Anthony Averett forces an incompletion (Photo by Stuart McNair)

Anthony Averett returns to start at one cornerback spot for Alabama

This is 12th in a series looking at Alabama positions prior to spring practice

There is one Alabama position that Alabama Coach Nick Saban may have the most clear view of progress. As has been his wont as a head coach, Saban also takes responsibility for working with Crimson Tide cornerbacks in practice. In 15 practices this spring he’ll be looking for a replacement for Marlon Humphrey at left cornerback.
This segment of a series looking at all Alabama positions prior to the start of spring drills looks at the cornerback candidates.
While Humphrey has gone to try his hand with the NFL, giving up two years of eligibility, Alabama returns the starter at right cornerback in Anthony Averett. Early last season every opponent demonstrated a plan to attack Averett. By mid-season, opponents has learned that was not a good plan.
Averett (6-0, 183, senior) is one of the fastest players for Bama. Last year he led the Tide in breaking up passes with 8. He also was in on 48 tackles, 39 of them solo stops, and 7 were made as a member of special teams coverage units. He was very dependable at making the quick stop on quick out passes, including having two for lost yardage. He had a sack for a 13-yard loss and caused two fumbles.
At the end of last season, sophomore Shyheim Carter (6-0, 190) and senior Levi Wallace (6-0, 170) were listed as the top backups at cornerback, and those two are expected to contend for the open starting position.
Carter was in on 7 tackles last year and saw duty on special teams as well as in the secondary.
Wallace, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship, was in on 11 tackles last season and also broke up two passes and had one quarterback pressure. He, too, saw playing time on special teams.
Aaron Robinson (6-1, 181) saw playing time as a true freshman last year, a back-up in the secondary and a regular on special teams. He was in on five tackles, one for loss.
Nigel Knott (5-11, 175) seemed to be on the verge of playing as a true freshman last year, but ended up with a redshirt season.
One of the 16 signees in the 2017 class who entered The University this semester to take part in spring practice is Kyriq McDonald, a 5-11, 185-pound freshman who was a two-time all-state cornerback at Madison James Clemens.
Walk-ons have a history of working into the rotation at cornerback (note Levi Wallace), and the Tide has at least three returning to continue practice. They are junior Donovan Mosley (5-10, 180) and seniors Bo Grant (6-2, 195) and Rogria Lewis (5-11, 196).
It’s possible that Tony Brown (6-0, 198, senior) could be worked at cornerback, though in our previews we will look at him as a safety and fully expect him to be the Alabama nickel back.
Alabama will begin spring practice Tuesday, March 21. The A-Day Game will be April 22.


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