07 July 2008
| Brandon Deaderick - #95 – DE – 6-4 – 286 lbs. – Elizabethtown, KY – Elizabethtown HS – 2 Varsity Letters
There may not have been a more improved player in 2007 than Brandon Deaderick. After playing in only 7 games and recording just 2 tackles as a Freshman, Brandon started 7 games and played in all 13 as a Sophomore. At the moment he is one of only a handful of defensive players who likely have their starting spot already secured.
It took until the 6th game of the season for Brandon to wrestle the starting DE spot away from Bobby Greenwood
. But once he got it, he never let it go, wrapping up the season with 7 consecutive starts and 2 sacks. He’ll man the defensive end spot for Bama that typically lines up inside the offensive tackle. With his size and run stopping ability he is suited well for this spot.
: In Nick Saban’s
defense the end position that Brandon plays isn’t likely to put up huge numbers. In the rushing defense schemes his job is to try to occupy multiple blockers, freeing up the linebackers to make plays. He excelled at that during the 2nd half of the 2007 season, and will hopefully continue that in 2008.
Given Bama’s lack of experienced depth at the DE position, it is highly unlikely that the guys behind him (at the moment Milton Talbert
, DT convert Alfred McCullough
& a group of incoming Freshmen) will challenge his starting position. The wildcard in that could possibly be Lorenzo Washington
if Bama can find someone else to man the nose guard position, allowing Lorenzo to move to DE. Even if that happens, Brandon will likely continue to start, with his experience at the position being a huge advantage.
Brandon using the positive end to the 2007 as a springboard for ’08 is crucial for the Bama defense. The Tide is looking to replace the 21 ½ career sacks and 61 ½ career tackles for a loss that Wallace Gilberry
took with him to the NFL. It is crucial that Bama replace that production at the DE spot. That won’t be all on Brandon, as I expect Bobby Greenwood
to make a lot more plays now that he has been moved back to the “outside end” position that he and Gilberry split time at during Bobby’s freshman season.
If Bama can get consistent play out of its nose guard, that will also free Brandon and the other ends to make more plays. There are a lot of “ifs” for Bama’s defense this season, but Brandon has made his DE position one that, as long as he is on the field, a solid position. I expect to see him pushed throughout the season by the talented group of incoming defensive linemen (Undra Billingsley
, Damion Square
, Glenn Harbin
, Marcel Dareus
& Michael Williams
) that Bama has coming in. The best case scenario for Bama is for at least 2 of those guys to be able to redshirt, but that will depend more on the development of the returning back-up players at the position than it will on Brandon.