2022 Alabama Crimson Tide Position Previ
2022 Alabama Crimson Tide Position Previ
Special teams play has been somewhat of a mixed bag in the Nick Saban era at Alabama.Kicker, as everyone knows, has always been the thorn in Saban's side. Inconsistencies in the kicking game have cost Alabama more than a few games over the last decade.Then, there's the seemingly always solid return game, where Alabama has always been able to put one of its world-cla s athletes like Javier Arenas, Cyrus Jones, or Jaylen Waddle, among others, in order to provide its offenses with an extra spark.Heading into 2022, the kicking game is actually the position with the least amount of questions. Senior kicker Will Reichard is heading into his third season as the starter after a solid 2021 campaign.Reichard was a Lou Groza Award finalist in 2020 after not mi sing a single kick all season, A.J. Brown Jersey
and followed it up by making 78 percent (22-28) of his kicks in 2021, to go along with 137 total points scored to lead the SEC. There is no doubt that Reichard will be back as the starter in 2022, and many expect him to return to closer to his 2020 form.Behind Reichard at kicker will be junior Chase Allen, who did not play last season but handled kickoff duties at times in 2020. He will only see the field in the event of a Reichard injury, as Reichard managed kickoff duties well last season.Sophomore Kneeland Hibbett will return for his second season as the starter after starting every game at long snapper as a freshman. Hibbett did not have a botched snap as a freshman.Sophomore James Burnip Logan Ryan Jersey
will return to start at punter after winning the job as a redshirt freshman last season. The Australia native averaged 39 yards on 48 attempts a year ago.With those specialists locked down, the returner spots are where things get interesting. To begin with the punt returner, many expect sophomore wide receiver JoJo Earle to take on the role.Earle drew comparisons to former Alabama punt returning great Jaylen Waddle due to their similar size and acceleration abilities. Earle has a slighter frame at just 5-foot-10 and 177 pounds, but he is lightning quick in the open field and can change directions on a dime, two qualities that are excellent for punt returners.Last season Earle returned 15 punts for 88 total yards, splitting the work with Slade Bolden who has since moved on to the NFL. Despite his limited time, Earle was voted to the SEC All-Freshman team as a return specialist at season's end. With Bolden out of the picture and Earle fully recovered from a leg injury that took place in November, all signs point to Earle getting the full-time nod at the position.In 2021, Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams took the kick return game by storm, housing multiple kickoffs in a September game against Southern Mi s and ranking in the top five of the SEC in kick return yardage. This season it looks to be another transfer heading the kick return duties in Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs.Gibbs' 5-foot-11, 200 LeShaun Sims Jersey
pound frame combined with his shiftine s and blazing speed make him incredibly difficult to stop in open space, which makes him an ideal kick return candidate. He is also potentially in line to be the starting running back, but Saban has not shied away from playing starters in key special teams roles as seen last season with Williams and in years prior with Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Marquiz Maze and Christion Jones.Gibbs has experience in the role as well. At Georgia Tech in 2021 he ama sed 589 kick return yards and a score on 23 kick return attempts. At SEC Media Days, Gibbs was voted preseason first team All-SEC as an all-purpose player, signifying the media's belief in his versatility.K: Will Reichard, Chase AllenP: James BurnipPR: JoJo EarleKR: Jahmyr Gibbs LS: Kneeland HibbettNo. 82, 6-2, 188 pounds, junior Adam Humphries Jersey
Scroll to ContinueDid not see game action in 2021. Handled kickoffs for five games in 2020.No. 86, 6-6, 211 pounds, redshirt sophomorePunted 48 times for 1,878 yards with a long of 50 last season. Forced 23 fair catches while dropping 15 punts inside the 20.No. 51, 6-2, 245, sophomore The long-snapper was perfect on all chances during his first season.No. 16, 6-1, 190, seniorLed the SEC and raked fifth nationally for total points scored with 137 (22 Derrick Henry Jersey
field goals on 28 attempts, 71-72 PAT). Tallied 6,264 yards on 106 kickoffs to average 59.1 yards with 59 touchbacks. Selected as the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week against Miami. Was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2020, and named a second-team All-American by The Sporting News. Totaled 126 points to rank fifth in the nation, and was perfect on all scoring attempts with 84 PATs and 14 made field goals in as many attempts. Also contributed 69 kickoffs for 3,614 yards to average 52.4 yards per kick with 14 touchbacks. Hampered by injuries, played in five games as a freshman in 2019. Totaled 33 points on 4-of-7 field goals and 21-of-22 PATs. Also kicked off 29 times for 1,831 yards to average 63.1 yards per kick with 22 touchbacks. Punted four times for 152 yards.