Crimson Countdown: Dee Hart

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
11:00
AM ET
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.

No. 1 Dee Hart
Redshirt sophomore running back

Expectations for 2013: Until he proves he can get to 100 percent and stay there, it's hard to determine just what kind of impact he'll have on the football field. He does have a unique skill set, though, with the speed to get outside the tackles and the hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. Simply put, he's a scatback in a room full of bruisers. But it's also a crowded rotation with T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler all vying for carries. The addition of early enrollee Derrick Henry further complicates things, and it's conceivable that one of the three incoming freshmen at the position creates a role for himself as well.

Best-case scenario: Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier can get creative with Hart if he chooses. In addition to being a threat in the return game, Hart could be a weapon on third down and a possibility to split out as a wide receiver at times, something Alabama hasn't done much of in years past. He may not be a guy the defense circles in the running game, but he's someone it will have to account for as a pass-catcher. However, Hart's biggest asset might be his knowledge of the system and his ability to pass protect, something Yeldon struggled with at times last season and something the younger backs will have to pick up quickly.

Worst-case scenario: Hart isn't someone the staff should rely on this season. You can't ignore back-to-back major knee operations. And even if he finds a way to stay healthy, there are still questions whether or not he'll have the same burst that made him such a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school.

Future impact: A few carries per game a significant role on special teams looks to be Hart's future at Alabama for the time being. After a spring spent learning the ropes on defense, there's also a real possibility that he could transition to cornerback in the event of a few injuries at that position.

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

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