It's that time of year again. Temperatures are slowly rising. The azaleas are in full bloom. The smell of freshly cut grass and trimmed organizational groupings is in the air. As we all know, Saban is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to discussing who exactly is on scholarship. He makes it clear that this information is on a need to know basis, and has, on several occasions, almost lorded over the fact that the media is decidedly in the "does not need to know" camp.
Unfortunately for the fanbase at large, this secrecy means the composition of the 85-man roster is shrouded in uncertainty. Fortunately for the fanbase, Roll Bama Roll is more than willing to do the research necessary to try to clear up this cloudy catalogue. Below, we have listed every signee from the last five years that appears on the official spring roster, which was released on Thursday.
In no big surprise, fifth year seniors Jonathan Atchison, William Ming, and Chris Bonds were not on the roster. Also missing were Marvin Shinn and Danny Woodson Jr., both of whom are expected to transfer. After removing all of these players (as well as the Skittles four) from the list, the grand total is... [drumroll] ...86 players. /PriceIsRightTrombone
On the surface, this is not ideal, since there is an 85-man limit come fall. Behind the scenes, however, we may already be in compliance with the 85-man limit. On this team, there are a number of players that have the familial resources to pay their own way and not count against the 85-man limit. Specifically, I am speaking of AJ McCarron and Harrison Jones (I believe his brother Walker Jones has to count this year, since he was recruited and signed a LOI). If this is not the case, then there really are only two other possible scenarios: 1) Saban expects someone in the 2013 class to not qualify, or 2) someone else will be leaving the team.
I'm hoping neither (1) nor (2) comes to pass, for the mystery player's sake, but also for our own educative purposes. If they don't then we'll know definitively once and for all that Saban has at least one player playing off scholarship for the purpose of meeting the limitation. We'll never know for sure who, but it will be a concrete piece of evidence we can use in future evaluations of this sort.
Listed below is the entire 85(ish) man roster, listed by signing class.
|Kenny Bell||Cade Foster||Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix||Ryan Anderson||Jonathan Allen|
|A.J. McCarron||Jalston Fowler||Trey DePriest||Dakota Ball||Anthony Averett|
|Kevin Norwood||Johnavon Fulton||Xzavier Dickson||Deion Belue||Cooper Bateman|
|Tana Patrick||Adrian Hubbard||Chris Black||Leon Brown|
|Anthony Steen||Brandon Ivory||Malcolm Faciane||Landon Collins||Jonathan Cook|
|Ed Stinson||Harrison Jones||LaMichael Fanning||Amari Cooper||Raheem Falkins|
|Kellen Williams||Arie Kouandjio||Dee Hart||Denzel Devall||Reuben Foster|
|Chad Lindsay||Chris Jones||Kenyan Drake||Robert Foster|
|C.J. Mosley||Ryan Kelly||Kurt Freitag||Derrick Henry|
|Anthony Orr||Cyrus Kouandjio||Brandon Greene||Brandon Hill|
|Nick Perry||Isaac Luatua||Adam Griffith||Grant Hill|
|Austin Shepherd||Wilson Love||Caleb Gulledge||O.J. Howard|
|Blake Sims||Jeoffrey Pagan||Cyrus Jones||Eddie Jackson|
|Brian Vogler||Bradley Sylve||Korren Kirven||Tyren Jones|
|DeAndrew White||Vinnie Sunseri||Darren Lake||Walker Jones|
|Jarrick Williams||Jabriel Washington||Dillon Lee||Alvin Kamara|
|Alec Morris||Dee Liner|
|Reggie Ragland||Cole Mazza|
|Geno Smith||Parker McLeod|
|Dalvin Tomlinson||A'Shawn Robinson|
|T.J. Yeldon||Maurice Smith|
***UPDATE - 08.06.13***
Since this article was written, a few things have changed:
Phillip Ely Transferred, reducing the 2011 scholarships to 15.
Darius Paige was medically disqualified, but Bradley Bozeman took his slot, so the number of scholarships for '13 was unaffected.
The transfer of Ely got the numbers down to the 85-man limit.