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.
9. Eddie Jackson
He played so well at the position that it’s hard to believe that last year was Jackson’s first playing safety.
Jackson spent the first two years of his Alabama career playing cornerback, starting 14 games during that time period.
But the move to safety in the spring of 2015 put Jackson in what appeared to be his natural position and allowed him to become more of a playmaker on the back end.
As a junior, Jackson led the team with 6 interceptions, which tied for first in the SEC and seventh nationally. He returned two of those picks for touchdowns while also forcing a fumble and recovering a fumble to go with 46 tackles.
Jackson’s biggest play of the season came in the national championship when he forced Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson into his lone mistake of the game. While in zone coverage, Jackson jumped a route to pick off Watson’s pass early in the second quarter. That interception coupled with 3 tackles earned Jackson defensive MVP honors in the national championship.
Jackson returns for his senior season as the leader of Alabama’s secondary. Along with other returning seniors like Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson, Jackson helps Alabama’s defense retool and reload instead of completely rebuilding.
He’ll be tasked with making the adjustments for the secondary while along helping the younger players mature.
Jackson was limited during the spring with leg injury, but he’s expected to be 100 percent in the fall.
Coming Wednesday: A star tight end
- 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