Top Alabama Football Questions, No. 7: More Depth at Tight End?
Alabama football fall camp began on Monday afternoon after several weeks of uncertainty about the viability of this college football season. Many 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.
8. "With the young depth you have on the defensive line and the lack of experience at outside linebacker, did you ever consider having LaBryan Ray take some reps at outside linebacker like he did as a freshman?"
7. "If there was a position group that could have used more depth last year, it was probably tight end. With Jahleel Billingsley getting a year under his belt and Carl Tucker coming in from UNC, how are you feeling about that group?"
The team's top two tight ends from last year, Miller Forristall and Major Tennison, are consistent and reliable, but lack the athletic upside of alumni O.J. Howard and Irv Smith Jr. Both of them caught a touchdown pass in the season opener against Duke, but Forristall caught only three more for the rest of the season and Tennison didn't have another score.
Then-freshman Jahleel Billingsley and senior Giles Amos, a former walk-on, also saw snaps during the season, but Saban admitted multiple times that he was looking for more depth at the position. The team converted outside linebacker Cameron Latu to tight end before the season and moved offensive linemen Kendall Randolph and Chris Owens to tight end, as well.
Graduate transfer Carl Tucker is coming over from North Carolina. At 6-foot-4 and 248 pounds, he seems to fit the same athletic profile as Forristall and Tennison.
Billingsley's playing time increased as the year went on, and he showed some nice blocking ability (see below), but the position group as a whole could still use a dose of athleticism entering 2020.
Check back Wednesday morning for No. 6, a question about the rehab process for one of Alabama's most talented skill players.