TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) All the offseason chatter about who will be throwing passes for Alabama - Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa - has overshadowed the pressing question of who's charged with defending them.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide's secondary, often seemingly an NFL feeder system, is now the least experienced position on the roster. The top six defensive backs from last season are gone, including versatile All-America safety Minkah Fitzpatrick .
It has left a scramble for young players like freshman Patrick Surtain Jr. and junior college transfer Saivion Smith to secure some role. Returnees such as Trevon Diggs, Xavier McKinney and Deionte Thompson are aiming to carve out much bigger ones from last season.