Editor's note: ESPN.com's Mel Kiper Jr. begins his look at the most important players on each Division I-A team with his lists of the five most important players on each team in the SEC West Division (schools listed in alphabetical order).
Alabama Crimson Tide
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1. Brodie Croyle, QB, sr. Has tremendous talent and could be a top-echelon NFL prospect is he fights off the injury bug.
2. Kenneth Darby, RB, jr. Suffered a late-season hip injury that kept him out of spring practice, but if he stays healthy the Tide will have a very good offensive backfield.
3. DeMeco Ryans, OLB, sr. A superstar performer who sets the tone for one of the best defenses in the nation.
4. Mark Anderson, DE, sr. The best pass rusher on the team, he added some weight to his frame and is poised for a breakout senior year.
5. Senior safeties Roman Harper and Charlie Peprah Free safety Harper is an excellent tackler who plays near the line of scrimmage a lot, while Peprah is also excellent playing down in the box.