TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama football team had a new player at right guard during Monday’s practice with redshirt freshman Chris Owens lining up between Bradley Bozeman and Matt Womack for a sled drill as part of the media observation period.
Lester Cotton, who started five games last season had been working with the first unit all spring, watched the drill without participating. It wasn’t clear if he was being held out due to an injury.
Monday’s practice was the team’s first following Saturday’s initial scrimmage of spring.
“Lester Cotton is playing right guard,” Nick Saban said after the scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “He probably could play right tackle if we needed him to. Womack is playing right tackle and he’s making progress and doing a good job.”
What we saw
- Running back Damien Harris (sprained foot) was in uniform, but was held out of individual drills during the viewing period. Saban had indicated that the team might be cautious with him for the next couple of days.
- Running backs Bo Scarbrough (leg) and B.J. Emmons (foot) continued to wear black no-contact jerseys and go through individual drills. With Harris sidelined, Scarbrough led the running backs through their reps.
- After not participating in Saturday’s scrimmage, Josh Jacobs (thigh) was back in his usual spot with the running backs.
- For the first time this spring, safety Jared Mayden (hip) went through drills with his position group, albeit in a black jersey. He began the spring riding an exercise bike during practice.
- Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (knee) continues to work in a black no-contact jersey, but is still being held out of contact situations.
What we learned
- The Trevon Diggs experiment at cornerback continued, and with each practice is looking more like a possible permanent move. “I feel like he picked it up quicker than I did,” cornerback Anthony Averett said. “It was kind of similar to him, I played a lot of offense in high school and just transitioned to defense when I got here, so he’s definitely taken that (move) very quickly, taken to it very well … He just makes plays on the ball. Sometimes you just have that knack, be natural at it.”
- With Diggs at corner, Minkah Fitzpatrick was again at safety when the secondary lined up in a dime package.
- Tony Brown looks locked in at star as the fifth defensive back in the nickel package. Hootie Jones was the sixth defensive back in the dime package.
- With Owens working with the first unit, redshirt freshman Deonte Brown took reps with the second-team offensive line. Brandon Kennedy was the third-string right guard, while the left side had a walk-on filling in.
- Alabama has an abbreviated practice schedule this week as Saban doesn’t like to have the team scrimmage on Easter weekend. The Crimson Tide will practice on Wednesday and hold its second scrimmage on Friday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban won’t meet with media again until after the closed scrimmage.