So Saban went to SEC media days and said things like, "I don't want to minimize the other quarterbacks," and insisted that, "This is an open competition, no doubt."
"Everyone knows that," he added for emphasis.
Except Coker is the clear favorite. He fits the system best, has the most talent and may be the most mature after three years of ups and downs at Florida State. He may not be as popular among teammates as incumbent Blake Sims, but he's ingratiating himself quickly if you take the word of wideouts Christion Jones and Amari Cooper, who described him as laid-back off the field and take charge between the lines.
"Everyone knows that."
LB Reuben Foster -- The hard-hitting sophomore is loaded with talent and potential but he simply couldn't stay healthy enough to land a spot next to Trey DePriest during the spring. That honor went to junior Reggie Ragland, who enters as the front-runner in a position battle that will unfold over the next few weeks. Foster has shown flashes of his five-star talent over the past year, but his coaches will need to see it over an extended stretch before swapping him in place of Ragland, a veteran who has been patiently waiting for this sort of opportunity. Four weeks' worth of proven reliability would be a good start for one of the Crimson Tide's most highly touted signees in recent years.
Foster is an absolute bull who needs to keep his head up while tackling. That is all.
8. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: Fellow freshmen Jones and Robert Nkemdiche stole the headlines heading into last year but Robinson outplayed both, finishing with 38 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Nobody's sleeping on him this year. Robinson has yet to turn 20, though he looks closer to 40, and he'll be counted on to make plays up front for a Crimson Tide defense that struggled down the stretch a year ago.
Wreck'em Robinson gonna run wild out there this year. What's the over/under for his total sacks this season? 7.5?
"It works for me because I'm kind of a freak at DB (defensive back)," Harrison said on a television interview with WCTV. "You don't really see DBs my size, 6-3, 205, that can run and play the ball like I can. I'm really a mismatch on DB and Alabama's known for putting first-round DBs in the league and I can go there and be the next one."
Harrison was asked if he could be the next Richard Sherman, a star cornerback for the Seattle Seahaws. "Either the next Richard Sherman or the next (former Alabama star and current Green Bay Packer) Hasean Clinton-Dix," he said.
Well the kid clearly doesn't lack confidence.
Former Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams missed all of his rookie NFL season because of knee problems. Healthy again, he'd been turning heads in the Seattle Seahawks' offseason workouts. But on Wednesday, Williams was taken off the field by cart after suffering a leg injury during one-on-one pass block/rush drills at Seattle's training camp.