- Alex Scarborough, SEC reporter
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. 11 Tana Patrick
Expectations for 2013: Patrick enters the season as one of only two scholarship seniors at linebacker, though his role on the field will likely be as a reserve. With Trey DePriest and C.J. Mosley firmly entrenched at inside linebacker, Patrick is left to come off the bench, something he's done plenty in his career. Last season he played in 12 of the Tide's 14 games, racking up 16 tackles.
Best-case scenario: Should the injury to DePriest's leg (stress fracture) linger into the fall, Patrick will have an opportunity to earn first-team reps. He said he learned a lot from playing behind Dont'a Hightower in years past. If he can put Hightower's advice to good use and provide competition at the position, it would be a help to the defense as a whole.
Worst-case scenario: Alabama is getting younger at inside linebacker, which doesn't bode well for Patrick's playing time. Former four-star prospect Reggie Ragland played well on special teams last season as a freshman and came on strong at inside linebacker in the spring and could play a role in short-yardage and running situation, as Nico Johnson did a season ago. Also, redshirt freshmen and former blue-chip recruits Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson will take reps at the position.
Future impact: By the time his career is finished, Patrick will have appeared in more than 30 games. His departure means even greater opportunity for youngsters such as Ragland, Lee and Anderson in 2014.
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.