This latest development is wholly unexpected, but in any event according to Nick Saban, Danny Woodson, Jr. has joined the Alabama football team and will begin working out with the team immediately. This latest development comes after weeks of speculation and belief that Woodson would only enroll this fall if Duron Carter became an academic casualty, but obviously that turned out not to be the case with both Carter and Woodson currently in Tuscaloosa. Saban indicated that the staff will use the same routine currently being used to acclimate Carter to also bring Woodson up to speed.
Clearly a scholarship came open somewhere, and no one has been dismissed from the program, so exactly where did the scholarship come from? In his post-practice press conference, Saban hinted that it came at the expense of a walk-on. Per Izzy Gould:
Nick Saban: Would have loved to rewarded walk-ons such as Will Lowery. I felt like my word was important to keep to Woodson Jr.
Lowery is perhaps the only walk-on upperclassman who would legitimately be in line for a scholarship, outside of perhaps Carson Tinker, so if it did come at the expense of a walk-on then that player is likely Lowery.
On the other hand, though, I also wouldn't be surprised if this came at the expense of redshirt freshman punter Jay Williams. The 2010 signee lost out to walk-on Cody Mandell for the starting punter job as a true freshman a year ago, and by all accounts Mandell has once again narrowly edged out Williams for the starting job job again this season after a close battle throughout fall camp. It's hard to give a scholarship to any kicker, much less a back-up punter, so it's possible that Williams may have lost his scholarship and that scholarship went to Woodson. Most have speculated that the punters and kickers we've signed in recent years have effectively been given one-year, de facto try-out scholarships which would not be renewed if those signees did not hold a starting job, so that is possibly what happened in this case.
Either way, regardless of where the space came from, take this as a positive sign for Woodson's development moving forward. The concern with Woodson as a prep prospect was always academics, and few doubted his raw physical ability or his potential to be a significant contributor at the next level. Furthermore, at roughly 6'2 and 200 pounds, Woodson brings the size and the physical threat needed on the outside that the largely undersized UA wide receiver corps is currently missing. A redshirt season is almost a foregone conclusion given the late start, but even so Woodson will develop much faster by spending the semester on the UA scout team than he otherwise would have by sitting at home in Mobile.