The defending national champions got started on their preparations for another season Friday, as the Alabama Crimson Tide held its first spring practice of the year.
Before things even got started for Alabama, the team’s official Twitter account released a hype video celebrating the beginning of spring practice sessions:
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) March 11, 2016
The return to the practice fields revealed a few new things to reporters. The wall displaying the Tide’s national championships now features a “15” and a new ornament depicts the total numbers of titles:
— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) March 11, 2016
While Alabama has the tall task of replacing several NFL-bound players, a few of those familiar faces were at the facility on Friday, including Ryan Kelly and Cyrus Jones, according to the Times Daily’s Alex Byington.
Byington also reported a few jersey number changes that were revealed on Friday. Wide receiver Robert Foster is now No. 1, quarterback Blake Barnett took on No. 8 and wide receiver Cam Sims switched to No. 17.
Now on display in the football offices are the Walter Camp Award won by Derrick Henry and the Rimington Trophy won by Kelly.
A couple of new trophies have arrived. pic.twitter.com/w4tao92UyA
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) March 11, 2016
On the field, the most notable takeaway from the day was outside linebacker Rashaan Evans working with the inside linebackers, according to Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News. Suttles speculated that Evans could take on a role similar to the one Dillon Lee held as a senior in 2015.
All eyes will be on the quarterback position in spring practices. Touted redshirt sophomore Blake Barnett will battle last year’s backup Cooper Bateman for the starting role. Bateman, who is heading into his junior season, took the first reps on Friday, but that was due to seniority, according to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough.
Starting safety Eddie Jackson was sidelined with an injury, according to Michael Casagrande of AL.com, and worked on an exercise bike.
The next practice for Alabama isn’t for another 10 days and will happen on Monday, March 21.