Each week leading up to Alabama's A-Day game, I will highlight two position groups and preview both the presumed starters and key depth pieces, as well as players that could challenge for a starting role this season. Today, we look at the Tide's talented stable of running backs. 

Starter

Jahmyr Gibbs

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
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Jahmyr Gibbs joined the Crimson Tide this offseason, transferring from Georgia Tech where he spent the last two years. In his time as a Yellow Jacket, Gibbs ran for over 1,200 yards and caught nearly 60 passes for almost 800 receiving yards, showing off his elite skills as a three-down back. A former four-star prospect and All-ACC selection in 2021, Gibbs brings a level of versatility the Tide offense somewhat lacked last season without a reliable receiving option out of the backfield.

While Brian Robinson, Jr. became the bell cow back for Alabama last season and was an effective receiving threat at times, Gibbs should take the offense to another level with his athleticism.

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Challengers

Jase McClellan

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
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Jase McClellan suffered an knee injury in 2021 that sidelined him for a big part of the season. In week five against Ole Miss, the former four-star out of Aledo, TX exited the game with a lower leg injury and was lost for the remainder of the year. McClellan was a member of the same recruiting class as fellow back Roydell Williams, and both feature bruising builds, with McClellan earning a slight edge due to his open field running ability.

Though McClellan may have a slight edge over Williams, expect both to be featured in the rotation and potentially compete for starting spots.

Roydell Williams

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
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Much like McClellan, Roydell Williams also suffered a significant leg injury in 2021, forcing him to miss several games. Williams went down in Week 10 against New Mexico State. Hailing from Hueytown, Williams joined the program in 2020 as a four-star prospect. In his freshman season, the former Golden Gopher saw time in eight games, rushing the ball 19 times for 71 yards and a score. In 2021, Williams played in ten games before his injury and compiled 48 carries for 284 yards and a touchdown.

Despite a significant injury last season, Williams should be a part of Alabama's running back rotation and could even compete for a few starts throughout the season.

Trey Sanders

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
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Trey Sanders has had a tumultuous career in Crimson. After joining the program in 2019 as a five-star recruit and claiming he would win the Heisman Trophy in his freshman season, the IMG Academy product suffered a season ending foot injury before his freshman campaign even kicked off. In 2020, after recovering from his injury, Sanders was again sidelined after a car accident. Entering his third season in 2021, Sanders was finally healthy and saw time in 13 games, finishing with 72 rushes for 314 yards and two scores.

While Sanders was surely the most highly touted of all of the Tide's running backs, his injury history and the arrival of a player like Gibbs could keep him from a starting role. Regardless, expect Sanders to still be a major contributor in the rotation and potentially earn a late season start.

Reserves

Fr. Jamarion Miller, 5-foot-10, 201 lbs.

So. Elijah Crockett, 5-foot-11, 210 lbs.

Jr. Jonathan Bennett, 5-foot-8, 180 lbs.

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