TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Sarcastically, cheers filled Bryant-Denny Stadium with 10:55 remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s A-Day game.
Alabama kicker Adam Griffith made a 21-yard field goal after missing attempts from 36, 47, 42 and 54 during the Crimson Tide’s spring scrimmage.
Afterward, coach Nick Saban didn’t mention Griffith by name, but did say that he was disappointed with the missed field goals.
Griffith made only 71.9 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2015, and that came after missing his first four to start the season.
Perhaps Alabama’s kicking qualms could have been resolved if Eddy Pineiro had stuck with his commitment in the Class of 2016.
Pineiro, who was rated the nation’s No. 1 kicker in the class, originally committed to Alabama in July of 2015 before de-committing in December. A day after announcing his plans to back off of his pledge to the Crimson Tide, Pineiro committed to Florida.
Last week during the Gators’ spring game, Pineiro made kicks of 52, 46 and 56 yards, shattering Florida’s record for the longest kick in their scrimmage.
Alabama did not sign a kicker in its 2016 class after Pineiro de-committed. The Crimson Tide did welcome Mitchell Wasson to the team as a preferred walk-on, but like Pineiro, he flipped his commitment, too, but this time to Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs.
Because of Wasson and Pineiro’s decisions to choose other schools, there’s nowhere for Alabama to turn to in the kicking game if Griffith’s struggles continue into the regular season. He’s the only scholarship kicker currently on the roster.
It’s clear that the kicking game is Alabama’s weakest unit, but the Crimson Tide survived last year, winning its 16th national championship despite being ranked No. 82 nationally in field goal percentage.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.