Alabama’s Most Important Players for 2021
The Alabama Crimson Tide won their 18th national championship last season, crushing the Ohio State Buckeyes in a game Alabama fans will always remember. While that win is still fresh in all of our minds, the 2021 season is quickly approaching and there are some question marks for Alabama.
With the departure of 12 players to the NFL draft, and the transfer of six, Alabama will have some new faces taking roles on the offense and defense next year. Here is a list of the most important players for Alabama heading into the 2021 season.
Jobe was the starting corner opposite Surtain last season, but with Surtain heading to the NFL, this year gives Jobe an opportunity to solidify himself as an elite corner. In his junior season, Jobe recorded 45 tackles, two forced fumbles, and 11 pass deflections, which was tied for eleventh in the nation.
Surtain was a generational talent for Alabama and won't be easy to replace, but Jobe has played extremely well in three years at Alabama, and could be the next lockdown guy at corner.
John Metchie, the Canadian hit stick himself, will have his chance to be a number one receiver in 2021. Sitting behind talent like Devonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, etc., Metchie has had to patiently wait his turn.
Last season was a turning point in the former four-star's career, when he became a feature of the Alabama offense, catching 55 passes for 916 yards, and had a breakout performance against Texas A&M that saw the sophomore rein in five catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Next year will see Metchie be the No. 1 option at receiver most likely, and will make way for the new group of "Ryde-Outs".
Neal started 13 games at right tackle for the Tide, opposite Alex Leatherwood, in 2020, and will most likely be making the switch to the left side this season. Leatherwood is heading to the NFL, leaving a hole on the offensive line that Neal has been groomed to fill for his last two years in Tuscaloosa.
The 6-foot-7 360 pound former five-star product of IMG Academy looks poised to fill Leatherwood's role, and will be an anchor for Alabama's offense in 2021.
After earning the starting job as a freshman and posting one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory, Will Anderson is ready for a breakout year. The Hampton, GA native recorded 52 tackles, 10.5 of which were for a loss, and seven sacks in 2020, adding a forced fumble along the way, and was a key piece in the Alabama championship run last season.
Anderson picked up several accolades for his performance in 2020, being named the Shawn Alexander-FWAA Freshman of the Year and earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team. With a full offseason of preparation under his belt going into next season, Anderson will be ready to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
Well, you all knew it was coming. Bryce Young, the five-star product out of California, brings with him more hype than just about any player in recent memory. Alabama fans nearly wrote Mac Jones off last offseason after the arrival of Young, but Jones proved the doubters wrong and put together one of the best seasons of quarterback play in history, opening the door for Young to takeover in 2021.
While Paul Tyson could make a push for the starting job, it looks like it is Young's to lose. In his senior season at Mater Dei, Young was named Offensive Player of the Year by USA Today after throwing for over 4500 yards with 58 touchdowns and six interceptions. If Young can translate those kind of numbers to the next level, Alabama's offense will pick up right where it left off in 2020.
2021 Alabama Crimson Tide Recruiting Class Signees