Alabama's offensive line was the talk of the 2023 offseason. Talking heads across Tuscaloosa and college football boasted about how big the team's offensive line was, with numbers being reported as 360 pounds for Kadyn Proctor, 352 for Tyler Booker, and 360 for JC Latham. Alabama wanted to make people quit in the trenches according to Tyler Booker.

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That wasn't what happened, as Alabama struggled in pass blocking and the issues with snapping made fans ready to throw the television remote through the screen. The dominance showed up at times, such as Alabama's SEC Championship win over the Georgia Bulldogs, but Alabama could not consistently dominate the trenches like they wanted to.

The theme of this offseason for Alabama offensive line and coach Chris Kapilovic? Leaner is meaner, with Tyler Booker losing 25 pounds according to an interview he did with The Crimson Tide Sports Network. According to Alex Scarborough of 247 Sports, Proctor has also lost about 10 pounds.

According to JaMarcus Shephard though, Alabama has not lost any size along the offensive line,

"With our offensive line, I've never seen this kind of meat on the offensive line," co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard Wimp and Barry Sanderson. "I've only seen this kind of meat when I've gone and purchased a cow to put some meat in my freezer."

"When you've got these kind of guys up front blocking for talented players like we have here in this running back room, we'd be fools not to run the ball," Shephard said. "Again, for a long time over the years of my coaching career, it's been, 'Hey, sometimes use the pass to set up the run.' And this will be the first time where I can really feel we can use the run to set up the pass concepts."

Shephard also talked about Alabama's running back room and what Robert Gillespie has done in his time here,

"You can't deny what Coach Gillespie has done in that running back room in terms of recruiting and retaining some great running backs. We got some guys in the room who are exceptional leaders there. So they really, truly have been the bell cow all throughout the spring and then in their role during the Fourth Quarter and our guys going out there and getting through their conditioning drills.


"Justice Haynes and Jam Miller, as well as Richard Young -- those are guys that really I feel like could start on any team across the country. All of them are good friends with each other. They compete with one another. They push one another. We'd be fools not to let these guys get the ball in their hands. Great part about it is they can catch it out of the backfield as well. None of them are one-trick ponies, so we've got a lot of guys who've got a bunch of versatility in the room."

Shephard compared his time in the Pac-12 with his short time viewing an SEC offensive line at Alabama, "

"I think both being in the Pac-12 and having gone through what we did last year, and then being here in the SEC, we've got a little more meat on the ball here, from a player standpoint," Shephard said. "These guys -- the bone density is a little bit thicker than some of them ones we had. They're some big guys. I think these guys are well-built for this."


You can listen to the full interview of JaMarcus Shephard on Inside the Locker Room here.

Inside the Locker Room is hosted by former Alabama Basketball head coach Wimp Sanderson and former ACC/SEC assistant basketball coach Barry Sanderson every weekday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Wyatt Fulton is the Brand Manager and DME for Tide 100.9, serving as an on-air host from 11:00 a.m. to noon CT every weekday and Sports Reporter covering Alabama Football and Alabama Men's Basketball. For more coverage, follow him at @FultonW_ on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter. 

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