16 June 2008
| Travis McCall - #83 - TE - 6-2 - 261 lbs. - Pratville, AL - Pratville HS - 3 Varsity Letters
When he signed to play with Alabama there was a question as to what position he would play - TE, DE, or even linebacker. The decision was ultimately made to put Travis at TE, and a solid, though not spectacular, career has followed.
I say that Travis has had a solid career, despite the fact that he has just 17 receptions, because he has spent a great deal of his career as a de facto 6th offensive lineman. Alabama's extreme struggles on the offensive line over the last 3 seasons have made it necessary for the Tide to keep the TE in as an extra blocker, typically on the right side to help the right tackle.
While he is not Bama's best pass-catching TE, he is the best total package. He is easily the best blocker among the returning guys at his position, and is a solid route runner and receiver. His blocking ability has been what has kept him as the starter at TE.
Right tackle is still a question mark for Bama, so don't be surprised to see Travis, especially early in the season, continue to perform the same role as he has the past 3 years. If an effective right tackle can be found Travis will have the opportunity to be more of a threat in the passing attack.
Jim McElwain's offense can be a very good one for Travis if that right tackle can be found. McElwain loves to use 2 TE sets and to pick on mismatches as much as possible. Travis has good speed for a player of his size, and is an especially adept short yardage receiver.
Jim McElwain also loves to use his TE as a fullback, shifting him from the line of scrimmage into the backfield; something referred to as an H-back in a lot of offenses. Travis excelled in this role in the spring, and will likely be used as the lead blocker in what initially looks like "one back" formations.
It would not surprise me in the slightest, if that right tackle can be found, for Travis to literally double his career production in his Senior season. Regardless, with his measurable he should do well at the NFL combine, and could be a 2nd day draft pick.