From the moment that Eyabi Anoma signed as former five-star recruit in the class of 2018 (ranked fourth overall prospect) with Alabama, he was going to a special player. Anoma played six games during his freshman year last season for the Crimson Tide. He accounted for nine total tackles and two tackles for loss in kickoffs as well as a few key defensive drives. Most of the drives he played were in moments where the game was already a divisive victory for Alabama. Anoma got the chance to build playing experience for the Tide early when Terrell Lewis tore his ACL before the start of the season. Senior outside linebacker Christian Miller was the player took over the starting role.
Eyabi Anoma Problems with the Tide
Eyabi Anoma was recruited as a weak-side defensive end but has been playing mostly as a rush linebacker. He has played at the line of scrimmage but also in the linebacker zone. His versatility, explosiveness, and great athletic range makes him a great player at many positions. He was in line to play second-strong strong-side inside linebacker and jack linebacker. He did practice with the first team during the spring and in the Alabama A-Day Scrimmage game. Sometime during the time of now and the Spring scrimmage, Anoma was suspended by the University. This, having him wait in line more for a starting role, and a possible intent to move back to Maryland might be an indication that he decided to withdraw after inserting his name in the NCAA transfer portal a second time. Time will tell if he decides to withdraw from Alabama.
How Alabama Will Adapt to Possible Transfer
While it is not 100% that Eyabi Anoma is leaving the program, all signs are saying otherwise. The Crimson Tide will have to reshuffle and find new starters anyways. Anoma’s versatility can be an issue since he has played at multiple positions. The main position the Tide will replace him for is outside linebacker. Terrell Lewis expects to be back at full health when the 2019 College Football season kicks off. Redshirt junior Ben Davis, a five-star recruit in the class of 2016, will get a chance to create an impact for the Tide’s defense rather than rust away on the bench. Anoma’s potential transfer might give redshirt freshman defensive end/outside linebacker Jarez Parks a bigger spotlight. Parks is a four-star defensive end in the class of 2017, looking to be a contributor early for the Tide.
Anoma’s absence might potentially create new defensive fronts due to the lack of experience at outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding might Lewis or Jennings at the line of scrimmage more and have defensive end Raekwon Davis play the three-technique defensive tackle. This might be a more natural position for Davis, along with strongside defensive end. The Tide might be more willing to play defensive back Shyheim Carter at the linebacker spot for zone /man coverages. Finally, the Tide might use a more run-defensive orientated front with Davis and LaBryan Ray at their end positions. This puts nose guard Phidarian Mathis at the one-technique nose tackle and Stephon Wynn Jr. at the three-technique tackle. This would leave Jennings and Lewis in the linebacker zone with only one of them blitzing. Watch for more different fronts and lineups for the Crimson Tide to utilize and create.
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