Alabama Depth Chart Released

Submitted by BigTenBurrito on August 28th, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Just another thing to obsess over until Saturday. Have at it..



DE 49 Ed Stinson 8 Jeoffrey Pagan

NG 54 Jesse Williams 62 Brandon Ivory

DE 92 Damion Square 90 Quinton Dial

SAM 42 Adrian Hubbard 19 Jonathan Atchison

MIKE 33 Trey DePriest –OR- 35 Nico Johnson 18 Reggie Ragland

WILL 35 Nico Johnson –OR- 32 C.J. Mosley 11 Tana Patrick

JACK 47 Xzavier Dickson 30 Denzel Devall

CB 13 Deion Belue 24 Geno Smith

CB 28 Dee Milliner 10 John Fulton

SS 37 Robert Lester 27 Nick Perry

FS 3 Vinnie Sunseri –OR- 6 HaHa Clinton-Dix 26 Landon Collins


LT 71 Cyrus Kouandjio 63 Kellen Williams

LG 65 Chance Warmack 78 Chad Lindsay

C 75 Barrett Jones 70 Ryan Kelly

RG 61 Anthony Steen 77 Arie Kouandjio

RT 76 D.J. Fluker 79 Austin Shepherd

TE 89 Michael Williams 84 Brian Vogler

TE/H 31 Kelly Johnson 82 Harrison Jones 21 Brent Calloway

QB 10 AJ McCarron 12 Phillip Ely

RB 42 Eddie Lacy 45 Jalston Fowler –OR- 4 T.J. Yeldon 1 Dee Hart

WR(X) 2 DeAndrew White 9 Amari Cooper 80 Marvin Shinn

WR(Z) 83 Kevin Norwood 7 Kenny Bell

WR(H) 22 Christion Jones 8 Cyrus Jones


PK 5 Jeremy Shelley – OR- 43 Cade Foster

KO 43 Cade Foster

HOLD 10 AJ McCarron 3 Vinnie Sunseri

P 29 Cody Mandell 5 Jeremy Shelley

SN 51 Carson Tinker 31 Kelly Johnson

PR 22 Christion Jones 1 Dee Hart

KOR 22 Christion Jones 28 Dee Milliner 1 Dee Hart 83 Kevin Norwood



August 28th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

I can't confirm whether this is accurate, but a poster on another board added up the weight differentials of our starters and theirs, and found that Michigan was only light by about 50 pounds on both sides of the ball. If that's true, I feel a lot better about our chances. 


August 28th, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

between Bama and UM and it was pretty much a slaughter up until last year.  Some notable Bama recruiting wins: Depreist, Maize, Hart, Dix, etc.  I don't think we offered Ingram or at least did not recruit him hard but count that as another win for Bama in recognizing his talent and plucking him from our backyard.


August 28th, 2012 at 4:09 PM ^

Dee Hart is low on the list but still sounds like he will have the opportunity as a return man early.  It's crazy to me that all these freshmen and sophs complain about playing time.  Wait your turn.


August 28th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

You do realize Dee Hart is a redshirt freshman coming off of a knee injury, right? I would say he's in a pretty good spot at this point in his career, and by the looks of that depth chart will see the field some this year. Had he come to Michigan he would probably be battling it out with Fitz and everyone else, and definitely wouldn't have a clear cut path to see the field in only his second year in college.


August 28th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

A few interesting tidbits regarding the "depth chart"

1) It's official

2)  I've never even heard of the "starting" H.  Kelly Johnson is/was a walk-on LB, supposedly. His name is a complete shock to everyone.

3) Fowler will play H some, as well as fullback, which is a new wrinkle to our O this year.

4) Mosley, who's listed as 2nd string inside backer, will play more than 50% of our defensive snaps.  He can and will play Mike, Will, and Sam.  

5) John Fulton, who's listed as a backup corner, was the starting left corner until this chart was released.  He will therefore be the first corner of the bench, and will play the Star position, which is Nickel corner.  This means he will play about 50% of our defensive snaps.

6)  On Defense, there will be a lot of player movement from one package to another.  We use a color-coded placard system, and depending on what card is held up in the first few seconds of the play clock, different personnel runs on and off the field.  

For example, our NT played Left End last year, and he can easily slide there.  Our Left End will slide down in our Rabbit Rusher package, which is our Nickle blitz package where all three down linemen will be Ends.

Mosley is our best and most versatile LB, and will play any number of spots in any number of packages.  

At Right Safety, Sunseri and Clinton-Dix will split time.  Both can play that position as well as Dime.  Sunseri is better in run support, and is basically a small LB, while Clinton-Dix is the better pass defender.

