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Either the staff thinks McElroy will be a star...

...or Saban is flouting quite a bit of tradition:

Backup quarterback Gary McElroy sported the No. 12 after wearing No. 17 last season. McElroy is in fast company with that number -- it also belonged to, among others, Pat Trammell, Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Scott Hunter and, most recently, Brodie Croyle.

Other tidbits:

-- POSITION CHANGES: One thing that stood out in Thursday's practice was a couple of position changes along the offensive line. Sophomore-to-be Taylor Pharr, who played mostly guard last season, worked at right tackle and Mike Johnson, who manned the starting right tackle post every game a year ago, got in some work at left guard.

-- SECONDARY CHANGE: In the secondary, it appeared Justin Woodall was working alongside Rashad Johnson as a first-team cornerback. Working in the next group was Ali Sharrief.

I think that's a typo in the bit about the secondary, since it's highly unlikely the staff has moved Johnson to corner, so I assume they mean Woodall was working at first team strong safety with Sharrief as a second team safety (especially since Sharrief played a bit of safety last season in dime sets).

Update [2008-3-14 11:25:20 by Todd]:

I either just noticed another mistake in the article or McElroy changed his name to "Gary" to go along with his new number. It's almost like I edited and fact checked that thing...