Alabama isn't just the most talented team in the country. As arguably the best two players in all of college football see it, the Crimson Tide will have a decided leadership advantage throughout the 2022 season, too.
“The leadership has been great,” All-American edge rusher Will Anderson said of Alabama's preseason camp, per Charlie Potter of 247 Sports. “We had a leadership meeting with Coach Saban [on Sunday]. DJ Dale has been doing a fantastic job. Jordan Battle has been doing a fantastic job. Henry To’o To’o has been doing a fantastic job. And Bryce. So right now, all of us on leadership, everybody’s been good. Everybody’s been very receptive of what we’ve been trying to get across, the messages that we’ve been trying to get across to the team.”
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young agrees, lauding the Crimson Tide's underclassmen for their diligent approach to summer workouts.
“We have a great group of younger guys who came in with a really good attitude, good heads on their shoulders and guys that came in willing to work. As a leadership group, as a team, we really do appreciate that. That really does affect us in the locker room.”
Anderson and Young aren't just the two most accomplished returning players in college football this season. They're also potential No. 1 overall picks in the 2023 NFL draft, beloved by scouts nearly as much for their attitude and commitment as their top-tier production and mouth-watering physical tools.
It's a testament to the collective sense of accountability Nick Saban has built in Tuscaloosa that Alabama—with a roster full of five-star recruiting prospects—boasts a culture that's the envy of any program in college football.
Some teams might crumble under the pressure of annual championship expectations, especially with so many stars worthy of the spotlight. Not the Crimson Tide.
“There’s not a lot of knuckleheads in the locker room, no negativity in the locker room,” Anderson said. “Everybody’s been bought in and committed and all into what we have going on this year.”
Call it a warning to the rest of college football. As talented as the Crimson Tide are, intangibles could be what most help them avenge last year's loss to Georgia in the CFP title game.