clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Gump Day

It’s almost A-Day!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Alabama vs Washington Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama practice report: Notes on O-line changes, base defense

-- It looked like the offensive line shifts that were observed at Friday's scrimmage were back to the original arrangement. Matt Womack was at right tackle and Lester Cotton at right guard. Cotton was the tackle Friday with Deonte Brown at guard. Alex Leatherwood appeared to be working behind Womack at right tackle.

-- Ben Davis was again warming up with the middle linebackers. He had been with the outside group most of spring before getting some time with the middle linebackers recently.

-- Damien Harris was watching most of the running back warm-up drills. He's been slowed by a foot sprain, leaving his A-Day participation in question.

-- The 3-4 base defense ran through some drills. The outside linebackers were Terrell Hall and Anfernee Jennings with Keith Holcombe and Rashaan Evans in the middle. The secondary looked the same with Trevon Diggs and Anthony Averett at corner and Ronnie Harrison and Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety.

After the shift and surprise inclusion of Deonte Brown on Friday, the offensive line was back to it’s previous alignment. I’m still not sold on Lester Cotton at guard. I think he’s a talented player, but more suited for tackle (as Saban echoed last fall). That said, it’s very possible he’s made tremendous strides in his game since his mid-season demotion.

Were it up to me though, my vote would be to have Chris Owens in the lineup instead of Cotton.

Also, how about Trevon Diggs working his way up in the secondary almost immediately? The dude is definitely talented.

How Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa became left-handed

To this day, Alabama's true freshman quarterback does everything but throw a football with his right arm. Dad just wanted another lefty to throw the ball when son was about three or four.

It stuck.

"It just became fluent and he just grew into it," Galu Tagovailoa told "That's the crazy part about it. I never thought I could make him adapt to that. As we constantly kept putting the ball on his left hand, eventually he grew into throwing the ball with his left."

This is a pretty decent read about the plight of the left-handed quarterback and how Tua Tagovailoa fits into the story. Guys like Michael Vick, Tim Tebow, Steve Young, and Mark Brunell are all gone, and Kellen Moore is the only remaining active lefty QB in the NFL.

The best part is that Tua isn’t even naturally left-dominant... His lefty dad just got lonely so he taught his son to throw left-handed too.

Here’s to hoping the Hawaiian becomes the next lefty drafted in the first round of the Draft.

Derrick Henry missing from first day of Tennessee Titans' offseason program

Mularkey said he didn't know Henry wouldn't be there, but he also isn't concerned about it.

"Maybe I used to get disappointed," Mularkey said during Monday's press conference. "No control over it. It's their option. It's their choice. Whatever they feel is best for them.

"I do know this: We've had coaches down in Tuscaloosa for the (Pro Day); I've seen some video of Derrick in the weight room. He's absolutely working out, so I know he's in great playing shape right now. So, no, I have no concerns about it and won't."


Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who's been a Pro Bowler for the past two seasons, was less understanding.

"It definitely puts that little checkmark in the back of my mind and lets me know who I can count on, who I can't count on," Casey told The Tennessean. "To see your teammates show up is definitely great."

If you happened to be on the internet today, you probably saw some troll commenting about Henry missing the first day of voluntary workouts.

Well, Derrick Henry is actually back in Tuscaloosa finishing his degree and finals are in a couple of weeks. The only time you’ll see fans criticizing a player for trying to finish his degree is when he’s an Alabama product. Then they’ll just find any way to criticize that they can. Roll Tide.

Who has been the most impressive SEC freshman in spring practice?

In terms of both immediate and long-term impact, you’d probably do well to pick one of the whopping 16 early enrollees at Alabama. I know Alex Scarborough (see below) is high on wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, so allow me to mention another blue-chip freshman for the Tide: offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, the No. 8 overall prospect in this year’s ESPN 300. According to practice reports last week, Leatherwood was already working with the second-team offensive line, but I'm going to read between the lines here. It shouldn't be a surprise if he’s a starter by the opener against Florida State.

Some ESPN talking heads mention the SEC true freshman that they’ve been impressed with in the spring. Jerry Jeudy, Dylan Moses, and Alex Leatherwood all get mentioned, and David Ching even goes as far as to project Leatherwood to be a starter by game 1.

I’ll eat the nearest hamburger if I’m wrong, but I don’t expect that to happen. Leatherwood may be big, but he’s also quite raw.

Some other freshman around the league get mentioned too, if you care at all about scouting out the competition.

Quote of the Day:

Jonathan Allen talks Nick Saban, fun at Alabama and not being 'sexy' enough for NFL top pick

The "First Take" hosts also questioned Allen on Nick Saban's persona as a serious coach who doesn't let his team have fun.

"We have fun when we win championships," Allen said, also noting that the team often had movie nights together and visited Saban's lakehouse for fishing and time on jet skis.

"I don't even know how to explain it," he said when questioned about Saban's coaching abilities. "I felt like I could trust Saban. He was honest with me."

Has there ever been a player who better represents Alabama, Saban, and The Process than Jonathan Allen? We’re going to miss that man.