By the (star) numbers: linebackers

This week we're going through every position and analyzing the accuracy of Scout.com's star ratings on Alabama's actual performance at that position. Up next: linebackers. Again these stories are about players who have already seen time on the field.

Jonathan Atchison – three-star

Ryan Anderson – four-star

Brent Calloway – four-star

Trey DePriest – five-star

Xzavier Dickson – four-star

Adrian Hubbard – four-star

Nico Johnson – five-star

Dillon Lee – four-star

C.J. Mosley – four-star

Tana Patrick – four-star

With new faces in this year's starting linebacker lineup, it's hard to gauge how Alabama has lived up to its star ratings at this position.

Head coach Nick Saban will have to find players to replace Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Jerrell Harris this fall.

The Crimson Tide has veterans Nico Johnson (five-star by Scout.com) and C.J. Mosely (four-star), but they both play on the weak side.

Adrian Hubbard, a 6-foot-6, 248-pound sophomore, led the team with seven tackles and three sacks in the spring game. A rising star likely to replace Upshaw, Hubbard was awarded the Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award at the end of 2011 spring drills. He was a defensive end in high school and could be used as a "Jack" linebacker in Alabama's 3-4 defense, as that spot is most similar to defensive end.

Hubbard's athleticism would allow him to play any linebacker position though. Some feel he could start on the strong side, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Bama also has Xzavier Dickson, but he only saw action in two games last season, and then Trey DePriest, who played as a true freshman last year and could take over for Hightower in the middle.

For passing downs, the Tide has Jonathan Atchison and true freshman early enrollees Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson.

But again, with the lack of game time these players have seen, it's hard to evaluate how they've lived up to their Scout star rating. However, the ones that have played have certainly lived up to their reputation. As for the ones who haven't or have played very little, it's just hard to say at this time.


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