Top Alabama Football Questions, No. 10: Inexperience at the Money Position
Alabama football fall camp begins on Monday afternoon after several weeks of uncertainty about the viability of this college football season. Many of those questions about testing, player safety, a college football semi-bubble, etc. have yet to be answered, but this series will focus on the most pressing on-field questions for the Crimson Tide in 2020.
I narrowed down the top-10 questions I'd like to ask coach Nick Saban entering fall camp, and I'll reveal two per day, Monday through Friday. Make sure to check back to Tide1009.com throughout this week to read up all on 10.
10. "How important is it that an experienced player plays the Money position, and how does DeMarcco Hellams' skill set fit what you're looking for there?"
If Coach Saban were kind enough to give me a follow-up question, I would ask which players other than Hellams have any experience working at Money. The last two players to play Money, Alabama's sixth defensive back position, were Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavier McKinney, who were both voted permanent team captains at Alabama and went on to be top-40 picks in the NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick started for three years, including as a true freshman, and McKinney started for two years.
With McKinney now on the New York Giants, Hellams, a true sophomore, is the most experienced Money still on the roster despite having never started a game. Depending on the opponents' personnel groupings, Alabama could be in dime (six defensive backs) only in third-and-long situations or on the majority of snaps.
As more college offenses go to spread formations and empty backfields, the Money's ability to blitz the quarterback, be strong in the box against the run, and play man coverage on tight ends and running backs becomes more essential.
Check back later this afternoon for No. 9, a question about one of Alabama's promising offensive linemen.