play potential, but he’ll need to focus more on the smaller details that come with playing the inside as opposed to just rushing the passer on the edge.
During the A-Day spring game, Evans lined up inside with the Crimson team as a part of the second-team defense. But he was one of the defensive stars on the afternoon. He led all tacklers with 17 stops on the day, including 10 solo tackles along with one quarterback sack.
If Evans can continue to develop, look for him to push for a starting spot in Alabama’s nickel package. His versatility would allow him to drop in coverage or rush the passer from the middle which would bring a new wrinkle to Alabama’s defense.
I really just want to make improvements, stay in the playbook and make some gains in weight. Whatever I can do to contribute to the team basically. I am just going to take this lesson that I’ve learned in the spring and some of the little things that I’ve learned and just kind of build off of it and get ready for the fall. — Rashaan Evans after A-Day.
Coming Saturday: A key special teams player