- Tom Luginbill, RecruitingNation
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— Beau Gaines (@beaugaines7) September 11, 2013
As of now, no. However, understand the premise of their defense and you can see why this isn’t as much of a priority for them as it is for others. For example, in a four-man front defense, Adrian Hubbard would be a pure defensive end and a darn good one, but what they ask out of those guys is to be hybrid stand-up ends/outside linebackers in the mold of a Dont’a Hightower or Jonathan Allen from the 2013 class.
Oversized linebackers for Alabama’s scheme serve the same purpose as pure edge rushers. In fact, they are athletically more gifted because they are generally asked to be more scheme-versatile and have to play in space as well as pressure out of a down stance. Alabama targets such as DE Lorenzo Carter and DE Da'Shawn Hand might be utilized differently for Alabama than for someone else. For Michigan, Hand is a DE or 5 technique. For Alabama he might be a Hightower with pass-rush capabilities. Carter is like Hubbard.
Scheme needs and how guys are built in Alabama’s defense differs slightly from other defensive philosophies. It’s why you don’t see them recruit 200-pound linebackers. Everybody’s needs are exclusive to who they are as an identity. For some programs it’s the same, but for many quite different.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs. @TomLuginbill does Alabama have any dominant pass rushers on the way?