29 July 2008
| Alfred McCullough - #52 – DL – 6-2 – 317 lbs. – Athens, AL – Athens HS – No Varsity Letters
One of Bama’s largest players, he figured to factor heavily in all discussions about the Nose Guard position in 2008, especially after he cracked his way into the lineup against Western Carolina. As is the case with Darius Hanks
, that was his only action, and a redshirt has not been given to him for the 2007 season. Whether or not one was applied for is not known.
In a demonstration of exactly how little anyone outside the program really knows, all of that talk of Alfred at Nose Guard went out the window in the spring when he was moved to Right Defensive End. In Nick Saban’s
3-4 defense, the Ends are typically bigger than what you see from a 4-3 set, and Alfred certainly has that. What is yet to be seen is whether or not he has the quickness to play on the end.
He was named the Dwight Stephenson Most Valuable Lineman in Bama’s A-Day game after racking up 6 tackles, with 1 sack and 2 passes broken up, indicating that he might have found a home at the End. The interesting thing to note is that both passes he broke up were at the line of scrimmage, where he made use of his big frame and long arms to block passing lanes.
It would seem, based on his size that stopping the run would be his strength, and if that is the case, he could see lots of playing time early, especially against Clemson, who figures to be run-heavy. How much he is able to play against teams that employ more of a spread offense will likely be predicated on how much push he gets into the backfield as a part of a pass rush.
There is no experienced depth behind him on the depth chart, so he should have a jump on the incoming freshmen Ends to lock down the #2 spot behind Senior Bobby Greenwood
at the Right End. Given Greenwood’s
injury history, and the fact that virtually all coaches like to rotate defensive lineman, there should be playing time available.
The fact that he spent last season at the Nose Guard means that he should be able to slide down into more of a Defensive Tackle role in short yardage situations, and when Bama’s JACK Linebacker lines up with his hand down, giving the appearance of 4 down lineman. There is still a possibility that he could move back to the Nose Guard position, though that could depend heavily on the health of Brian Motley
& whether or not Lorenzo Washington
makes the move out to Defensive End.
Regardless of the role he plays, expect to see Alfred factor heavily in Bama’s defensive line rotation, especially early in the season. Size and strength are always an issue with lineman, both offensive & defensive, so the incoming freshmen are not as apt to make an immediate impact here. With that in mind, I expect we’ll see a lot of Alfred in 2008.