TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama took the field for its seventh spring practice Friday on a gloomy day in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide worked in shells (shoulder pads, helmets, shorts) as the team continued to prepare for its first spring scrimmage on Saturday.
Here are some takeaways:
- As expected, linebacker Keith Holcombe was not at practice. Holcombe is still with the baseball team. He’s expected to be with the football team for Saturday’s scrimmage.
- The secondary was the group to watch today as Alabama worked on what appeared to be its dime package. Marlon Humphrey, who started all 15 games last season, and Anthony Averett were the cornerbacks in the first group. Averett is one of the players hoping to replace Cyrus Jones. Minkah Fitzpatrick lined up at the star position where he started 10 games last year. Fitzpatrick’s versatility gives Alabama options in the secondary. He can play cornerback if the Tide plays its base defense or slide inside when the Tide goes to nickel and dime. The safeties are a little harder to figure out with Eddie Jackson (leg) limited. Jackson participated in individual drills and shadowed his teammates, but is still wearing a black jersey. Ronnie Harrison, Hootie Jones and Maurice Smith appeared to be the three safeties working with the first group. Ryan Anderson lined up at outside linebacker with Reuben Foster at inside linebacker.
- The second group was much more jumbled, but a few notables from a secondary standpoint include Kendall Sheffield at one of the cornerback spots, Tony Brown at star and Deointe Thompson and Shawn Burgess-Becker each working at one of the safety spots.
- There was plenty of movement along the offensive line. Lester Cotton worked at left guard with Korren Kirven at left tackle. Jonah Williams was slotted at right tackle. Ross Pierschbacher is still at center. He and J.C. Hassenauer appear to be the top two guys there. Don’t expect much to be settled with this group just yet.
- 2016 signees Ben Davis and Terrell Hall were spotted at practice. Davis watched the inside linebackers while Hall stood next to the outside linebackers.
Up next: Alabama will have its first scrimmage on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tide coach Nick Saban will speak to reporters after the scrimmage.