Take Alabama’s 2013 defensive linemen for example. Anthony Steen said his dad thought freshman A’Shawn Robinson looked like a 30-year-old man.
But this crop of newcomers isn’t just ahead of the curve physically, but also mentally, said junior Jeoffrey Pagan.
“They look really good. This is probably the smartest group that I've seen so far,” Pagan said. “They’re hard-working. I feel like with the addition of them to the team, we're going to be better.”
One of the areas Pagan feels the new faces could help is with the pass rush. Pagan noted that the team hears all of the criticizing for its lack of pass rush in 2012.
“Listening to people doubting our pass rush, just kind of motivates us to be better pass rushers,” he said. “And I feel like with the addition of the freshmen that we got in, really helped that aspect of the game.”
WIDE RECEIVERS: Much has been made about Alabama’s new found depth at wide receiver. The Tide have bodies to go nine deep at wide out and many are expecting the team open up the passing game.
“This offense can be very explosive,” Kenny Bell said. “It can be the best. … That’s why we go out there every day just working hard against the defense. We've got the corners out there pushing us. We’ve got the D-line pushing the offense. We’re just going out there competing every day.”
Alabama has a blend of veterans and freshmen who are sure to give defensive coordinators headaches when preparing for the Tide.
“We’re a very talented group,” DeAndrew White said. “I don’t believe there’s anything holding us back. I just think we need to go out there and work hard every day and get ready for (the season).”
White mentioned that Christion Jones was the most vocal leader in the group.
“Most vocal, I’d probably say Christion,” White said. “Fun guy, good leader. He’s probably the most vocal out of all of us.”