Alabama has released its depth chart heading into Week 1 against San Jose State, and there were a few things of note, particularly on defense.
Junior college newcomer DeQuan Menzie is one of the starters at cornerback. Menzie has had some hamstring issues this preseason. But he had bigger issues than that in the spring. He tore his Achilles tendon playing pickup basketball and underwent surgery the first of April. At that time, he anticipated redshirting this season.
But Menzie was able to work his way back into shape, garnering a lot of attention among his teammates this summer with the way he performed in 7-on-7 drills, and now heads into the opener as one of the starting cornerbacks opposite Dre Kirkpatrick. Menzie would also be the Crimson Tide's "star" or nickelback when they go to five defensive backs.
B.J. Scott and DeMarcus Milliner are listed as the co-No. 2 cornerbacks behind Menzie. John Fulton and Phelon Jones are listed as the co-No. 2 cornerbacks behind Kirkpatrick.
With the way Nick Saban likes to play multiple defensive backs, all of those guys are probably going to play some.
At strongside linebacker, senior Chavis Williams is listed as the starter, while sophomore Robert Lester is listed No. 1 at one of the safety spots alongside Mark Barron. Maybe Williams is this season's version of Eryk Anders, a senior who emerges from the shadows to have a big year. Saban said Williams' development allowed Alabama to move Jerrell Harris inside to weakside linebacker.
Josh Chapman is listed as the starter at nose tackle, but Saban said that competition was very close with Kerry Murphy and that the two of them would share snaps. Murphy will be on the field on most passing downs.