29 June 2008
| Baron Huber - #40 - LB - 6-3 - 242 lbs. - Knoxville, TN - Powell HS - 2 Varsity Letters
Baron came to Alabama as a linebacker in the signing class of 2005. With Bama short on potential fullbacks, it took all of 2 days of practice in the fall for him to be moved to the offensive backfield. Continuing the trend of this off season, Baron will be trying to learn a new position.
After playing in 22 games in two years on special teams and as a fullback, carrying the ball zero times and catching one pass, Baron has been moved back to linebacker. And with Bama’s absolute lack of depth at the WILL position, he could enter the spring as one of only 2 returning scholarship players at the position (Jennings Hester
Baron is not blessed with an overabundance of natural athletic ability. But he is a smart football player, using his preparation and game instincts to overcome his lack of speed and raw athleticism. He has demonstrated many times as a lead blocker his love of making big hits, something needed to play inside on defense.
2008 Prospectus: While at the moment there are only 2 returning scholarship players at the WILL, that likely won’t be the case once fall camp opens. I expect Cory Reamer to get an early look there, but there are more possibilities than that.
If Prince Hall
makes it back from his suspension, he might very well get a look at the WILL. Another strong possibility is based on the potential emergence of incoming freshman Don’ta Hightower
. If Hightower, as expected, comes in ready to play, then he might take over the MIKE position, and Rolando McClain
would likely move to the WILL.
If any of these 3 options happens, it is unlikely that Baron will see much time. Had he stayed at LB from the beginning he might be far enough ahead of everyone else mentally that he could make up the talent and athleticism gap. That didn’t help Matt Collins
, who was moved to DE by Kevin Steele
and never saw the field again. It did, however, benefit Darren Mustin
, who spent the entire 2007 as a starter. Regardless Baron spent too much time at FB, and won’t have that advantage.
Having said all of that, it really is difficult to judge exactly how he'll play at the position. He did make the move during the spring, but a couple of weeks of spring practice isn't really enough time to completely learn the position, so his performance on A-Day might not be indicative of how he could develop over the summer.
Baron has contributed in other ways, though. He has been tremendous as an “up man” on Bama’s kickoff return team, serving as a lead blocker for Javier Arenas. He will almost certainly continue in that role in 2008.