Alabama has several stars returning this season, but there’s a trio of skill players who might create more buzz than well-known teammates — such as Calvin Ridley and O.J. Howard — at Saturday’s A-Day scrimmage.
Below, we break down three names Crimson Tide fans absolutely need to remember when they walk into Bryant-Denny Stadium:
Robert Foster, wide receiver
You probably remember Foster as the Crimson Tide’s No. 1 receiving option last September. The rising junior tore his rotator cuff while chasing down a Jake Coker pass against Ole Miss, and then missed the remainder of the season while Alabama’s inexperienced receiving corps became one of the team’s strengths.
Now, Foster is a veteran presence on an elite unit. Ridley and ArDarius Stewart have a chance to rack up big numbers in 2016, but Foster ran past them in spring testing, and then grabbed four passes for 106 yards and two touchdown in last weekend’s scrimmage.
Expect Alabama’s quarterbacks to look his way often on A-Day.
Xavian Marks, wide receiver
Despite recording just three total touches last season, the 5-foot-8 rising sophomore will likely see plenty of pigskin this fall.
“He is very quick, very fast, has very good hands,” Saban said last week. “He’s not a big guy, but he can overcome all that and he has made a tremendous amount of improvement.”
Marks is expected to be valuable on special teams, where Saban is looking to fill returner spots after Kenyan Drake and Cyrus Jones left town. He’ll be the smallest player on the field Saturday, but a sub-4.4 40-yard dash will make him tough to bring down.
Bo Scarbrough, running back
The former five-star phenom has delivered through two spring scrimmages. Barring a huge Saturday from Damien Harris — 20 carries for 92 yards this spring — expect Scarbrough to be the clear backfield favorite entering the summer.
He’s racked up 243 yards and four touchdowns on just 21 carries through two scrimmages, numbers that make it easy to see why the rising sophomore is already a Heisman favorite, despite barely carrying the ball last season.
“I like his work ethic, I like his toughness,” Saban said in March. “I think there’s things that we need to improve on, but we’re encouraged by what he’s done to this point.”
A-Day festivities begin at 9 a.m. ET this Saturday. Check out the full schedule here.