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Jumbo Package: The offensive line takes center stage this week in College Station

Time for the big nasties to be nasty

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee

Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

It hasn’t been an overnight transformation, but the offensive line has steadily grown more physical as the season has worn on. To be sure, some of those problems were always going to be there, the product of three new starters; but with a new position coach, injuries and constant reshuffling, the unit hasn’t had much time to gel either.

Yesterday’s was Saban’s pre-Aggie presser. It’s safe to say this is probably the first important game of the season, with the Tide roughly punching within its weight class.

The Head Man is dialed in for it too. But, that’s no surprise; Saban always gets a little extra focus when it comes to facing his Padawan.

If you can’t watch vids at work, or you prefer to digest your information via the written word, Charlie Potter at BOL has got you covered, including an update on the health of P/PK Will Reichard:

On Will Reichard (hip)

”He hasn’t done anything for a couple of weeks, so today will be the first day where he actually will kick a ball. So we’ll evaluate that. That will be day to day. There is competition at the punting position, but it’s difficult to say right now whether he’ll be capable of punting or what exactly his role can be in this game. Maybe he can kick. Maybe he can punt. Or maybe he can kick off. I don’t know at this point and we’ll have to evaluate it through the course of the week.”

Chris Owens is also day-to-day. But, let’s be honest, he’s had more valleys than peaks this season. With Cornbread’s return, Owens is apt to see his playing time reduced and Landon Dickerson moved further inside away from the guard spot. But, no matter where he plays, Dickerson brings a mean streak with him. Throw in Wills and Womack and Brown, and the pieces are in place for an aggro offensive line.

The offensive line isn’t the only group still trying to decide on a core group. Freshman Byron Young made an appearance on the first team yesterday:

Freshman defensive end Byron Young was lined up with the first-team defensive line during drills next to DJ Dale and Raekwon Davis. Fellow freshman defensive end Justin Eboigbe, who has started the last two games, was with the second group.

More practice notes here.

Good news! We told you yesterday that Alabama will duck another 2:30 CBS special for TSIO. Three games are up for consideration on the 19th, and none of them are the Tide. But, nor do we get LSU — since the Tigers will be kicking off at 11:00. And, that crew is saltier than the Atlantic about it too. Feel free to go forth needle them.

Hank South gets you caught up here on Tide recruiting — hoops and football.

“Nate Oats did an NBA comparison for Nimari Burnett,” South told Reier about the Crimson Tide’s latest five-star hoops recruit to visit campus. “He compared him to Jamal Murray, and he (Burnett) liked that. Oats said he thinks he’s a multi-dimensional player, and someone who is underrated.”

”I think Alabama is trending for Nimari Burnett right now,” South continued. “He’s not making a decision until December or January, but they left a really good impression with him.”

There is get-off-my-lawn, then there is this charmer in Johnstown, PA. Yeesh.