It has been constantly reiterated that Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner should combine to form the most formidable duo in the country. Most don’t realize how deep this group of positions is for Alabama football.
It’s so deep that former 5-star Drew Sanders (Class of 2020) was transferred to Arkansas this offseason after being passed by Turner.
Alabama Football: 5-Star Surplus
Even with Sanders gone, Alabama football has two more 5 stars waiting in the wings in Chris Braswell (c/o 2020) and Jeremiah Alexander (c/o 2022). Both are extremely talented and could work their way into the crowded rotation on the edge.
Chris Braswell has elite athletic ability as a slightly undersized pass thrower, and hopes to have a breakout year after being a hard-hitting special teams play in 2021. Coach Nick Saban discussed the possibility that Braswell joins Anderson Jr. and Turner in the field, which could be a nightmare scenario for opposing quarterbacks.
All three performed well in the A-Day match, harassing Bryce Young incessantly. Although Anderson Jr. and Turner likely get the lion’s share of reps, Coach Saban considers all three to be “starters.”
Alabama Football: Lots of options for Pete Golding
The trio would likely take the field together on transmissions, especially in third and long situations as part of Alabama football’s Dime Rabbits package.
One potential way this could happen is with a formation that Alabama football was resuming during spring training. This package includes Anderson Jr. and Braswell on either side, with Dallas Turner playing off the line of scrimmage in a more traditional linebacker role.
Another way to see this unit deployed is to move Anderson Jr. inside. That would leave the Tide with two elite passers, Turner and Braswell, on the edge. Anderson Jr., more than the other two, has the size and strength to move inside. He’s lined up at times as a downline player in a 4-point position in 2021. If Will Anderson Jr.’s speed is causing problems with attacking tackles on the edge, that makes him a total nightmare at the interior.
Even when Anderson Jr. is lining up on the outside, he’s extremely good at stunting on the inside. His incredible combination of speed and power makes it one of the most effective parts of his game. Alabama could hold up Anderson Jr. inside, where he’s very disruptive, and move someone like Braswell to the outside. The possibilities are endless given the athleticism of this group.
However Coach Saban and Pete Golding choose to use their rushers, we can expect to see the trio on the court together in some passing situations. The speed and raw talent this package gives Alabama football in terms of quarterback pressure is something we haven’t seen in years, if ever.