Ok, it's time for Alabama fans to get excited about Christian Barmore.
You might be sitting thinking, "Well, duh," but here at BamaCentral we don't like to buy into the hype about a player until he both does something to turn heads and then regularly backs it up on the field.
In other words, he has to earn it.
Barmore didn't play in Alabama's season opener last season. When he subsequently got on the field his lack of experience showed and he was called for some undisciplined penalties.
But he more than flashed at times, and learned to be a little more careful around quarterbacks (and not hit their heads with his raised arm on the follow through).
Barmore was credited with 26 tackles, including six for a loss and two sacks in limited playing time. Despite that, he was still named to the Freshman All-SEC Team by league coaches.
He looked the part, yet Byron Young, a true freshman, was the one in the starting lineup at the end of last season.
With Alabama having to ditch spring practices, the defensive line was one of the position battles that never really took place. So in regards to Barmore there was no way of knowing if he was doing the things necessary to take the next step.
Was he ready to be promoted to the starting three on the line alongside LaBryan Ray and D.J. Dale?
Or was he too good to be true?
We now have our answer.
When asked about his teammate on Wednesday, Ray smiled and said: "That’s my guy. I think he’s a great player. He can play the run, pass-rush, I think he’s [there]. But I think this year we have to do it as a committee."
Ray's correct on both counts. Alabama has an incredible amount of talent throughout the position group, to the point it could be accused of stockpiling.
There's also Ishmael Sopsher, Timothy Smith, Justin Eboigne, Stephon Wynn Jr., Phidarian Mathis, Braylen Ingraham, Jah-Marien Latham, and Jamil Burroughs, who were all considered prize prospects as recruits.
The Crimson Tide can claim to be four-deep up front and mean it.
Barmore, though, is now at the front and more than looks the part.
During the annual preseason press conference by Alabama's coordinators, Pete Golding only mentioned four players in his introduction. The other three were the defensive leaders at each level: Ray, linebacker Dylan Moses, and cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
"Christian Barmore’s playing really well," the defensive coordinator said.
Yep, DLine U has yet another monster ready to be unleashed on opposing offenses.
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