This fall, the Alabama Crimson Tide will look to make some new faces into household names. The Tide lost Dee Hart earlier in the summer to a torn ACL that he suffered during 7-on-7. Hart’s role in this year’s offense, although we won’t know until next season, is believed to have been the Tide’s “factor-back” that teams like Florida (Percy Harvin) and Kentucky (Randall Cobb) have had in the previous few seasons. With a year of learning the playbook, studying film, and working in the weight room, Hart figures to play a big role in the 2012 Tide offense.
The Tide took another hit this week with the loss of Eddie Lacy. Lacy apparently tore a pectoral muscle, which likely happened during a recent weightlifting session. Lacy was expected to see the field more than initially expected this season after the loss of Hart. He spent the last two seasons playing behind Heisman winner Mark Ingram, as well as one of this year’s Heisman hopefuls in Trent Richardson. Lacy is currently expected to miss the entire 2011 season, as first reported here at The Basement Dweller.
The Tide will possibly be relying on sophomore Jalston Fowler to take over at the #2 slot on the depth chart, hoping he will continue to run the ball with the toughness he showed during his brief time on the field in 2010. Fowler is like a wrecking ball on cleats. Standing only 6’1″, but weighing in at a slim 246 lbs., Fowler is a down-hill runner much like that of Richardson, but packs a little more of a punch in the trenches. With the combined power of Richardson and Fowler in the Tide backfield, opposing defenses won’t get much of a chance to rest.
The Tide’s only other viable option at running back at this time is redshirt freshman Blake Sims. On paper, Sims would probably draw much comparison to the aforementioned Randall Cobb. He played quarterback in high school, however was expected to see some time at running back and wide receiver this season. Many think that Sims’ main role will be as the Tide’s “Wild Tide” quarterback. Sims was a fairly accurate passer at Gainesville High School (Ga.), but was very exciting to watch when leaving the pocket, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Look for Sims’ role to expand in the backfield a little more in 2011.