"Better late than never" - some guy (I'll look it up tomorrow)
Diehard critics and fans alike know all too well that Bama isn't fond of releasing scholarship information. Unfortunately for our fanbase, that means it is very difficult to easily tell who is on the NCAA-limited 85-man roster. That's where Roll Bama Roll comes in.
A few weeks ago, the spring roster was released. As we do every year, we took that roster and tried to tease out who exactly is on scholarship. The methodology is pretty simple. We take the released spring roster, and cross reference it against the signing classes of the last five years. Though all of the most recent signing class isn't on the roster (only the early enrollees appear), the class is included in its entirety. After totaling up each class, we find that Bama currently has 88 players on scholarship.
You may also note that one prominent name does not appear on the list - Jacob Coker. This is because he did not sign a Letter of Intent (LOI), and he obviously wasn't on the spring roster. Despite him not meeting those criteria, it's makes sense to go ahead and put in a placeholder, as that roster spot will have to free up for him. That puts the scholarship count at 89, three over the limit.
We already covered a number of the personnel changes that took place at the beginning of spring practice, but those are already accounted for, so none of those changes help clear up the three man gap. So where will the three spots come from? If we're looking at positional depth charts, I would think quarterback is ripe to lose at least one player. Before spring practice, I would have wagered that Alec Morris was a prime candidate to move on, but after his transition to punter (and a pretty decent A-day performance at that position), I think he'll be given the opportunity to compete and is suddenly on much firmer ground.
The most obvious player to move on is probably Parker McLeod. A bit of surprise signee last year, as he was a lightly regarded quarterback with limited prospects outside of Tuscaloosa, McLeod is either the fifth or sixth string quarterback. I'll be shocked if he's still on the team this fall.
Another name that I've heard mentioned (just as speculation, not even off of unfounded rumors) is Tyren Jones. The redshirt freshman running back hasn't had a chance to really show much, but given the depth chart (Jones is presently fifth string at best) a move here wouldn't be surprising. As a personal evaluation, when I saw Jones on A-day, I was surprised (and not in a good way). He's smaller than I thought (I was thinking his lower body was thicker), and I wasn't blown away by his speed or moves.
Other wildcard names would be Anthony Orr (a redshirt senior defensive lineman who likely has a degree in hand, and plays only in garbage time), and Isaac Luatua (a redshirt junior offensive lineman who doesn't seem likely to crack the starting rotation in the couple years he has left). Another note about Luatua, ever since he was signed, there was speculation that the Tide tried to land him to be able to later sign his little brother (Tyler, a four-star tight end in the '14 class). Well, the 2014 national signing day came and went, and little brother Tyler signed with Notre Dame. That one may be a name to watch.
Finally, I would be remiss to not mention that there is always the possibility that one or more of those three spots may open up due to a 2014 signee not qualifying academically. There are no indications right now that this is going to happen, but it is a possibility that bears mentioning.
With the impending transfer of Parker McLeod, we are now at 88 players.
Brandon Hill is headed out, it seems. That gets us down to 87 players.
Listed below is the entire 85(ish) man roster, listed by signing class:
|Shaun Dion Hamilton