If we have injuries in the secondary and then have to go Nickel and/or Dime, true freshman will play, particularly Geno Smith.

All in all, I'd say we have about 16 "starters" on defense, maybe more, as different players start in different packages.

7) At WR, the depth chart is very fluid, except for maybe Norwood, as he is the leader of the group.  Even though Bell, Cyrus Jones, Cooper, and Shinn are listed as backups, all should play and get balls thrown their way.  We will have fresh legs at WR for 4+ quarters.  With the exception of Norwood, all of the other receivers are track guys with excellent speed, some true burners.  This is the most talented group of wide receivers ever assembled in the history of Alabama football - we'll see how they play.

8) 2nd team QB is a liability.  A major liability.

9)  We will give touches to 4, and possibly 5, tailbacks.  Fresh legs abound.  We will throw it to them a lot also, particularly Hart and Fowler.

10) Our 2nd team LT is really our 1st team Center.

11) You should see 3 or 4 different people line up at H.

12) Our punter is sometimes inconsistent.  

13) On FG under about 45 yards or so, we're money.  As you get closer to 50 and 50+, it becomes more suspect.  We are fairly likely to go for it on 4th down rather than try a long FG,  or we'll simply fake it.

14) We should be failry explosive returning kicks, and could line up 2 to return punts if you start kicking away.

15) Our QB will spread it around a lot.  Look for 8-9 people to have catches.

16) If a 5th RB plays, his name is Kenyan Drake.  Mr. Football in Georgia last year and a high 4 star recruit.  Big body with all the tools.

Regarding the game itself and our scheme, we will pass it about 50% of the time.  We don't run it as much as people think.  On defense we will contunie to blitz more and more as the game progresses, and will be bringing at least 5 for the last 20 or so minutes.  The heat can and will come from any position on the field.  Our Jack LB, the hybrid LB/DE, is reportedly excellent in pass coverage, surprisingly.  When running the ball, our best play is a simple dive where the entire line will block down in the same direction, save the non-play side tackle, who will simply seal his end.  The tailback will flow with the down block and purposely look for the seam created between the non-playside guard and tackle.  We will run this play about 8-10 times per game, and is our default short yardage play.  It nearly impossible to stop.  

We're the most talented team in CFB, and our 3 deep is riddled with elite prospects.  We could lose, but it won't be for a lack of talent.


August 28th, 2012 at 5:09 PM ^

What do you want the guy to say, "Aw, shucks, we ain't that talented?"  I didn't notice that his screen name was Lou Holtz.

Alabama has finished #1 or #2 nationally in recruiting every year for several years running now.  They really are an incredibly talented team. If Michigan can pull this upset it will be a huge accomplishment. 


August 28th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

I didn't say that, you thought it.  You can win the football game.

Regarding beating Bama, I'd run it downhill when I ran it and throw it frequently, using play-action as much as possible.  Play-action from under center is a great idea.  You have to give your QB time to throw and he has to hit at a high percentage.  He cannot give our DB's a shot to catch it.  Your O must have enough success to flip the field when you don't score.  3 and outs for you would be killer.  Getting first downs and giving Bama a long feld to work with is paramount.  All your running plays need to hit the hole quickly.  I'd have 15 or so scripted plays for the begining of each half, both of which give Alabama different presnap looks than you showed last year.  Run a few trick plays.  Punt away from our guy.  You can't turn the ball over, cause we won't.  You can't abandon what you do too early if your behind, although that usually happens cause teams always have less possessions against us then in their other games as we eat clock with our O.  You must get points if you get inside our 35, cause you won't get there often.  You must stop our run and make us throw.   In a nutshell, you have to play elite bigboy football and play it better than us, and Robinson will likely have to beat us with his arm.  There is no secret.  We're a very good football team, but not unbeatable.  We've lost 6 games in the last 4 years, so it can be done - but you guys have to play an awesome game, and get the breaks, too.


August 28th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

I take it you haven't watched Michigan play much in the last year-plus?

First of all, anything from under center is not a good idea with Michigan's offense.  We are not a downhill running team, and I'm not sure what you mean by "bigboy football" but we don't really play a traditional Big Ten style of football like, say, Wisconsin.

Teams have had success running spread offenses against Alabama in the past, so I don't think it's necessary for Michigan to become an up-the-gut running team in order to move the ball.  As for throwing the ball, we probably only need to pass enough to keep Alabama honest.  Unfortunately for us, I'm not sure we have the receivers to do that, but we are what we are. 

