Happy Friday, everyone. The baseball and softball teams will be busy dealing with South Carolina this weekend as the #6 ladies host the Gamecocks while the men travel to Columbia. The NCAA swimming and diving championships are going on as well, with Alabama swimmer Zane Waddell earning All-American honors in the 50M.
Oh yeah, the football team is practicing, too:
It’s still early, but we got our first look at some of the offensive line rotations on Thursday. The first group had rising sophomore Jonah Williams at left tackle, Ross Pierschbacher at left guard, Bradley Bozeman at center, Lester Cotton at right guard and Matt Womack at right tackle. Williams is making the move from right to left tackle with Cam Robinson gone. Cotton started games at right guard last season, but lost his spot due to injuries and inconsistent performances. Womack doesn’t have much experience, but he’s a big, athletic player.
The second group had redshirt freshman Chris Owens at left tackle, Dallas Warmack at left guard, J.C. Hassenauer at center, Brandon Kennedy at right guard and Scott Lashley at right tackle. Lashley also took one rep at right tackle with the first group.
It appears that Womack will get the first look at the coveted right tackle spot, next to Lester Cotton. He and Lashley will look to make earning a starting job difficult for the Tide’s talented newcomers. Another interesting note: Ronnie Clark is avoiding the crowd at RB by working at tight end.
“That’s what I came here to play, was cornerback,” Fitzpatrick said Thursday. “I moved to Star my freshman year because we had Marlon and Cyrus (Jones) out there, and then last year Eddie (Jackson) went down, so I had to move to safety. Now this year, I’m at where I feel much more comfortable, really. And Coach trusts me to be out there and do a good job out there, so hopefully I get to stay there.”
It certainly seems that Minkah wants to play corner but man, I think he’s better at safety and has a better pro future there. You want your ball hawk facing the quarterback.
“I would say I'm now the leader of the wide receiver group,” Ridley said. “I want to take that role on and not only to my group but my team, and be one of the captains on the team. That's what I feel like I need to do.”
Generally soft-spoken during interviews, Ridley said he is working on being more vocal with his fellow receivers. Just don’t expect the junior to change is calm and collected demeanor on the field.
“I lead by example already, I think,” Ridley said. “I just need to speak up some. I don't say too much.”
Ridley will definitely need to embrace a leadership role this season.
-- Trevon Diggs, who made his biggest impact last season as a receiver, continued to work with the defensive backs.
-- New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was active in the quarterback drills, giving instruction and energetically moving around the field. Daboll was hard to miss, of course. He was decked out in crimson from head to toe.
Saban still calls the Diggs thing “an experiment.” We’ll continue to monitor that situation. By all accounts, Daboll has brought some energy to the practice field.
Last but not least, the women’s basketball team won again:
The Tide (22-13) led by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter and by no less than six.
It's the first time since 2002 that Alabama has made it this far in the WNIT.
It's a breakthrough year for fourth-year coach Kristy Curry and the Tide. Alabama, which hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1999, had failed to even make the WNIT 12 of the previous 13 seasons prior to last year.
This has to feel great for Coach Curry, no matter what happens in Atlanta. Hopefully this run will be something they can build on for next season.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.