13 August 2008
- No injuries. This keeps on rolling, and there could not be better news from camp.
- Brad Smelley returned to full action, meaning that all 104 men that are at practice participated. That's a big wow this far into camp.
- Terrence Cody appears to have absolutely locked down a spot in the nose guard rotation. In fact, at the moment it looks like he could start there. That's a position that's likely to see 3 guys rotate, so starting isn't a huge deal, but Cody looks like the guy there for now.
- The "for now" is the key phrase from above as the returning players begin to fight back - not fight back in terms of how they do it Auburn (no one suffered a broken leg and 3 or 4 didn't band together to beat up a freshman).
- I had guessed earlier this week that we might see some freshman in larger roles to see how they would handle it. It also looks like it was done to see how the upperclassmen would handle the adversity.
- Marquis Johnson & Chris Rogers are surging back into things in the secondary. Johnson worked again as one of the 3 corners with the 1st unit in the nickel package, and Rogers was the #1 corner in the 2nd unit nickel package. Having this type of competition at DB isn't a shock given that Nick Saban will be more hands-on with this group than any other.
- The 2nd unit offensive line has not seen the resurgence by the upperclassmen who were "demoted". Neither William Vlachos, Evan Cardwell nor Taylor Pharr have pushed their way back into the 2nd unit. All 3 of those shock me, but it also says volumes about the Tide's newest 3 offensive lineman.
- Don'ta Hightower continues to be the only freshman linebacker that has already worked his way into the 2-deep. Both Jerrell Harris (SAM) & Courtney Upshaw (JACK) are still working with the 3rd units. I would say that it would classify as a shock if Harris didn't play a lot early, but the improvement of Eryk Anders would be an equal shock, and the reason why.
- A trio of offensive freshman continue to appear as though they'll get heavy playing time. Julio Jones, B.J. Scott & Mark Ingram are getting reps with both the 1st and 2nd units and I expect all 3 to play against Clemson.
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