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An unexpected true freshman may become one of Alabama’s top stars in 2024

As Alabama Crimson Tide football fans prepare for the upcoming season, there are a lot of new aspects of the game to get accustomed to. While it can be challenging to adjust to a new coaching staff, two new teams in the conference and a new-look roster with multiple players joining the program as incoming freshmen or as transfers, there are a few names and faces that fans of the Tide should be familiar with.

Of course, there are a few obvious answers like head coach Kalen DeBoer and highly-coveted freshman wide receiver Ryan Williams. However, fans need to get used to hearing the name Zabien Brown.

CBS Sports’s Chris Hummer named the true freshman defensive back as one of the best freshmen on one of the best teams in the nation.

“Alabama lost its top two cornerbacks to the NFL Draft and returned only one player from that room last year, so there was a lot of opportunity for young players this spring to step in and compete,” writes Hummer. “Brown did just that and ended up starting Alabama’s spring game opposite USC transfer Domani Jackson. Brown’s starting status isn’t assured heading into fall camp after the Tide added former Wake Forest cornerback DaShawn Jones in the portal. But Brown, a dominant player at California power Mater Dei, showed this spring he’ll play a lot in 2024.”

Brown joins the Crimson Tide at an interesting time, but it may work in his favor. For the entirety of Nick Saban’s tenure as the head coach of Alabama, the defensive secondary consisted of star players who wreaked havoc on opposing teams.

Saban would personally work with the defensive backs, which was a large reason as to why they consistently performed so well. DeBoer is an offensive-minded head coach, so he’s not expected to have the hands-on approach that Saban did.

To sum it all up, Brown has an opportunity to play as a true freshman, showcase his talents under an immensely bright spotlight as a cornerback at Alabama and has some mighty shoes to fill when considering the legends who were previously a member of that positional group.

There’s no telling how much playing time Brown will get early on in the 2024 college football season, as Hummer mentioned; but fans should be ready to see his skills on full display whenever he gets the chance to take the field, which will not be sparingly. Even if Brown isn’t given a starting job, he’s still expected to serve in a considerably large role for a freshman in the Crimson Tide program.

Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow Alabama football news as the 2024 offseason progresses and the team prepares for the season-opening matchup against Western Kentucky on Aug. 31 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire