Spring is here and Monday the 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football team begins spring practice and the perfecting of The Process. Some of the number one 2011 recruiting class enrolled early to be able to participate in spring practice with those coming back from 3 other highly successful recruiting classes. This bodes well for the results that the coaches will see come out of this years workouts. The process is ingrained in those who are coming back and they will help to make sure that the new guys coming in understand that their career as an Alabama football player will live or die on their ability to embrace and understand it.|
Nick Saban and incorporated are great at cherry picking prospects from the junior college ranks and did a great job this year with 3 guys who could be starters and make a major impact in the 2011 season. Aaron Douglas, LT, Jesse Williams, NT and Quinton Dial, DE will all probably be starters with a huge immediate impact.
Jesse Williams 6' 4” 330+ pounds will be the “Thunder from Down Under” for the offensive lines of opposing teams and their quarterbacks will suffer the consequences. He has all that Mount Cody had and more. He's fast and quick. Coach Saban told Cody that he would let him run the ball if he could catch him. Cody never could, The Thunder can. So we might also see him in short yardage situations on the offensive side of the ball.
Quinton Dial will be the other defensive line addition that will compliment the Thunder from Jesse with lightening from the DE position. While Jesse is collapsing the middle he will be coming from the edge and killing opposition quarterbacks ability to perform. Between him, Jesse and the great defensive line talent returning a new record for sacks is very possible in 2011.
Aaron Douglas, formally a freshman all-American offensive lineman and a junior college all-American at Arizona Western College with Jesse Williams, is 6' 6” and 280lbs. He will probably star as the blind side tackle(LT). Although he has had some growing up issues it looks like he now has his act together and will be the protection for our new quarterback that is needed.
Alabama Defense, with those mentioned above and Courtney Upshaw on the defensive line, Dont'a Hightower, and C.J. Mosley at linebacker, Mark Barron returning at safety with the rest of last years secondary, is set to be one of the best defenses in the nation. Defense wins championships!
Who will be the quarterback? Spring practice will be focused on determining if it will be red-shirt sophomore A.J. McCarron, red-shirt freshman Phillip Sims or true freshman Phillip Ely? A.J. Is the one who should come out on top. He has some time under center in real game situations and seems to have a very close relationship with Coach Saban. But the Tide Coaches don't make final decisions until all factors have been considered so this will be interesting to watch. Whoever it turns out to be will be the person that is capable of leading us to another great season.
The backfield with Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and Demetrius Goode has plenty of talent, including Dee Hart who enrolled early to be at Alabama for spring ball. He could make an early impact but there are 3 guys in front of him that have all shown they know how to run downhill.
The offensive line that suffered injuries and did not perform as well as the 2009 line should be healthy and with most of the starters returning and with the addition of Aaron Douglas we should see a complete well rounded team in the Spring Game which will be on ESPNU April 16th at 2 PM.
Top 10 questions to be answered this spring season:
1. Who will be the quarterback?
2. Are the JUCO enrollees all they have been made out to be?
3. Is Mark Barron back to his former capability?
4. Do we have an offensive line that can protect the quarterback?
5. Will “Down Under Thunder” out do the mountain?
6. Who or what combination of receivers will fill the gap left by Julio?
7. Is Dont'a Hightower ready to be the defensive field general?
8. Who will emerge as the team leaders?
9. Will Dee Hart challenge the current running backs?
10. Will Finbaum coach the White Team this year?