Top Alabama Football Questions, No. 5: Christian Barmore’s development
Alabama football fall camp began on Monday afternoon after several weeks of uncertainty about the viability of this college football season. Many questions about testing, player safety, a college football semi-bubble, etc. have yet to be answered, but this series will focus on the most pressing on-field questions for the Crimson Tide in 2020.
I narrowed down the top-10 questions I'd like to ask coach Nick Saban entering fall camp, and I'll reveal two per day, Monday through Friday. Make sure to check back to Tide1009.com throughout this week to read up all on 10, and catch up on the questions you might've missed by clicking on the links below.
10. "How important is it that an experienced player plays the Money position, and how does DeMarcco Hellams' skill set fit what you're looking for there?"
9. "When Alex Leatherwood had to play guard for a year because your tackle spots were set, you called it a 'sacrifice.' Do you view Evan Neal's situation the same way?"
8. "With the young depth you have on the defensive line and the lack of experience at outside linebacker, did you ever consider having LaBryan Ray take some reps at outside linebacker like he did as a freshman?"
7. "If there was a position group that could have used more depth last year, it was probably tight end. With Jahleel Billingsley getting a year under his belt and Carl Tucker coming in from UNC, how are you feeling about that group?"
6. "What did you see out of Trey Sanders during his rehab, and what can he bring to the offense when he's fully healthy?"
5. "Last year you mentioned Christian Barmore's interior pass-rush ability. How ready is he to be an every-down player and to play both the pass and the run?"
Barmore, now a redshirt sophomore, was one of Alabama's breakout players last season. For the first few games, he came off the bench and got limited snaps with the second team. But when he consistently got pressure on the quarterback in those limited snaps, he earned a bigger role.
"He gives us something inside that I think is very helpful in pass rush," Saban said. "It’s a role that we’ve been trying to sort of groom him for."
His first eye-opening performance was against Southern Miss in Week 4 when he recorded tackles on the final three plays of the game. After that, he had a tackle for loss in six of his next seven games.
He carved out a role on Alabama's dime defense, which features six defensive backs and the team's quickest pass rushers in situations that the offense is likely to pass.