14 August 2008
- Still no injuries. With Sam Burnthall having left the team and walk-on Adam Fuller having had surgery on his left hand, the Tide is at 103 players, and all 103 participated in full drills today.
- Once thought to be one of the more fierce battles in fall camp the right tackle position appears to have been locked down early. Drew Davis has only distanced himself from John Michael Boswell & Taylor Pharr in his bid to turn the right tackle position from the anathema its been for the past 4 years and into a strength.
- That 2nd unit offensive line made up of 3 true freshman, a converted DT & a guy with no playing experience... the one we thought would be a brief experiment... it's still there. I'm not sure what's going on with William Vlachos & Evan Cardwell, but I expected both guy to contribute this year, and at the moment they are still with the 3rd team.
- The battle at SAM linebacker continues to be one of the best in the fall camp. Yesterday was Jerrell Harris' day to work with the first unit, today it was Chavis Williams. The one constant has been Eryk Anders - still a complete surprise to see with the first unit.
- It looks like the battle for the 5th DB in the Tide's nickel package may have become a 2-man race between Marquis Johnson & Mark Barron. Earlier in the week we saw Robby Green & Alonzo Lawrence getting reps there, but Johnson has rebounded strong and looks to be the chief guy if Bama decides to have Javier Arenas slide into the star position and use a reserve as an extra corner. The interesting formation is the one that has Barron, a high school linebacker turned college safety, in the game as the 5th DB. His skills as a run stopper could greatly benefit him if Bama decides to use the nickel package as frequently as they did last year, where he could serve as a hybrid LB-DB.
- With Barron getting a lot of reps there, Justin Woodall appears to have further established himself as the starter at the safety position opposite Rashad Johnson. The surprising thing is that walk-on Tyrone King is continuing to get a large number of reps with Ali Sharrief as the second unit safeties.
- Brad Smelley still isn't 100% after his hamstring injury earlier in the week, but he still looks like he might factor in to the TE rotation this fall. If Colin Peek's appeal with the NCAA is denied, Brad just might sneek his way onto the field this year - though he will still have to fight through at least 2 of the other 4 TEs ahead of him to do so.
- It's still to early to say that the move of Demetrius Goode to DB is permanent, but he has remained there all week. If he's still at DB when the Tide resumes practice after the Sunday and Monday break, then it will be safe to assume that he'll likely stay there this year.
- That could open the door for either Ivan Matchett or Chris Jordan to get some snaps this season. I've already got Mark Ingram penciled in as the #3 back, but both Jim McElwain & Nick Saban love to use as many as 4 backs, and only Roy Upchurch would stand between those other 2 true freshman and playing time.
- Milton Talbert continues to hold off Alfred McCullough as the reserve behind Brandon Deaderick. Given McCullough's performance on A-Day, I figured this would take a couple of days to reverse itself, but Talbert is still working with the 2s. Give the kid some credit, he is known as one of the harder workers on the team, and it looks like he's being rewarded for it.
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