Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis stands out even when he's not doing anything.

Alabama football: Players to watch during practice include Raekwon Davis and Minkah Fitzpatrick

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although the University of Alabama football team hasn’t put on pads yet, one player who appears to be challenging for a larger role this season is defensive lineman Raekwon Davis.

Coming off a good performance on A-Day, the 6-foot-7, 306-pound sophomore has been lining up next to projected starters Da’Ron Payne and Da’Shawn Hand during the individual drills that reporters have been allowed to observe.

“Raekwon has been working hard on his technique and staying in the playbook, and he just loves to get things right,” Payne said.

Junior college transfer Isaiah Buggs, who wore a support strap on his leg Friday, is another player to keep an eye on. Both players figure to be major parts of the rotation.

What we saw

  • For the second consecutive day, no players were wearing black no-contact jerseys during the viewing period. Players were again in shorts and helmets in steamy conditions, with the heat index in the 90s, humidity above 70 percent and the dew point above 70 as well.
  • Junior Minkah Fitzpatrick, who finished last season at safety, was working with the cornerbacks ahead of converted wide receiver Trevon Diggs. It may be a while before his initial starting position is set. “I think the goal is to get the best four guys, the best five guys on the field in the best positions that will give us the best opportunity to have a chance to be successful in the back end,” coach Nick Saban said. “Minkah can play either place extremely well. So based on how the other players develop will probably determine to a large degree how they end up playing.”
  • After working with the defensive line the day before, freshman Kedrick James was back with the tight ends.
  • In addition to a new sled screen for the defensive line, the offense has new equipment, as well. Receivers have been running through flags set up like a slalom course to work on their cuts.
  • When the wide receivers have run three-wide passing drills, Calvin Ridley has led one group ahead of Derek Kief and Devonta Smith, with Robert Foster wide on the other side with Jerry Jeudy and Tyrell Shavers. Cam Sims has been in the slot with Xavian Marks, Chadarius Townsend and Henry Ruggs III.
  • The initial offensive line has been as expected with, from left to right, Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher, Bradley Bozeman and Lester Cotton leading the first unit. Matt Womack has been the right tackle, ahead of freshman Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood looks more comfortable after going through spring practices.
  • Outside linebacker Terrell Lewis appeared to be a little limited after the following drill, but he did not leave the field:

Fan Day update

Alabama will hold Fan Day on Saturday, with an open practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium starting at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Those heading to the stadium should be aware that Coleman Coliseum will host summer graduation ceremonies at 9 a.m. CT.

Among the 20 athletes slated to receive degrees are J.C. Hassenauer, Derek Kief, Vohn Keith Jr., Pierschbacher and Levi Wallace. Sydney Littlejohn (softball), Bola Olaniyan (men’s basketball), Jacob Kelsoe (men’s swimming and diving) and Canella Tinker (rowing) will receive their master’s degrees.

Correction: In the original story, Raekwon Davis’ first name was misspelled in a headline and in a caption. SEC Country regrets the errors.