- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Alabama's date with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, we will review the season for a key Crimson Tide player and attempt to project what’s next for him. Today we’ll look at safety Adrian Hubbard.
No. 42 Adrian Hubbard
39 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6 sacks
Role in 2012: Hubbard was used primarily as a rushing outside linebacker, occasionally dropping back in coverage in nickel situations.
The good: The sophomore was Alabama's best option rushing the passer this season. He led the team in both sacks and tackles for loss, using his speed and length (6-foot-6, 248 pounds) to frustrate and overwhelm offensive linemen.
The bad: As difficult as Hubbard could to defend when he was in top form, or as obvious as it was when he played with emotion, it was also all too clear when he was off his game. There were times where Hubbard sunk into the background on defense and didn't chase the play like you'd expect. Inconsistency was the first-year starter's biggest enemy in 2012.
Crystal ball: There's no doubting Hubbard's talent. What he did in the A-Day scrimmage, racking up three sacks, had the looks of a breakout performance. His follow-up in the regular season was not as strong, but there were glimpses of his huge upside and potential. He will likely remain the starter at Sam and with another season in the weight room (he could comfortably add 10-15 pounds) he could develop into the pass-rusher Alabama so desperately missed this season.
2dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough