TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With Cam Robinson (shoulder) out this spring and a few spots open, there has been plenty of experimenting along the offensive line at Alabama.
Outside of left tackle when Robinson returns, every spot along the line appears to be up for grabs as the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff works to put the five best players on the field.
Coming out of Saturday’s scrimmage, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked to evaluate the offensive line through eight practices.
A few names like Lester Cotton, Korren Kirven and Ross Pierschbacher have been mentioned multiple times as players who have had good springs thus far. Following Alabama’s first scrimmage on Saturday, Saban praised some young players for their efforts this spring.
“Lester Cotton has done a really good job. He’s played at left tackle, right tackle and we’ve played him at guard some. Kirven has done a really nice job. He hurt his foot a little bit and missed a practice or two, but we’ve been really encouraged by what he’s been able to do. Really like Ross (Pierschbacher) at center. I think he’s done a nice job and made that transition fairly well. The young guard are getting better, talking about Dallas (Warmack) and Brandon Kennedy.”
One of the biggest surprises this spring has been the play of January enrollee Jonah Williams. According to the 247Sports Composite, Williams was a five-star prospect and the No. 2 offensive tackle in the 2016 recruiting cycle so the talent is there. But Williams has already shown the ability to play both tackle spots along the offensive line. That type of versatility goes a long way in Alabama’s coaching staff’s eyes.
Going back to the 2014 recruiting cycle, Alabama has signed 14 offensive linemen ranked four-star or higher according to 247Sports Composite.
“We’re working hard to get the best five guys on the field,” Saban said. “The young guys, we’ve had some of the freshman guys who have made progress. Jonah Williams has really played nicely and actually played left tackle today with the first team and did a really nice job. I feel better about the number of guys that we have to coach and develop on the offensive line. We need to see what we need to do to get the best five guys out there.”