For the first time since Alabama opened its fall football camp in early August, the Crimson Tide has been able to work with what appears to be the starting defensive line — with the remainder of the front seven taking shape behind them.

For a third straight day, the Crimson Tide’s Wednesday workout — held in the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility — included full-speed work from defensive linemen LaBryan Ray, DJ Dale and Raekwon Davis. The unofficial second unit in the media viewing period included both freshman Justin Egboigbe, who had worked in Ray’s spot while Ray was out with a foot injury, and Phidarian Mathis, who stepped into Dale’s spot while Dale was out with a knee sprain.

The outside linebackers were Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings. Junior Dylan Moses remained the fixture at inside linebacker, working alongside either freshman Shane Lee or sophomore Markail Benton in various drills. Freshman Christian Harris, who is also expected to be a prominent factor at the position, was in uniform (including knee brace) but did not participate during media viewing.

Also out among the defensive front seven were defensive end Stephon Wynn (ankle) and defensive tackle Antonio Alfano. A freshman, Alfano has not been present at practice this week, missing a third consecutive day on Wednesday. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is expected to give an update on Alfano’s situation at his Thursday press conference.

Saban in TV ads

Also on Wednesday, Saban was the star in a series of television advertisements for the supplemental insurance company AFLAC. The three commercials, which follow a recruiting theme and also include AFLAC’s familiar recurring duck, are set to air during college football broadcast this season.

Saban has acted on other occasions, most notably in “The Blind Side,” where he was generally acknowledged to the best actor of the college coaches (playing themselves) recruiting former Ole Miss star Michael Oher. Saban also starred in a popular commercial for Regions Bank (“I probably am right.”)

Tua on watch list

Tua Tagovailoa Alabama’s junior quarterback, was selected to the 2019 Manning Award Watch List, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced on Wednesday, one of 30 quarterbacks to be recognized. Tagovailoa was also one of five finalists for last year’s award.

The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, was created in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. In its first 15 years, the Manning Award has recognized quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The SEC leads the way with four Manning Award winners (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow).

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