For much of the off-season, the names attracting attention on the Alabama defensive line were Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs — understandable, given their play in 2017.
After the first week of Alabama’s season, that spotlight has shifted somewhat to nose tackle Quinnen Williams. The sophomore from Wenonah High School in Birmingham played just 30 of the team’s 65 defensive snaps against Louisville before having to leave with a minor knee injury.
In those 30 snaps, Williams was involved in six tackles — three solo, all behind the line of scrimmage, and three assists, including one behind the line. His tackle-for-loss total added up to 12 yards.
“I thought he was probably the most active player up front,” coach Nick Saban said. “We were really pleased with the way he played, but it was really no surprise to anybody. He did a good job of pass rushing, played his gaps well. But he had a great spring and a good camp.”
Davis (45 snaps) and Buggs (41) also played well. Depth continues to be a concern for the defense staff — the other defensive linemen who saw action were LaBryan Ray (20 snaps), Phidarian Mathis (19), Johnny Dwight (17) and junior college transfer Tevita Musika (5).
Alabama’s honorary captains for its home opener against Arkansas State will be Ken Roberts and Bobby Smith.
Roberts played center and helped on defense from 1956-58. Smith played quarterback and defensive back from 1956-58, completing 53 of his 139 career attempts for 880 yards with seven touchdown passes. He was a team captain in 1958.
They’ll both be at the Paul W. Bryant Museum on Saturday morning from 10-11:00 and available for autographs. The museum will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Parks expected to return soon
Freshman outside linebacker Jarez Parks missed practice this week while attending to a death in his family, Saban said on Wednesday. Parks traveled to Alabama’s season opener in Orlando but did not play and wasn’t seen during the viewing period at practice this week.
“He’s from Florida so he went on the trip, actually his family wanted him to stay there,” Saban said. “I think the funeral was today, so he’ll be back with us (Thursday). Our thoughts and prayers are out to him and his family. We’ve tried to be very supportive. This has been a very difficult thing for him.”