The last time Alabama hosted Southern Miss was 2019, and the Crimson Tide racked up 514 total yards en route to a 49-7 victory. 

That was three head coaches ago for the Golden Eagles. 

The defense simply could not keep pace with Alabama's playmakers and a quarterback who completed 81 percent of his passes. 

Cornerback Rachuan Mitchell, now a senior, played in that game. However, he didn't dress out last week against Troy (21-9 loss), and he only played one game last season. 

Brooks started in his place. He's also the team's punt returner. 

Natrone Brooks

Jersey: No. 18
Pos: Cornerback
Height: 5-11
Weight: 161

Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Starkville, Mississippi
High School: Starkville

Pros

Twitchy undersized cornerback who plays the field corner and the nickel for the Southern Miss defense. Tough player who is willing to take on contact, does not shy away from tackling or blockers. Loose hips to transition and stay in phase, showing solid burst when opening his hips to turn and run. Good short-area quickness out of his pedal to accelerate downhill to compete on throws or limit yards after the catch. Solid foot speed to carry vertical routes consistently. Solid feel in zone coverage for spacing routes and reading routes when playing zone from a press bail. Brings intriguing versatility to the table, has film of him playing well from the nickel and the safety positions.

Cons

Undersized for the outside cornerback role with a lack of play strength. Inconsistent eyes in man coverage, showing a tendency to get beat on double moves. Struggles to maintain a consistent cushion when playing off man, either giving up too much space or letting receivers get on his toes due to him peeking at the quarterback. Inconsistent tackler who stops his feet on contact and does not close space on the ball carrier, too often giving ball carriers time to make a move on him. Does not show any sort of ball skills to get his hands on the football or create takeaways.

Summary 

Best fit at the next level will be as a nickel where he has potential to be a starter at that position. Twitchy athlete who is not afraid to be a run support player, serves him best at the next level. If he can clean up his tackling and eye discipline then his game will show more promise as a starting nickel at the next level.

Grades 

5.9 (current value)/ 7.4 (potential value)

BamaCentral Analysis

Brooks was one of two defensive players to start in all 10 games last season and tallied 39 tackles (25 solos) with 3.5 TFLs for seven yards, one interception and a team-high seven pass breakups. As the nickel he had a season-high eight stops in opener against South Alabama en route to being named an honorable mention for All-Conference USA. Having grown up so close to Tuscaloosa one has to think he'll have every incentive to play a big game, especially since this is the kind of game that could really get him some attention from scouts, but he and the Golden Eagles figure to be in for a long evening. 

SEE ALSO: Scouting Report: Southern Miss Wide Receiver Jason Brownlee

The last time Alabama hosted Southern Miss was 2019, and the Crimson Tide racked up 514 total yards en route to a 49-7 victory. 

That was three head coaches ago for the Golden Eagles. 

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