Itís been awhile since my last blog (where I raved about our recruiting class), so I thought Iíd address a couple of miscellaneous things that have been going on in the offseason.Remember, I really donít have any inside sources or anything.These are just my opinions based on things I am hearing.
It appears that Alonzo Lawrence, blue-chip CB signee from Mississippi, has made the necessary test score to qualify.If true, this is huge news.Not only do I expect him to be a starter at CB next year, but this might also allow Burton Scott to play on offense, where I think he will be extremely dangerous from a number of positions.
As you probably know, we hired a new offensive coordinator because our former OC, Major Applewhite, left to become an assistant head coach at Texas.Our new OC, Jim McElwain from Fresno State, appears to be a good hire.Our offense should be very balanced, but I expect our power game to be improved under McElwain.I hate that Applewhite left, but to be honest, I never thought Saban was happy with Applewhite, and everybody seems happy with the McElwain hire.If you need assurance, look up he offensive stats at Fresno State both before and during McElwainís tenure.I think youíll be impressed.
Kind of lost in the McElwain hiring is the fact that we have a new defensive coordinator.Kirby Smart has been promoted to defensive coordinator, and our former defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, has been promoted to assistant head coach.Honestly, Iím not sure if this will make any tangible difference in what we see on the field.The defense belongs to Coach Saban.
We also hired Bobby Williams to coach our special teams and tight ends.To be honest, I donít know if he knows much about special teams and tight ends, but I know that he used to be on Sabanís staff at Michigan State, and he was extremely highly thought of.As a matter of fact, he became head coach at MSU after Saban left for LSU.Saban thinks very highly of him, and he is a tenacious recruiter.We can thank him for Mark Ingram in this class.Iím very happy to have Williams on the staff.
A lot of Internet posters have been posting that even though we had a great recruiting class, we shouldnít expect many if any of the incoming freshmen to contribute right away, because of all the talent we have returning next year.I think these folks are way off base.Honestly, I wouldnít be surprised to see as many as ten incoming true freshmen get significant playing time (not just special teams) next year.Julio Jones, Burton Scott, Tyler Love, Jerrell Harris, Doníta Hightower, Alonzo Lawrence, Mark Barron, Corey Smith, Mark Ingram, and Devonta Bolton are all guys I expect to see next year.If Kerry Murphy qualifies, add him to that list.
Unfortunately, Jeremy Elder has been kicked of team for a really, really stupid decision he made.Itís too bad; he was very talented, but there are some lines you canít cross.
Rashad Johnson was also caught up in a legal matter, but it appears that heíll be able to rejoin the team.From all accounts, there were extenuating circumstances around his issue, so donít judge him too harshly.
Ezekial Knightís football career appears to be over for medical reasons.He was one of our best defenders, and heíll be sorely missed.
It appears that Prince Hall has left the team.In my opinion, he was never happy at Bama, so even though he will be missed (and make no mistake, he will be missed), itís probably for the best.
Finally, Luther Davis is also off the team for the time being.I really do hope he can work his way back, because his potential is huge.He could be an All-American on the defensive line.Get it together, Luther!
I guess thatís enough for now.Never a dull moment with Bama football!Iíll post more blogs as more and more information from our spring practice starts to roll in.Until then, as always, feel free to send me any questions or comments.