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Alabama Football 2017: Preseason Roster Update and Analysis

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What numbers did the summer enrollees take, and who changed weight this offseason?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday night before Media Days began, Alabama quietly released the updated football roster to the public via both a media guide and on RollTide.com.

Obviously, I spent my work day on Monday combing through the changes and updating all of my spreadsheets with players and scholarship counts. As such, I will now share with you the highlights.

Summer Enrollees

  • WR #6- Devonta Smith, 6’1” 165
  • WR #11- Henry Ruggs III, 6’0” 175
  • TE #44- Kedrick James, 6’5” 272
  • OL #62- Hunter Brannon, 6’4” 290
  • OL#60- Kendall Randolph, 6’4” 309
  • DL #89- LaBryan Ray, 6’5” 272
  • DL #93- Phidarian Mathis, 6’4” 309
  • LB #36- Markail Benton, 6’2” 237
  • LB #43- VanDarius Cowan, 6’4” 236
  • LB #4- Christopher Allen, 6’4” 239
  • CB #26- Kyriq McDonald, 5’11” 195
  • K #97- Joseph Bulovas, 6’0” 212

Of note: Kedrick James has REALLY bulked up. He was more in the 235-240 range in high school, but made it to campus at 272. We had been questioning his signing around here, but with that kind of size, it looks like Saban might have plans for him to be a goal line blocker.

Hunter Brannon and Joseph Bulovas, the two supposedly doing the new “blueshirt,” are both listed on the roster. Whether or not they count towards scholarship this year, I don’t know. It’s probably one of those magical things that only Saban knows. Either way, I am very, very happy that Bulovas is on the team.

At receiver, Ruggs and Smith really need some weight on their bones before they’ll be ready to play. Ruggs is a Percy Harvin incarnate while Smith is a similar, though more talented, version of DeAndrew White. With some strength training, they’ll likely be the future of the Tide receiving corps.

LaBryan Ray is taking #89, which is a bit odd for a defensive lineman. Only A’Shawn Robinson has taken a number in the 80s from that position recently. Hopefully Ray will stand out just as much.


Weight gains and losses.

If you want the full list, Rivals was kind enough to put together a table showing every Tide player and their weight change at this link.

If you don’t want to go read it yourself, I’ll tell you what you need to know here.

Jalen Hurts put on 9 pounds, and is up to 218. He was already solidly built, but now he is basically as solid as any running back. If he has to run as much as he did last year, this weight will be important in keeping him from injury.

All the running backs have put on some size. Damien Harris is up to 221, Bo Scarbrough is up to 235, Josh Jacobs is now 212, and B.J. Emmons really hit the weights, gaining 14 pounds and is now 220. Throw in Najee Harris at 227 and Brian Robinson at 218, and we have a running back corps with an average weight of 222 pounds. Power running game, anyone?

Nigel Knott continues to put on weight. A year ago, he was an athletic freak, but only 165 pounds when soaking wet. Now he’s up to 183. If he’s kept some of that other worldly speed and jumping ability, he might be a factor sooner rather than later.

Walk-on Jamey Mosley is really wanting to make a mark in the pass rushing game. Previously a smaller, off-ball linebacker, he has been at JACK a good bit this offseason, and put on 20 pounds, up to 248. The other well-known walk on, Levi Wallace, added 13 pounds to his lanky frame and is now 183.

Receiver Cam Sims is finally filling out that 6’5” frame, and is up 11 pounds to a sturdy 214.

Terrell Lewis (previously Terrell Hall) managed to get his name changed before the roster came out. He also gained 7 pounds, and is up to 254. He’s a monster.

Mack Wilson dropped 8 pounds. It’s probably safe to assume that the 244 he played at last season probably was heavier than he liked, and was a residual from his injuries at the end of high school.

Keaton Anderson seems to have made his position change from linebacker to safety official by losing 14 pounds. He’s now a lean 201, and should be able to keep up in the passing game while still retaining some of his tackling instincts from playing linebacker.

Keith Holcombe is looking more like an SEC-ready linebacker with 9 more pounds on his frame, and is up to 236. Christian Miller has added 10 pounds of his own as he looks to finally be a starter and premier pass rusher with Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson graduating.

Dallas Warmack and Matt Womack put on 9 pounds and 8 pounds, respectively. They’re now at 308 and 324.

Tight ends Irv Smith and Cam Stewart added 11 and 12 pounds. Smith is now up to 246. He led the tight ends this spring with a mid 4.5 forty yard dash. With that kind of size and speed, he could become a more dangerous weapon than we expected. Miller Forristall also gained 13 pounds, up to a healthy 238. Like the running backs, it looks like the whole tight end room was challenged to get stronger this offseason.

Meanwhile, Da’Ron Payne has trimmed some excess weight, shedding 11 pounds, down to 301. He’s already the strongest man on team... Now’s he wanting to get faster.

Raekwon Davis also dropped 9 pounds, and is down to 306.

Some of the lesser known walk-ons also made some big changes, but they more than likely won’t be seen on TV this fall. The biggest thing of note was the all-around weight gain in the running back and tight end groups. If that isn’t indicative of a philosophical shift to more power running, then I’ll eat my spreadsheets.