There's little question that Alabama lost a lot of talent out of its secondary from last year's national championship game, but they also lost valuable leadership on the defense.

In order for the Crimson Tide to return to the College Football Playoff for the fifth straight year, they'll need to develop that leadership before the start of the 2018 season. One player that appears to be embracing that role is safety Deionte Thompson.

Now heading into his redshirt junior year, Thompson feels like he can lean on the experience he gained from last year's championship run to help him take on a leadership role this fall.

"Being in the big game shows me how things are going to go in the games. It just got me ready for the next game," Thompson said. "The national championship game was a really big step for me. I feel like with those two games under my belt, I'll do a pretty good job of leadership next year in the secondary."

Five practices into the spring, Thompson feels confident about the way things are progressing for him and the defense.

"It's something that I'm getting prepared for. Just being out there with the guys and just going through spring practice, making calls and making sure everyone communicates across the board to get the call. I feel like that's going pretty well. I feel like with the couple practices that we have left, I'll get better at it."

Alabama returns to the practice field after an Easter break this weekend and will continue working towards A-Day on April 21.

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