Redshirt freshman Brent Calloway will practice at weakside linebacker in the spring after spending last fall at running back, though Saban stressed the move is experimental rather than permanent. "It's always my disposition to look at the guy at what he didn't do. You can always move him back to what he was doing. He already did that for a year, he already knows that," Saban said. "We're looking at him at what he didn't do. We recruited him as a guy who could play running back, and could play linebacker."
How much will Alabama's offense change with a new coordinator? Jim McElwain is gone after four seasons. Doug Nussmeier was hired in January after serving as the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach at Washington. Saban made it clear that wholesale changes aren't planned. "This is Alabama's offense," Saban said. "We will make some changes, and we actually have people visiting right now that we're trying to learn new things and get new ideas and make improvements. But I would think we would like to move toward being more like what we were in the bowl game in terms of the diversity of what we do on offense." The key, Saban said, is to determine what this group of players can do.
Johnson doesn't want 2012 to mimic Alabama's three-loss 2010 or the uncharacteristic break the defense showed at times. In order to make sure Alabama's defense doesn't fall too far from last year's historic performance, Johnson is increasing his leadership role and recruiting others to as well. He wants to not only lead by his play but by his words. With more youngsters around the defense, Johnson said he's tried to keep the focus of the defense steady. He's looking to motivate players to be better than their predecessors. He's also making sure that he's the voice of this team. Johnson admitted there were times last year when players didn't stand up and say anything when things went wrong. The silence became disruptive, Johnson said.
WR Kenny Bell
2011 season: Caught 17 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore.
What he was asked to do a season ago: Occasional starter who maintained his spot among the top five receivers in the rotation.
What he'll be asked to do in 2012: Like Kevin Norwood, who also made his way to UA in 2009, Bell is in position to nail down a role among the Crimson Tide's top three receivers. Vertical threat who needs to show he's strong enough to separate from physical coverage and finish plays when the ball is in his hands.
Repeating as national champs is never an easy task. However, the mission for Alabama is even more difficult when you consider the personnel losses. The Crimson Tide lose four first-team All-SEC players and three that earned second-team honors. The good news? Alabama has recruited as well as any team in college football, with each of its last five hauls ranking in the top five of Athlon Sports’ top 50 signing classes. In addition to player losses, Alabama had to replace offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who departed to become the head coach at Colorado State. There's no lack of talent in Tuscaloosa, but could the youth and inexperience be too much to overcome in 2012? The schedule isn’t overwhelmingly difficult, but two road trips – at Arkansas and at LSU – could make or break Alabama’s hopes of repeating.
Alabama had won four straight before the loss to Ole Miss, but has averaged just 53 points and 33-percent shooting over the past two games, including a six-point win over Auburn. Tide forward JaMychal Green said ending the regular season with that performance led to one of the season's most intense practices on Monday and a sour feeling in the locker room two days earlier. "It was mostly quiet," Green said. "Everybody had their head down. We knew there were a lot of things we could have done better and knew we let each other down as teammates. Coach Grant got on us a little bit. As he said, we didn't give a lot of effort."
University of Alabama senior JaMychal Green and sophomore Trevor Releford have been named to the All-Southeastern Conference men’s basketball second team as voted on by the league’s coaches. Green earned the honor after averaging 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season. The honor is the third All-SEC accolade for the senior who was a first-team selection last season and an All-Freshman honoree in 2009. Green currently ranks third in career scoring among active SEC players and first in rebounding in addition to a league best 26 career double-doubles. Releford was named to the second team after earning All-Freshman honor last season. In his second season at UA, he’s averaged 12.0 points and 2.8 assists per game. He also leads the league in steals with 2.1 per game and 2.5 against SEC opponents.
The top ranked Alabama softball team looks to continue its perfect start to the 2012 season when it welcomes instate foe Samford University to Rhoads Stadium on Wednesday, March 7, with first pitch at 6 p.m. The Tide enters the game with a perfect 17-0 record, tied for the third best start in school history, tying last season and the 2008 team.
While few coaches in America have been able to equal Nick Saban's recruiting efforts over the last five years at Alabama, one position Saban and his staff has struggled to recruit for is quarterback. Alabama's lack of history when it comes to high-profile quarterbacks as well as its reputation as a running-based offense have made it difficult for the Crimson Tide to attract the nation's elite signal callers. The quarterback position is likely to be one of the top priorities in Alabama's 2013 recruiting class and the Tide has already extended scholarship offers to a number of the nation's elite quarterback prospects.
Anthony P. Veteri Sr. later went on to become a NFL official, spending 23 seasons on the field, working four Super Bowls. He also worked in the NFL office for eight years under the league’s supervisor of officials.
To his right and just above the desk in John Cohen's office sits a picture of one of coaching idols -- Hall of Fame and former University of Alabama football coach Paul W. Bryant. "I would hate to compare myself to Bear Bryant, but I grew up a huge fan of everything about him," Cohen said. "This will sound crazy, but I loved watching (former Alabama men's basketball coach) Wimp Sanderson and his style."