The Alabama Crimson Tide are having their linebacker depth tested before the 2018 season even starts.
On Monday, the team dismissed LB VanDarius Cowan, and on Tuesday, it was announced that LB Terrell Lewis suffered a torn ACL during training.
So, the big question now is whether the Tide have enough depth to overcome those setbacks. On Wednesday, ESPN announcer Tom Luginbill joined “The RoundTable” on WJOX and named one player he thinks will step up to help this fall:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some players start moving around a little bit and seeing some guys playing in multiple areas,” he said. “I do think this opens the door for (5-star 2018 signee) Eyabi Anoma to emerge, at least as a situational DPR — designated pass rusher. Maybe he’s not an every down guy at the point of attack, particularly under early downs. … But what he is is a supreme pass rusher. He brings all of the things Tim Williams brought off the edge, but over time, I think he’ll be a better run defender and every down player, but it’s going to take a little time.”
Anoma was the No. 1 overall weak-side defensive end in the class of 2018. A move to linebacker wouldn’t be that much of a stretch, and getting his talent on the field would be a good move for coach Nick Saban and the Tide.
How Alabama handles the linebacker setbacks will be one of the big stories heading into the season. It’ll be something to keep an eye on as the summer wears on.