From the days of Shaun Alexander, Mark Ingram, and Trent Richardson to Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, Najee Harris, and, most recently, Brian Robinson Jr.—among others—the pipeline of backfield talent in Tuscaloosa has continued to serve as an NFL assembly line for some time. With names and faces scattered across football today, each with a unique background stemming from their days under Nick Saban, the next talent set to take over the Crimson Tide backfield could be the most explosive athlete yet. A transfer from Georgia Tech, it won’t take long for running back Jahmyr Gibbs to become a household name.
If you followed college football in any capacity last fall, you already know who he is. While his numbers at Georgia Tech won’t blow you away, he was a one-man show—one on 11, if you will—at times for the Yellow Jackets during the last two seasons. Once teams were able to limit Gibbs, the Georgia Tech offense faltered, as exemplified by their three-win campaigns in consecutive years. However, with his days in the ACC now in the past, the first glimpse of Gibbs donning Alabama threads showcased a highlight-reel type of athlete with the ability to take it the distance on every touch.
While Saban often enjoys the luxury of recruiting four- and five-star recruits every single year, and Alabama’s backfield touted highly praised prep talent heading into the spring, they lacked experience after the departure of Robinson, which made Gibbs the ideal puzzle piece to add via the transfer portal.
A true three-down back whose burst is often the first topic of conversation when discussing his game, Gibbs is a ground-and-pound style of ball carrier who can run through, around, and over defenders. Where Gibbs separates himself is in the passing game, where his receiving ability not only has NFL scouts drooling over his potential not only on Sundays but what he can do this season alongside 2021 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young.
At Alabama’s spring game, more commonly referred to as ‘A-Day’, Gibbs wasted little time in asserting himself as the lead dog within a locker room stacked with alphas. He carried the ball nine times for 100 yards and a touchdown, including a 75-yard scamper to paydirt—a peek at the game-breaking type of get up and go that he possesses once the rock is in his hands. His performance earned him the Dixie Howell Memorial Award (Spring Game MVP), and if his spring game showcase is anything to go by for the upcoming year, he certainly looks to be as advertised heading into Alabama’s Week 1 matchup against Utah State.
In what will prove to be an overwhelmingly deep talent pool of running back talent in the 2023 NFL Draft class, Jahmyr Gibbs remains right up at the top. Although his game flew under the radar a tad with limited success around him during his time at Georgia Tech, a realization of his performance ceiling behind a formidable front five and within an offensive system that will allow his skill set to thrive could see him become not only the SEC’s most formidable rusher but one of the country’s most elite offensive weapons in his junior season.
- Jun 24, 2022
- Jun 24, 2022