Alabama Crimson Tide Players Named Preseason All-SEC

Alabama Crimson Tide Players Named Preseason All-SEC
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A program like the Alabama Crimson Tide will always have great players on the team at some point. It should come as no surprise that Five Tide players were named to preseason 2018 first-team All-SEC team. Alabama has two more players named on the preseason first-team All-SEC team than five other conference teams. The Tide also has three more players than 3 other team and 4 more than the Tennessee Volunteers. There were five teams, including the Auburn Tigers, that don’t have a player voted in by SEC coaches as first-team. These five players for the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide will undoubtedly be a huge impact for the team when they kick off the season on September 1st against the Louisville Cardinals. Here is a list of Alabama Crimson Tide Players Named Preseason All-SEC.

RB Damien Harris – Sr.

Before head coach Nick Saban, the Alabama Crimson Tide have never had a Heisman Trophy winner for their program. Now they have had two winners in Mark Ingram II and Derrick Henry, who are both running backs. Damien Harris has a big opportunity to become the next Heisman Trophy-winning Running Back for Alabama this season. Within the past two seasons, Harris has accounted for 2,037 yards and 13 touchdowns on 281 rushing attempts. That is an average of just over seven yards per rush for the past two seasons. Last season, Harris accounted for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns on 135 rushes and averaging 7.4 yards per rush.

His rare mixture of speed, quick thinking, ability to make defenders miss, and make a sudden burst, makes him a dangerous running back to tackle. Harris is currently 16th in Alabama’s career rushing yards and has one more season to advance further in the record books. He has been sharing reps with short-yardage back Bo Scarbrough for the past two seasons. Scarbrough departed early for the 2018 NFL Draft and the Tide is still deciding between Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris for the #2 spot. The last time Alabama used a one-Running Back system, Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy in 2015. Whether Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts starts at Quarterback, Damien Harris will relieve a ton of pressure off the passing game.

OT Jonah Williams – Jr.

For the past two seasons, the most dominant and most consistent player for the Tide’s offense is OT Jonah Williams. The former 5-star tackle from California became a day-1 starter for Alabama in the 2016 season. Since then, Williams has been one of the highest graded tackles in college football playing against tenacious SEC defenses. Last season,  Williams was a 3rd-team All-American selection and was a 1st-team All-SEC selection. In his freshman year, Williams was a 2nd-team All-SEC selection as a leading blocker for a Lane Kiffin offense. Williams’ blocking helped the Tide become the 13th rushing offense in the nation (250.6 yards per game) and 91st passing offense in the nation (193.4 yards per game).

This season will be a huge season for Williams as he will be eligible to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft at the end of the year. There will be many NFL personnel looking at Williams as he is projected to be a high 1st round selection. Williams also comes into the 2018 season as an ESPN preseason All-American as one of the most efficient blockers. Williams will likely be a team captain for the Alabama Crimson Tide offense as he and Damien Harris are two of the most experienced players for the offense.

C Ross Pierschbacher – Sr.

Although Williams and Harris get the glory for the Tide’s successful offense, it is G/C Ross Pierschbacher that is the most experienced. Pierschbacher has started for the Crimson Tide in the past three seasons with 42 games at left guard. During his time with the Crimson Tide, Pierschbacher has led the Tide’s offense to account for 28-hundred-yard rushing games. Despite his huge size at 6-4, 309lbs, Pierschbacher is a solid blocker through his quick feet and tremendous pulling ability. In the 2016 College Football season, Pierschbacher was named to 2nd-team All-SEC honoree. Last season, he was named to 1st-team All-SEC as a part of the 13th best rushing offense in the nation.

This season, Pierschbacher has been transitioned to one of the most important positions on the team as a center. He will be replacing the Tide’s former reliable center in Bradley Bozeman, who graduated after the 2017 season. The center position is a position that is the most reliable the most due to the reliability they must present. Many of Alabama’s offensive philosophies are run up the middle. Having a less reliable center can mess up the offense in a dramatic fashion. Putting one of the most reliable and most experienced offensive linemen is a great move for the offense.

DE Raekwon Davis – Jr.

Going into the 2017 college football season, Raekwon Davis had the most hype on the defensive side of the ball. Davis is an aggressive, fast lineman who can play in multiple fronts or formations of Alabama’s defense. He did not start the season for the Crimson Tide due to Da’Shawn Hand’s role as a primary run stopper. Davis was still a much better pass rusher than Hand and was more reliable in defending the run. Last season, Davis accounted for 69 total tackles (3rd highest on the team), 10 tackles for loss (2nd highest), 8.5 sacks (1st highest), 1 interception, and a fumble recovery. Davis finished the season on the 1st-team All-SEC team due to his tenacious pass rush and a versatile Defensive Lineman.

This season, Davis will be main defensive lineman along with Isaiah Bugg (the main run stopper). Davis’ impact with the Crimson Tide defense will be huge as he will be one of their main pass rushers. Listed at 6-7, 308 pounds, Davis is a behemoth with a high motor and great speed. Davis might be the most statically dominate and talented Tide Defensive Lineman since DE/DT Jonathan Allen in 2016. For the past two seasons, the Chuck Bednarik Award has gone to two Alabama Crimson Tide players. Those players were DE/DT Jonathan Allen in the 2016 season and S Minkah Fitzpatrick in the 2017 season. Davis could become the next Chuck Bednarik Award winner for Defensive Player of the Year this 2018 season.

LB Mack Wilson – Jr.

Mack Wilson has been a huge project piece for the Alabama Crimson Tide since his Freshman year. He won over the team and fans with the brutal force he displayed on special teams. He then translated that brute force and combined it with consistency and playbook knowledge at the middle linebacker position. Last year as a backup, he accounted for 40 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions (1st highest on team), and 2 pass deflections. Wilson finally started for the Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoffs when Shaun Dion Hamilton suffered another injury. In the semifinal game against the #1 Clemson Tigers, Wilson accounted for 6 tackle and an interception. Wilson had one of the best performances of all the Tide players in the National Championship against the Georgia Bulldogs. In the game, Wilson accounted for 12 total tackles against the high-power Bulldogs running game.

Now that Wilson will become a full-time starter for the Tide’s efficient defense, his potential is sky-high. Wilson has the intensity to be a consistent pass rusher, but his overall versatility makes him a valuable middle linebacker. Wilson is a physical player but what makes him more dangerous is how he reads the opposing offense. This is a high-caliber attribute middle linebacker that Head Coach Nick Saban starts and lead his defense. There will be huge statistical playmakers such as Raekwon Davis or DE/OLB Anfernee Jennings, but Wilson will be the leader of that highly efficient defense.