<
>
Insider

Five Tide players emerging on defense

2/15/2013
Nelson Chenault/US Presswire

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- At Alabama and under coach Nick Saban, you don't just walk onto the defense and start right away. Learning the ins and outs of his complicated 4-3 scheme takes time and patience.

Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw went through their growing pains, so did Mark Barron and Dee Milliner. Stars on defense don't emerge overnight.

As the world turns its attention toward the start of spring practice and the birth of another college football season, here are five players on defense who weren't superstars last season but could prove to become significant contributors in 2013.