ALABAMA FOOTBALL // Five Impact Newcomers

Alabama only had five players from its 2018 class enroll early. Later this month, the Tide staff will welcome the remaining 16 members of the class to Tuscaloosa. Several of those coming at the end of the month will push for playing time next season. Here are the five newcomers that Rodney Orr of Tider Insider thinks will make an impact next fall.

  1. DB Patrick Surtain

Alabama signed one of its best ever secondary classes in 2018. Former five-star LSU recruit/JUCO transfer corner Saivion Smith joined the team in December in time for playoff practices. After an excellent spring, Smith is the frontrunner to replace Anthony Averett at right corner.

But what about the four incoming guys? Patrick Surtain, Joshua Jobe, Eddie Smith and Jalyn Armour-Davis will all have an opportunity to make an early impact. Keep an eye on Surtain at the Star position. He’s not only extremely talented, but he also grasps things quickly. We think he makes an impact in the secondary very early.

2. WR/KR Jaylen Waddle

Last summer, the 5-11, 175-pound Waddle dominated at Alabama’s camp. As Orr said back then, the former Bellaire-Episcopal, TX star has the acceleration and speed of Amari Copper and elusiveness similar to that of David Palmer. Waddle should see the field very early. His initial contribution might be on punt returns, where he might make big things happen very quickly.


  1. DL Tevita Musika

The College of San Mateo, CA JUCO transfer DL gives Alabama much needed depth on the DL. He fills the need for a big, physical guy on the interior. The 6-1, 350-pound Musika could make a major impact in the DL rotation early next season. Word is that the Tide staff was very excited about adding him to the class late.


  1. OLB Eyabi Anoma

If not for incredibly talented pass rushers like Terrell Lewis, Anfernee Jennings, Christian Miller and Chris Allen, Anoma might the #1 guy on this list. Orr thought the 6-5, 245-pound Anoma was the top HS pass rusher in the country last season. His first step is as quick as any we’ve seen in a while. He is going to be a great player, no doubt. But he might have to wait his turn.


  1. ILB Jaylen Moody

Late in the recruiting process, some Alabama fans were up in arms over the Tide’s taking three-star linebacker Jaylen Moody from Conway, SC. But this spring there was a lot buzz around the Mal Moore complex over the staff’s excitement about the 6-2, 235-pound Moody. Moody is a smart, instinctive player. He reminds some of a bigger Shaun Dion Hamilton.

Given Alabama’s depth issues at inside backer, Moody is Orr’s sleeper pick to make an impact next season.




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