31 July 2008
According to al.com
, it appears as though Redshirt Freshman Right Guard Patrick Crump
has decided to leave the Alabama football team.
The article by Ian Rappaport indicates that Patrick may have simply lost interest in playing football. That's always a shame when that happens to a kid, but it's better for all involved that he has come to this decision prior to the opening of fall camp.
Had he reported for fall camp he would have not only wasted his own time, but would have taken repetitions away from someone who does still have the desire to play.
That is certainly not a knock on Patrick, because I would imagine that this was a terribly difficult decision for him to make.
As for its impact on the Tide team?
While many consider the Offensive Line to be a strength for Alabama in 2008, there is little to no depth on the line at all:
- There is currently no scholarship backup to Andre Smith at Left Tackle. Drew Davis & Taylor Pharr are battling it out for Right Tackle, but there are no other returning scholarship players. That means Bama has just 3 returning scholarship Tackles. Incoming Freshman Tyler Love figures to factor in.
- Guard isn't in much better shape, with only 4 returning scholarship players between the 2 positions. Prospective Left Guard starter Mike Johnson hasn't played guard since 2006 and backup, and backup Right Guard Evan Cardwell has all of his game experience at Center.
While Patrick has had a reputation for being a frequent visitor to the Tide's weight room, at 272 lbs. he still easily 20 lbs., and really closer to 30 lbs. away from being ready to contribute. He was going to be a redshirt Freshman, so there was still plenty of time for him to grow into the role, but only gaining 5 lbs. during his redshirt had to have been alarming for those close to the situation.
As for the other impact on the team?
This gets the number of returning scholarship players down to 60. With 25 incoming guys set to report today, that means that Alabama is at the magic number of 85... at the most. There are some scenarios that could have the Tide below
that number, but we'll go into that during a full breakdown of the numbers in a few days.
We wish Patrick the best.