Alabama opened fall camp on a temperate August day in Tuscaloosa on Friday. Fan Day is scheduled for tomorrow with the open practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but this is our first look at the team this fall.
Alabama was working in shorts with no shoulder pads today, per NCAA rules. Terrell Lewis (ACL) walked by wearing a knee brace, but otherwise there weren’t any players in black noncontact jerseys or sitting off to the side. Here’s what we saw during the open period:
The quarterbacks were warming up as a group, so there wasn’t much delineation between them. When they did break down to do drills, there were two lines: One with Jalen Hurts, the other with Tua Tagovailoa. They’d cycle from one line to the other during the drill.
Senior Damien Harris led the running backs through drills, followed by Najee Harris. Brian Robinson was the third back, followed by senior Ronnie Clark Jr. Freshman Jerome Ford and Josh Jacobs were after that. Jacobs at the back of the line may have to do with the time he missed in spring while injured.
Didn’t spend much time looking at the wide receivers, but DeVonta Smith was with this group. Injuries pushed him to practice with the DBs for part of spring.
You’ll sometimes see Alabama working one side of the line at a time, so you’d see the LT-LG-C in one group, then another C with the RG & RT. It looked like they were doing something similar, but had expanded both groups to accommodate for the position battles.
The left side included Jonah Williams, then Deonte Brown and Lester Cotton. The right side included center Ross Pierschbacher, then Josh Casher, Jedrick Wills, Alex Leatherwood and Matt Womack. If you’re looking at which players have the best chance to start on the offensive line this fall, it’s a good bet it will be some combination of those eight players.
The defensive linemen went through drills in the following order: Raekwon Davis, Quinnen Williams, Johnny Dwight, LaBryan Ray, Phidarian Mathis, then freshman Stephon Wynn Jr. and freshman Christian Barmore. Looked like Isaiah Buggs was at the back, but his jersey had some folds and I wasn’t sure who it was. Keep an eye on where Williams lines up if you’re coming to fan day.
Tosh Lupoi was as animated as ever. They were starting a drill as we walked outside to view practice and he had the new student manager with his position setting up a bag to hit. He tried to tell his players to take it easy on the new guy for his first day. “We have to give our young manager time to adapt!” he said.
Anfernee Jennings was first through drills, followed by Christian Miller. Jamey Mosley and Chris Allen were next, followed by freshmen Jarez Parks (here for spring), then Cameron Latu and Eyabi Anoma (neither were here in spring).
The inside linebackers were going through drills three at a time. The first group included Markail Benton, Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses (the latter two are the presumptive starters). The second group was Josh McMillon, Ben Davis and freshman Jaylen Moody.
The DBs were split up into two groups (as is typical) early in practice, and we didn’t see them working any specific packages.
One group looked like the safeties, led by Deionte Thompson. He was followed by Xavier McKinney, Jared Mayden, Keaton Anderson and Daniel Wright. After that it was Kyriq McDonald, then freshman Eddie Smith.
The other group appeared to be corners, working in pairs. Trevon Diggs and Shyheim Carter were grouped together, a possible starting combination at corner and nickel. Another group was Nigel Knott and freshman Jalyn Armour-Davis. Another pair was freshman Patrick Surtain Jr. and veteran Donovan Mosley. We’ll have to check back with this group later to get a clearer picture.
New Alabama commentator John Parker Wilson was at practice. There were also scouts from the Ravens, Jets, 49ers and Titans.
Nick Saban is scheduled to speak sometime between 5:00 and 6:00. We’ll be ready for that.