September 2 is quickly approaching, so it's time to introduce the players who will bring the Tide to its 19th national title this season.

To kick off this series of articles, I will start with one of the most talented and underrated groups on this team, the running backs.

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The Tide has five scholarship backs: Jam Miller, Justice Haynes, Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, and Richard Young.

Miller, Williams, and McClellan are all returning from last year's team. The three combined for 1,138 yards on 201 carries, finding the end zone 13 times while backing up now Detroit Lion Jahmyr Gibbs. Williams and McClellan are entering their senior campaigns, while Miller is a rising sophomore at the Capstone.

Haynes and Young were both top recruits in the 2023 cycle. Both backs were consensus four-stars out of high school.

The Tide also has two walk-on running backs, Jonathan Bennet and Michael Lorino III, on its roster.

Alabama also has wideout Emmanuel Henderson, who arrived in Tuscaloosa as a running back but transitioned to wide receiver during his freshman season. Henderson may see time in a hybrid WR/RB role this season.

Jase McClellan

A Texas native, McClellan played most of his snaps on special teams during his freshman season but still got the opportunity to handle the rock a number of times. The 5-11 tailback racked up 23 carries for 245 yards and two scores, tacking on a long of 80 yards against Arkansas.

McClellan saw limited time in his sophomore season due to a lower leg injury. McClellan added 191 yards and a score during his second season in Tuscaloosa.

McClellan broke onto the scene in his junior campaign, despite being in the shadow of future first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs. McClellan rushed for 655 yards on 112 carries, providing the Tide with a 1-2 punch of Gibbs and McClellan.

With Gibbs now in the NFL, McClellan is next in line to lead the Tide backfield. With the ability to run in-between and outside the tackles and next-level vision combined with an above-average burst, McClellan should be a reliable back to spearhead the Alabama rushing attack.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Jamarion "Jam" Miller

Another Texas native, Miller, is the all-time leading rusher at his alma mater Tyler Legacy in Tyler, Tx., making him the best running back out of Texas in the '22 cycle.

During his first season on campus, Miller showed flashes of greatness, rushing for 223 yards on an efficient 6.8 yards per attempt mark.

"An every-down running back who hits the marks with verified speed, production and pass-catching ability. [...] Has a compact body type. Has verified track speed with a strong 10.71 time in the 100 meters as a junior. Pairs that long speed with ability as a between-the-tackles runner. Shows good feet in the hole with the ability to skip and jump cut. Breaks tackles and maximizes yardage in a variety of ways. [...] Can win with quickness, speed and physicality." wrote On3 when Miller came out of high school.

With a blend of power and elite track speed, the 5-10 sophomore should be a key contributor in the 'Bama backfield this season.

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics

Roydell Williams

Williams, a Hueytown, Ala., native, saw eight games of action during his freshman season in 2020, recording 71 yards and a score on 19 carries. The following season, Williams found a more prominent role in the backfield, rushing for 284 yards on 48 carries before suffering a season-ending leg injury against New Mexico State.

Williams put up similar numbers in 2023 while behind Gibbs and McClellan, recording 250 yards and four scores over 56 carries.

A bruiser in the backfield, Williams welcomes contact, possessing the ability to power through defenders and good vision to find holes. Williams is also a solid contributor as a receiver out of the backfield.

While Williams could be stuck behind McClellan on the depth chart this season, he should still contribute as a power back in a likely run-heavy Tommy Rees' offense.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Justice Haynes

One of the most electric players in his class, Haynes, arrives on campus with high expectations.

"[Haynes is a] well-rounded, highly productive running back with few holes in his game. Arguably the best runner on contact in the 2023 cycle. Has a filled, muscled frame at around 5-foot-10, 200 pounds. [..] One of the more productive rushers in the 2023 cycle.[..] Has a strong base. Runs with high-level contact balance, regularly running through arm tackles and bouncing off defenders at the second level. Shows good vision as a runner, making decisive reads and cuts at the line of scrimmage. Burst and top-end speed (electronically-timed 4.66 second 40-yard dash as a sophomore) are above average but not elite. Catches the ball well out of the backfield as a receiver. A rock solid running back prospect with a high floor." wrote On3.

On3 also compares Haynes to Panthers' running back and Bryce Young teammate Miles Sanders.

While Haynes is one of the more talented backs to come out of high school in recent years, he will still face an uphill battle in a crowded Alabama backfield littered with upperclassmen. However, Haynes is in a position to sit behind and learn from some of the most talented running backs in the nation while continuing to develop his game with the assistance of some of the best coaches in college football.

Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics

Richard Young

Like Haynes, Young is one of the most talented backs out of high school in the '23 cycle, arriving in Tuscaloosa with big-time potential.

"Physically-developed running back who emerged as a national name as a high school underclassman. Has a good combination of play speed and power. [..] Uses his leg drive to run through tackles at the second level. Shows well above average speed, which is validated by his track times (around 11.1 seconds in the 100 meters). [..] He needs to considerably improve his ball skills as a receiver out of the backfield, as he tends to fight the ball. Projects as a between the tackles and short yardage runner. Older for the class, turning 18 years old in the spring of his junior year." wrote On3 about Young.

Once again, Young is in a similar situation to his fellow freshman running back, with the opportunity to sit and evolve his skillset with some of the best players and coaches in the country to help him along the way.

Photo Courtesy of Richard Young via Twitter, Canva
Photo Courtesy of Richard Young via Twitter, Canva

Who will win the starting job?

I believe Jase McClellan will win the starting job in fall camp due to his combination of experience and skill that exceeds every other back on the roster. However, with one of the country's most talented and deep backfields at his disposal, offensive coordinator Tommy Rees' could opt for a running back by committee for the Tide's rushing attack.

With a huge question mark at the quarterback position this upcoming season, the running game could define Alabama's road to a 19th national title.

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