One of the most difficult positions to play in football is cornerback. Perhaps that is why Alabama Coach Nick Saban takes the responsibility of coaching Crimson Tide corners.
Alabama will be young at cornerback this year with a pair of 6-1, 200-opound sophomores expected to man the spots. One of them, Marlon Humphrey, is a returning starter at corner, and he is ranked among the nation’s best for 2016. The other, Minkah Fitzpatrick, was a starter in the secondary last year as a true freshman, but he played nickel rather than cornerback and has not come in for preseason mention. This year he moves into the cornerback spot vacated by the graduated Cyrus Jones.
Humphrey, who is best remembered for his grab of an onside kickoff in Alabama’s national championship game victory over Clemson, was in on 45 tackles in his redshirt season last year. He also had three interceptions, which he returned for 28 yards, broke up eight passes, and caused two fumbles.
Fitzpatrick was a Freshman All-America last year. He was in on 45 tackles, including two sacks, intercepted two passes which he returned for two touchdowns and 88 yards (both against Texas A&M), and broke up 11 passes.
As with other positions we have examined going into 2016, there are some outstanding cornerbacks who will be playing on the side of Bama opponents.
Alabama will see one of the best in the nation in the season-opener against USC in junior Adoree´ Jackson.
In Southeastern Conference games, Bama will play against two of the nation’s top 10 cornerbacks in seniors Tre’Davious White of LSU and Cameron Sutton of Tennessee.