Alabama was back out on the practice field Tuesday for the fourth of 15 practices/scrimmages. The team worked outside and in full pads for the first time this spring. A lot of visitors were at practice observing, so sight lines were a bit congested. Here is what I observed during the media viewing period.
Jared Mayden, the talented sophomore defensive back, continued to ride the exercise bike with an oxygen deprivation mask on. Middle linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton worked a little bit with the middle linebackers group as he continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL he suffered in the SEC Championship Game.
The group worked in the following order: Rashaan Evans, Keith Holcombe, Dylan Moses, Joshua McMillon and Shawn Jennings. This is a group to keep an eye on throughout spring and into the fall. The loss of talent at the position the last two seasons cannot be understated (Reggie Ragland, Reuben Foster). It’s important to remember that Shaun Dion Hamilton will likely return, but will he be as good as his old self when he does? Some athletes take longer to fully come back from an ACL injury than others.
One conversation I’ve been having with a few people plugged in is if Evans will remain at middle linebacker full time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his role evolve into a middle linebacker on first and second down, and an outside pass rush specialist on third down. The answer relies on how quickly another linebacker develops behind him. It’s something to watch.
A quick look at the secondary revealed that Tony Brown was at the Star nickel back position with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Anthony Averett as the two cornerbacks. Trevon Diggs continued to work as a corner.
The first organizational grouping was (LT-RT) Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher, Bradley Bozeman, Lester Cotton and Matt Womack.
Arie Kouandjio was working in the Hank Crisp Indoor facility. Two Heisman Trophy winners (Derrick Henry and former Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan) took in practice too. Ben Davis continued to work with the outside linebackers.
Up next: Nick Saban press conference following practice.