Just got back from the first day of Alabama spring football practice. The team will have one practice today before splitting for spring break (which started today). They’ll be back on Monday, March 18. Terrin and I tried to check in on every position group, and we got just about all of them.
The team was working in shorts with no pads today as they begin the acclimatization period. Here are some observations from the open period.
Quarterbacks – The quarterbacks were working in groups of two. Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones were in the first group, followed by Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson. Layne Hatcher was in a separate group with Braxton Barker and Kyle Edwards.
Running backs – Najee Harris went through drills first, followed by Brian Robinson Jr., then Jerome Ford. They’re the only three scholarship running backs on campus this spring.
Wide receivers – The receivers were doing a drill in groups of four, led by DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Tyrell Shavers and Henry Ruggs III. Shavers is on the baseball roster but has not yet played in a game this season (there’s a baseball game going on right now, in fact). The second group was John Metchie, Jaylen Waddle, Xavier Williams and Slade Bolden.
Tight ends – They were doing blocking drills in groups of two, led by Miller Forristall and Major Tennison. The next group was a couple of walk-ons, followed by a group with another walk-on with Michael Parker. Neither of us saw Kedrick James with the group. We did see a player with jersey number 20, which might be Cameron Latu. He wasn’t with the outside linebackers. Couldn’t verify it because they were too far away to get a good look at his face.
Offensive line – There wasn’t much order or rhyme or reason to the offensive line today as far as we could discern, and certainly no five-man formations. But did see Jedrick Wills, Alex Leatherwood, Matt Womack, Emil Ekiyor Jr. and Evan Neal were all out there. We’ll check in on them as we get more opportunities.
Defensive line – Didn’t get a good look at this group; we’ll check on them when they return. Former defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson was at practice watching the group go through drills.
Outside linebackers – Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis were the first two players in drills. Chris Allen and Eyabi Anoma were the next two players. Jarez Parks was after that. We didn’t see Cameron Latu in this group (see tight ends). Lewis and Allen both had knee braces on.
Inside linebackers – Dylan Moses was the first player through drills, followed by Josh McMillon and Jaylen Moody. Early enrollee Shane Lee was after them. Didn’t see Ale Kaho during the viewing period.
Cornerbacks – As expected, Trevon Diggs and Patrick Surtain II were the first two corners in drills. Nigel Knott and Jalyn Armour-Davis were the next pair. Josh Jobe was in another group, though I didn’t see who he was with. Scooby Carter, an early enrollee, was paired with a walk-on. Nick Saban was working with the cornerbacks along with Karl Scott.
Safety – Shyheim Carter was with the safeties and the only player I saw wearing a black jersey. Xavier McKinney was going through drills followed by Jared Mayden, Daniel Wright, Eddie Smith and a walk-on.
Athletics director Greg Byrne was at practice. There were a number of former players hanging out as well, though our priority was checking on the current players so we didn’t get to verify who all of them were.
Nick Saban is expected to speak with the media around 6:00. Terrin will have updates for you from that.