The cornerback position battle is far from settled as Alabama opens the season on Saturday against Utah State. Kool Aid McKinstry and Eli Ricks were listed as co-starters at the number one corner spot, and Terrion Arnold and Khyree Jackson at the other. All four have the physical talent to excel at the position, but Nick Saban highlighted the size and length of Jackson and Ricks during his Wednesday presser.

“I think we’ve got two guys that have rare length. Him and Eli (Ricks) both have really rare length to be as athletic as they are. But you’ve gotta use the length to your advantage. You’ve gotta use the length to help you jam people. You’ve gotta use the length to help you bat and swat balls. I think both guys are certainly learning how to do that and trying to do that to their advantage. But I think that kind of size is a little unique to the position, but I think there’s a lot of bigger receivers now. So having guys like that is really kind of a good thing for the long run.”

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Jackson, who stands at 6’3” and Ricks at 6’2”, is much taller than your average cornerback. McKinstry, who is 6’1” and Arnold at 6’0” have really good size for the position as well.

The Crimson Tide will have the luxury of getting creative in the secondary because of the talent they have at rushing the passer. They can utilize the size and length of their cornerbacks and get physical with wide receivers. The trio of Will Anderson, Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell have the ability to wreak havoc on opposing offenses and force quarterbacks to get rid of the ball quickly.

Alabama is hoping the size of its cornerbacks will improve a defense that ranked eighth in the conference in pass defense in 2021.

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