Position Breakdown: Alabama’s OLB’s ahead of spring practice

We are now just a few weeks out from Nick Saban and the Alabama football team taking the practice field to begin spring ball.

As is the case each offseason, there are many questions that need to be answered before the Tide hit the field to start the 2023 season.

As spring practice creeps closer, we are going to break down each position group on both sides of the ball. We have already looked at the quarterbacks, running backs, and defensive line. Today we will take a look at the outside linebackers as the Tide look to replace one of the legendary players in Alabama football history, Will Anderson.

Let’s dive right in!

Notable departures

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Will Anderson Jr.

There is no doubt that replacing the legendary Will Anderson Jr. will not be easy. Anderson finished his Tide career with 204 tackles, 58.5 tackles for loss, and 34.5 sacks. Anderson’s presence will certainly be missed in 2023.

Notable returning players

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Turner | Chris Braswell

Dallas Turner returns for his third season as a starter for the Crimson Tide defense. The Florida native has racked up 18 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 24 career games and will be one of the nation’s top returning defenders in 2023. Chris Braswell is also set to return and should provide the Tide with an elite pass rush on obvious passing situations. Alabama will also return the likes of Quandarrius Robinson, Jeremiah Alexander, and Keanu Koht at outside linebacker.

New faces

Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Qua Russaw

It is unknown if five-star early enrollee Qua Russaw will get looks at outside linebacker or inside linebacker for the Tide this spring. My guess is the coaching staff will likely give Russaw time at both positions and get a feel for what he is most comfortable with. In either event, Russaw is an uber-talented athlete who has superstar potential.

**Five-star Keon Keeley will join the team for practice this fall.

What to watch for

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Chris Braswell’s growth

Chris Braswell will be one of the most intriguing players to watch this spring. Braswell has basically been a pass rush specialist his entire career but will need to prove that he is capable of becoming physical enough against the run to be a three-down player for the Tide defense.

Projected starters

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Turner | Chris Braswell

I fully expect Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell to be the top two outside linebackers this spring for the Tide. I also believe that Quandarrius Robinson and Jeremiah Alexander will get a lot of looks with the starting defense as well. Alexander is already there physically at 258 pounds and is my wild card among the group this spring.

Contact/Follow us @RollTideWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Alabama news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Stacey Blackwood on Twitter @Blackwood89.

Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire