For today’s practice update, we’re going to go through the events of practice position by position and give you the latest news. Here we go.
Quarterbacks: Nothing new. AJ McCarron is the No. 1 guy, no doubt about that. Everyone else (Phillip Sims and Phillip Ely) are battling for No. 2.
Runningbacks: With the absence of Eddie Lacy for all of spring to the toe injury that hurt him all of last season and Blake Sims out for a spring break hip injury, the depth chart is looking like this. 1. Jalston Fowler. 2. Dee Hart.
A member of the scout team is running his reps before star recruit T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon is looking good though, he could move up soon. Nick Saban will make him earn it first though.
Wide Receivers: This has been a little bit of a revolving door, with guys going in and out of 1st and 2nd string. Today, Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood and Kenny Bell were in the No. 1 rotation. The No. 2 rotation was DeAndrew White, Danny Woodson Jr. and early enrollee Chris Black.
Offensive Line: Chance Warmack and Anthony Steen have been switching between left guard and right guard recently, probably to find the right chemistry. Here was today’s lineup, from left to right. Cyrus Kouandjio, Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones, Anthony Steen and D.J. Fluker. Jones moving to center seems to be a very good move; has been throughout spring practice, anyway.
Defensive Line: Damien Square at his end of the line is almost the only set thing here. Alabama is experimenting a lot to replace Josh Chapman in the middle, even moving Jesse Williams in there from time-to-time. The possibility of a defensive end like Williams moving also puts a big question mark on that position too.
Linebacker: Still some shuffling and battling to do here. Nico Johnson and C.J. Mosley seem to be favorites. HaSean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix has seen time there, Trey Depriest has seen time there, as have Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson. I have no choice but to throw a TBD in at this position. Sure, Johnson, Mosley and DePriest have an inside track, but the positions (Mike, Sam, Jack and Will) are far from determined.
Secondary: Safeties are pretty much set with Robert Lester and Vinnie Sunseri. Obviously, no one has a set starting job, but they are the closest to locked in as anyone else on the defense.
Cornerback is going to be interesting. There is Dee Milliner, coming off of a serious improvement last season from the season before it, but newcomers Travell Dixon and Deion Belue have shown the talent necessary to play right away at Alabama. I’ve also seen HaSean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix see some reps at every secondary position.
So it’s safe to say the Tide is still experimenting in the secondary. That’s not surprising though, since Saban always holds his secondary to a higher standard of excellence than the rest of the team (not purposefully)
Special Teams: Long snapper Carson Tinker seems to be rather set in his starting role. The kicking situation is very fluid and the possibility of using a two-kicker system is more likely than not unless a freshman prospect blows the staff away. So, there will probably be more of Jeremy Shelley and Cade Foster in 2012 if spring practice is any indicator.
Cody Mandell’s competition from last year, Jay Williams, has left the football team to try his hand at baseball. So, it looks like Mandell is without a rival for the punting job, barring a newcomer that proves himself.