On defense, the main concern for UM fans has been whether our line can hold up against Alabama's three All-American OL.  If it can, I think it could be a pretty even game--but that's a big if. 

As for turnovers, I don't think UM can afford to play Tresselball.  No team can survive too many turnovers but I don't think one or two is insurmountable if the risk-taking leads to consistent production the rest of the day.  At the same time, I'm not sure what makes you so confident that Alabama won't turn the ball over.  It's the first game of the season and you've got a new starting tailback.  UM has Greg Mattison and the strength of our defense is the back 7.  UM generated an insane number of takeaways in 2011 and I think we'll need to get a couple against Alabama if we're going to shock the south.

One other thing, is that Michigan last season won a couple games despite being outplayed most of the time (ND, Va Tech).  I don't think Michigan needs to outplay Alabama for 60 minutes in order to win; rather, we could pull the upset just by hanging around and then hitting a couple big plays.


August 28th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

1) I watched about 7 complete Michigan games last year.  I know you don't do much from under center.  I think you should, as it would open up the play action much more.  However, i know robinson is more effective from shotgun, and his footwork has never been exceptional.

2)  Bigboy football means do what you do, and dare the other team to stop you.  no gimmicks.

3) you are a running tream, and that is your strength.  I get it.  However, stopping the run is far and away our best strenght on D.  I think we've had one 100 yard rusher in the last 5 years or so.  Yo will be running into our strength, and it would be wise to throw it some,   Throwing it enough to keep us honest means throwing more than you think with that statement, cause we'll play the pass with 7 in the box all day.

4) I'm confident we won't turn the ball over given that no Saban coached team has ever turned the ball over much.  Lacy doesn't have fumblitis, and our QB threw only 5 picks last year in 328 attempts.  We never turn the ball over.  That the way they're coached.  Our RB's must have the ball high and tight if they are touching a ball at practice.  They hold it high and tight to sign the darn thing.  We simply rarely turn the rock over.

5) You absolutely need the big play against us, as that has always been our defensive achilles heel under Saban.


August 29th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

Negged for saying that you've watched 7 complete games yet still think Michigan needs to go under 10 year old cousin literally screams at the TV any time Denard goes under center as we all know its a bobbled snap/sack/INT/-3 yard rush. 


August 28th, 2012 at 7:04 PM ^


I fully expect Bama to run the ball. My question is, what about your WR make you so confident they can run by our secondary? I have a feeling that those deep routes will not be given the time to develop as Mattison will stack the box and bring Ryan and Kovacs liberally. You blitz 5, so do we. 

How does your weak CB situation stack up when we run 4 wide shotgun, and you still have to spy Denard? Or do you not spy denard. Or do you rush 3? 
How does your stellar Oline hold up on multiple blitzs and zone blitz? How does McArron or whatever react to pressure?



August 28th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

1)  I never said our WR corps will run by your Sceondary.  I said they're extremely talented.  That's all.  We will attack all areas of the fiueld with the pass, although it's rumored that the neew OC like to take more shots downfield than the last OC.  We'll see.

2)  I wouldn't characterize our CB situation as weak at all.  I don't think it's in the univers of weak.  One guy is a 2 (kind 3rd) year starter, and the other was a JUCO All-American.  The Third has been in the system for 3 years.  I'd call 2 of the 3 low on D1 game experience, but I wouldn't call it weak at all.  This will be the best defense you face from top to bottom all year.

3) Our Oline generally handles the blitz well, but we will keep a RB in to help with that most of the time.  He will then release if he can.  The guy running the show at center was the Outland trophy winner at LT last year.  

4)  We will never rush 3.  Ever. (except if you throw a hail mary)

5) We will bring either 4, 5, or 6.  I've seen 7 a few times.

6) We will blitz the run a good bit.

7) Saban doesn't actually call our blitz "rushing the passer." He calls it affecting the quarterback and collapsing the pocket.  I don't expect us to spy Denard at all.  We will gang tackle him, and keep contain at all times.  Our ends will never run by him.  The Line and LB's will keep everything in front. Apparently, containment has been beaten into their heads for 2 weeks.

McCarron generally handles pressure well.  He scrambles when necessary, but will check down or throw it away.  He knows his job is not to turn it over and not to take negative plays. However, regarding your getting to him, our Oline is the best unit on our team, and wouldn't be the worst Oline in the NFL.

8) The only time I've seen a Saban coached secondary look bad has been against 5-wide.  With 4 wide, we have the individual skill to just lock man if you surprise us, but 5-wide has given us fits at times cause we will lose the 5th underneath guy in the scramble.