These seven Alabama players are the Tide’s next wave of stars
This article originally appeared on FoxSports.com.
It's rare for a true freshman to step in and thrive at Alabama the way that Jalen Hurts and Jonah Williams did in 2016.
But Nick Saban's Bama machine feeds off players who have developed under the radar at practice for a year or two before it's their turn to shine.
Here are seven names to remember for 2017 from folks inside the program.
Terrell Hall, LB
The first name that came up from some Tide personnel I spoke with was 6' 5″, 247-pound sophomore linebacker Terrell Hall, whose length and athleticism wowed some staffers: “This kid is longer than hell.”
Quinnen Williams, DL
Former Alabama defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson had this to say about Quinnen Williams, a 6' 4″, 300-pound defensive lineman: “He picked up the defense pretty quickly and his technique is already off the charts.”
Scott Lashley, OL
Tomlinson also said to keep an eye on Scott Lashley, a 6' 7″, 315-pound offensive tackle: “He's such a big guy but he's got great hands and you can see him getting better every day.”
Anfernee Jennings, LB
Former Alabama tackles and tight ends coach Mario Cristobal is high on linebacker Anfernee Jennings: “He's got a really good inside move. He's got great speed to power. He's 275 pounds. He's just really explosive. Plays the run well. Got the total package. He reminds me of (former Miami star) Jerome McDougle but maybe with even looser hips.”
Miller Forristall, TE
“Keep an eye on Miller Forristall,” Cristobal said. “He's a former quarterback and he knows the game inside and out. He's tough, has really good hands and he can run (the 40-yard dash) in the high 4.6s.”
Mack Wilson, LB
Former Alabama WR Gehrig Dieter likes sophomore linebacker Mack Wilson: “He's looked up to Reuben (Foster) and I think that's benefitted him a lot. He's a hard hitter. He's smart. He's really athletic. Very fast. I think he can step in and can be that Reuben type. Since he's got here, he's worked hard and earned a lot of respect.”
Nigel Knott, DB
Billy Napier, former Alabama wide receivers coach on DB Nigel Knott: “Knott is a young DB (who) came in with a knee injury. He had to wear a brace early in the year but has really transitioned out of it. Been very impressed with his work ethic and his demeanor. He's very skilled. I think he'll make an impact on our team next year. They can either cover my guys or they can't, and I see some of the things we saw in Marlon (Humphrey) and in (Anthony) Averett. It's been fun to watch. He'll be a good special teams player too. He's fast, tough, very intelligent.”