02 August 2008
| Nick Gentry - #58 – DE – 6-1 – 254 lbs. – Prattville, AL – Prattville HS – Redshirt
Nick got a late start on the Alabama portion of his football career after shoulder surgery prevented him from opening fall camp with the team in 2007. It’s tough enough for a true freshman, especially on the line of scrimmage, to get playing time anyway, and the surgery all but guaranteed that he would redshirt.
Coming from Prattville High School, a recent Alabama pipeline, Nick is looking to follow in the steps of Prattville alumnus, and current Bama Defensive End Bobby Greenwood
. The Prattville program has become a powerhouse, possibly the best High School program in the state of Alabama. As with many of the players from that program, Nick received great coaching at the HS level, and reported to Alabama much closer to being mentally ready to play than many athletes from smaller programs.
: Right now he’s a little light to play the Defensive End position the way that Nick Saban
likes it to be played, but he’s got less than 1 year in the strength and conditioning program. I expect that he’ll continue to get bigger and stronger, even as the year progresses.
There is playing time available on Bama’s front 7, and Nick will likely open fall camp at the #2 spot at Right Defensive End, behind Brandon Deaderick
. His main competition for time in the rotation will likely come from Luther Davis
. There are possibly as many as 5 true freshman that will land at Defensive End, though it is unclear how many will be on the right side.
It’s tough to really gauge what we’ll see from Nick this season because it is tough to know how far the shoulder surgery set him back last season. Luther Davis
played the most among the true freshman Defensive Lineman, but he’s had some off the field issues that have set him back this season. And if Nick had been healthy at the open of camp, it is possible that he might have been ahead of Luther
Bama’s front 7 on defense is what many people expect to be the weakness of the team. With that in mind, look for the coaches to try every warm body early in fall camp to try to find the right combination of people to put together a solid rotation. If Nick wants to be one of those guys he must improve from where he was in the spring. With Luther Davis
up to a robust 299 lbs., Nick also desperately needs to add weight if he expects to compete.