Nick Saban said on Wednesday he can’t ever recall a time when his Alabama program has to rely so heavily on young players but that’s the situation the Crimson Tide find themselves in this season after so many injuries have occurred — particularly on defense.

The latest player to go down is junior defensive lineman LaBryan Ray. Ray, a first-time starter this season for Alabama, has been knocked out of the lineup for the time being but the team remains hopeful that he can return before season’s end. That’s something Ray himself is shooting for, based on a recent comment he shared online.

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“Thanks to everyone that reached out and for the prayers! Surgery went well and I promise you I will only get stronger from this. God got me,” Ray tweeted out recently.

Ray appeared in 15 games for the Crimson Tide last fall, registering 39 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks on the season. The Madison, Ala., native was a five-star prospect in the 2017 recruiting cycle.