"We’ve never been quite the style of offense I’ve wanted to be here," Saban said. "We’ve always had such good backs, and our offensive line has been pretty good. It’s hard not to feed those guys the ball. When I was at LSU, we were a lot more explosive with our quarterbacks and wide receivers. We need to continue to develop that balance."
Vogler has spent the spring flipping between H-back and tight end for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. It’s the redshirt sophomore’s first real opportunity to make an impact on the offense with the departure of Brad Smelley, and Vogler's not planning on letting it go by. At 6-foot-7, he may be a tad too tall for your typical H-back, but as long as he sees the field, he’ll be happy. "Whatever looks best, they’ll keep on going with that," Vogler said of switching back and forth between H-back and tight end. "Honestly, both (spots) feel great right now. ... They’re pretty similar, just a lot more moving around with H-back. I feel comfortable with both of them, so whatever one they choose to put me at will be fine with me. "You don’t see 6-foot-7, 260-pound H-backs so it’s a little different, a little more difficult trying to get down there with some of the shorter linebackers but it’s bringing new things to the game and teaching me a lot of things about the game."
At 242 pounds, his style is unmistakable: downhill, power running. Fowler's favorite back? Another with the same kind of game: Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Jerome Bettis. "You have to be physical, tough. You can't be scared," Fowler said. "You can't shy away from contact." He certainly doesn't do that, as UA defensive players will attest. "Jalston is big and heavy. He's probably the same size as T.J. Duckett," said linebacker Adrian Hubbard. "It's like trying to tackle a big train. He's huge."
"He does have good speed for his size, and he can run the ball on the edge on certain types of plays," Saban said. "He is a good receiver, he's a good blocker. He has demonstrated that he runs the ball well with his pads pointed north and south. That doesn't mean he doesn't have some ability to cut and make people miss. He does. He's probably got better speed than people think."
"A-Day is always a fun time, and we are excited," Jones said. "It's the first chance to see the 2012 Alabama team as a unit to go out there in a game setting and perform. I think sometimes people perform just a little bit better in a game situation than in practice, but I'll be excited to see just how we come together as a unit and perform."
No matter where he plays -- and he's played everywhere on the offensive line -- Barrett Jones just can't catch a break. As a freshman guard, Jones lined up against the massive Terrence Cody on a daily basis at Alabama's practices. As a sophomore, it was the future No. 3 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Marcell Dareus, whom Jones saw most often. A switch to left tackle didn't make it any easier last season; it just got him better acquainted with Courtney Upshaw. Now, as Jones embarks on his senior season at center, he's lining up against recently converted nose guard Jesse Williams, an every-game starter for the Crimson Tide in 2011. "You put that whole line together, it's a pretty good front four," Jones said with a laugh after Tuesday's practice, Alabama's 13th of the spring. "It's making me better, though."
On a night when several members of the Alabama basketball team were honored at a postseason banquet, one of two players who won't be back next season was in attendance. That was sophomore guard Charles Hankerson Jr., who indicated that he will transfer to a Division I school closer to his home in Miami in pursuit of more playing time. The University of Miami is one possibility, he said.