Tracking the Tide: Eddie Lacy

Editor’s note: Each day between now and Alabama's date with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, we will review the season for a key Crimson Tide player or coach and attempt to project what’s next for him. Today we’ll look at running back Eddie Lacy.

No. 42 Eddie Lacy

Running back

First team All-SEC selection

Role in 2012: Lacy struggled to stay healthy early in the season and despite a push from freshman T.J. Yeldon, he never surrendered his spot as the No. 1 tailback for the Crimson Tide.

The good: The junior was a wrecking ball on offense. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder had moments where it looked like he couldn't be brought down, most recently against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game where he pinballed his way to 181 yards and two touchdowns. His performance in that game was likely a double-edged sword for Alabama, simultaneously carrying the Tide to victory while also likely assuring his early entry into the NFL draft.

The bad: If there's one area that might keep Lacy from turning pro, it will be the question of his durability. There hasn't been a point in the past two years where the Louisiana native has been completely healthy. Whether it's turf toe, a sprained ankle or a strained hamstring, there's always been something. But give Lacy credit, he doesn't complain about the pain and rarely lets it hinder his performance.

Crystal ball: All signs point to Lacy entering the draft in April after Alabama's showdown against Notre Dame in Miami. Lacy, for his part, said he's not made his mind up one way or the other. If he comes back and stays healthy all season, that could help his stock. But he must also consider the depth waiting to return as well. It's only a matter of time before Yeldon is the feature back and Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and Kenyan Drake cannot wait for carries much longer. That all goes without mentioning the bevy of tailback commitments in the 2013 class.