Lester Cotton started at right guard last season, but the talented Tuscaloosa-area offensive lineman didn’t end the season at the position. Converted defensive lineman Korren Kirven took the position over, one of four players to start at right guard during 2016.
Cotton, 6-foot-4, 324 pounds, was back at right guard during the opening of the University of Alabama’s spring practice Tuesday afternoon.
The competition is just getting started. And even though he wasn’t asked for one, Nick Saban was quick to point out there is no depth chart. That’s an annual tradition, for Saban to remind everyone that a depth chart doesn’t exist.
Still, curiosity remains for the right guard spot especially. Saban said the team has plenty of candidates.
“We think we have enough center and guard types,” Saban said. “We need some guys to be able to come through and play tackle for us.”
One of those tackles, Jonah Williams, practiced at left tackle Tuesday after starting 15 games at right tackle last season. Redshirt freshman Scott Lashley, Matt Womack, Alex Leatherwood and Elliot Baker are others who could factor into the tackle competition.
Ross Pierschbacher is a two-year starter at left guard and Bradley Bozeman at center was one of the most consistent lineman last season.
Tough for the big guys
As for right guard, Saban wouldn’t go any further than saying Cotton practiced there Tuesday.
“We’re going to try to get the best five offensive linemen,” Saban said. “I can’t really tell you after one day of practice who’s doing great at offensive line. It’s hard to evaluate those guys in the offseason program.
“There’s nobody that struggles more in the offseason program than the big guys. It’s good for them. The skill guys look great doing it, but the big guys don’t look so good. It’ll be interesting to see how those guys do now that we’re practicing football and they’re playing in a short area.”
Read about Alabama’s first spring practice: Spring Practice Report
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.