Even good college football programs are forced to rebuild every now and then, resulting in an ebb after a peak season. Think LSU in 2020 after a magical 2019 run to the national title.

But great college football programs? They just reload.

The Alabama Crimson Tide figure to be in the latter category. Coming off winning 13 straight games and capturing the program’s 18th national championship, Alabama will be reloading quite a bit on offense and at a few defensive positions.

All 22 starting positions at Alabama are valuable. None is set in stone. But here are the 5 biggest holes that need to be filled heading into the 2021 season — and who is going to fill them …

Quarterback: Bryce Young replacing Mac Jones

What you need to know: The first 3 on this list are just as important as the other, but the edge goes to the position that touches the ball on virtually every offensive play. Mac Jones probably wasn’t considered as an early NFL entrant last year at this time, but that was before an electrifying 2020 campaign that saw the junior finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting. Jones’ stock was never going to get higher.

Had COVID-19 not short-circuited 2020 spring practice, Young could have made a stronger push to leap-frog Jones into the starting role. Instead, Young played second fiddle all season — playing in 9 games during his true freshman season at the Capstone and finishing 13-of-22 passing for 156 yards and a touchdown.

The Alabama offense will undoubtedly change with Young behind center, as Jones wasn’t nearly as nimble afoot as Young is. With the former Mater Dei High School star directing things, the Tide will look a lot like Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts is running things. And that is a good thing.

Running back: Brian Robinson Jr. replacing Najee Harris

What you need to know: Alabama continues to define itself as Running Back U, with Harris the latest ball carrier to earn himself a lucrative future NFL career after a record-setting 2020 season. Harris’ return for his senior season was a pleasant addition to an offense that was already set to be pretty good. As Saban always says, Harris created more value for himself with another campaign in Tuscaloosa, and now it is time for Robinson to take over.

Keeping with the tradition of featured backs working as an understudy for a year, Robinson recorded 483 yards and 6 touchdowns on 91 carries, caught 6 passes for 26 yards, and returned 3 kickoffs for 56 yards. The former Hillcrest product has plenty of tread on his tires heading into his senior season and will be leaned on quite a bit as the Crimson Tide recalibrates its passing game.

Wide receiver: John Metchie III replacing DeVonta Smith

What you need to know: How do you replace a Heisman Trophy winner? If you’re Alabama, well, you just plug-and-play another elite wide receiver into Smith’s spot and let him eat.

It might not be quite that simple for Metchie to replace Smith, of course, after the latter rewrote the Alabama and SEC record book in 2020. For starters, Metchie will be working with Young instead of Jones — an adjustment that hopes to be dulled somewhat with a full spring and summer’s worth of pitch-and-catch work. Also, Metchie won’t have Jaylen Waddle to work opposite of like Smith did for portions of the 2020 season.

Still, it is Metchie’s WR room now. He caught 55 passes for 916 yards and 6 touchdowns — which would be a major disappointment in 2021. Doubling it would put Canada’s finest export in lofty territory.

Left tackle: Evan Neal replacing Alex Leatherwood

What you need to know: Jones remained upright and injury-free all season because he had Leatherwood literally watching his back. The 6-6, 312-pound brick wall did such a strong job that he was a unanimous first team All-America selection and won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman. Neal is certainly a known quantity, though, as the junior from Okeechobee, Fla., will likely be playing his third position in 3 years. Neal had 13 starts at right tackle in 2020 after 13 at left guard in 2019, and is obviously a versatile athlete. Being 6-7 and 360 doesn’t hurt, either.

Neal helped anchor the right side of the offensive line that blocked for the Power 5’s top-ranked scoring offense (48.5 ppg), No. 1 pass efficiency offense (198.9), No. 2 passing offense (358.2 ypg), No. 2 total offense (541.6 ypg) and No. 23 rushing attack (183.5 ypg) The Alabama front surrendered just 11 sacks while Jones was on the field (.85 per game, 8th nationally) and just 19 for the season on 459 dropbacks to rank 25th nationally (1.46 sacks per game among teams who played more than 6 games) Neal played 810 snaps during the 2020 season with just 6 missed assignments and 3 penalties.

Defensive back: Jalyn Armour-Davis replacing Patrick Surtain II

What you need to know: Surtain lived pretty much on an island for much of 2020, as opposing offenses figured they were better off just working the side of the field he wasn’t on. The junior was targeted just 48 times and allowed only 21 completions for 273 combined yards. He also broke up a team-high 12 passes and totaled 38 tackles, including 3.5 for loss (-11 yards). Surtain made 38 consecutive starts, was a finalist for the Bednarik, Lott, Nagurski and Thorpe and was both the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American selection before declaring early for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Armour-Davis is a redshirt junior who worked on special teams in addition to his time in the defensive backfield — and missed only the Tennessee, LSU and Florida games. A knee injury before his freshman season shuffled Armour-Davis back in the rotation for almost a year, but this could be the St. Paul’s High School product’s time to shine. There are no guarantees, though, as Armour-Davis could be pushed by Ronald Williams Jr., JUCO transfer Khyree Jackson and 5-star freshman Ga’Quincy “Koolaid” McKinstry.