Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Offseason spotlight: Alabama
By Chris Low
We conclude our offseason spotlight series with two-time defending national champion Alabama.
Spotlight: Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, 6-1, 209 pounds, rising junior.
2012 summary: Clinton-Dix started in 10 games last season and finished with 37 total tackles. He led the team with five interceptions and also had nine passes defended.
The skinny: Some of Clinton-Dix's best football came at the end of last season in Alabama's most important games. He had interceptions in each of the last three games and played very well in the Discover BCS National Championship. The Crimson Tide will need him to take another big step in 2013 and play at that same level all season. They're going to need an enforcer back there in the secondary with cornerback Dee Milliner and safety Robert Lester both departing. So as a leader and as a playmaker, Clinton-Dix faces a key offseason. It's especially important that he take on that role with several younger players expected to break into the starting rotation in the secondary. Sophomore safety Landon Collins and sophomore cornerback Geno Smith will both push for starting roles, meaning Clinton-Dix needs to be a steadying influence throughout the 2013 season and give the Crimson Tide some of the same things former star safety Mark Barron did from 2009-11.