Happy Monday, everyone. Baseball had a fine weekend in sweeping Mizzou, while softball dropped two of three to Auburn. Former Alabama golfer Davis Riley won his first PGA Tour event, taking the Zurich Classic alongside partner Nick Hardy.
Wrapping up A Day, Chase Goodbread notes that the offensive line showed promise in the run game.
The makings of a tougher, nastier offensive line were apparent, and that’s a group that will need to play with an edge this fall as UA breaks in a new starter at quarterback. The first-team defense got too much penetration and tallied nine sacks, but with protection schemes among the things that are simplified for A-Day, that’s not necessarily alarming. The right-side tandem of tackle J.C. Latham and guard Tyler Booker looks like it can be especially effective as a run-blocking duo.
“That right side, they’re definitely a unit over there,” said defensive lineman Tim Smith.
The right side of the White team looked strong, but big Kadyn Proctor on the Crimson side helped Justice Haynes go off. Saban is very high on Haynes, to say the least.
“Justice is a really good player,” Saban said postgame. “He had a great spring. He’s got great maturity about him. Wouldn’t know he’s a freshman if you didn’t know better. The guy, nothing is too big for him in terms of learning, going out and executing. He’s not intimidated by anything and the guy’s got toughness. He can run behind his pads. He’s got good speed. He’s a good reciever. He can make you miss. I think he’s got a really bright future and I think he will contribute to the team this year.”
Interestingly, Ja’Corey Brooks didn’t start the game. Not that you’d have known that with ESPN dropping the ball on the broadcast.
It was not shown on the broadcast, but Milroe began the game with Malik Benson, Isaiah Bond and Kendrick Law at wide receiver, with Ja’Corey Brooks the first sub onto the field. Danny Lewis began with Milroe at tight end, with Maryland transfer CJ Dippre later joining him. For Simpson, his starting group was Jermaine Burton, Kobe Prentice and Shazz Preston, and Amari Niblack at tight end. Junior tight end Robbie Ouzts wore a black non-contact jersey for warmups but did not play after being limited all spring because of injury.
Drops were an issue for nearly all of the WRs in the game, but Nick doesn’t seem to broken up about it at this stage.
“We’re looking at the big picture,” Saban said. “We’re looking at the 15 days in total of how those guys played. Isaiah Bond had a really good spring. Ja’Corey Brooks had a good spring. Jermaine Burton had a really good spring. I think No. 11 (Malik Benson), who made some catches at the end of the game today, has a chance to be a real contributor. 24 (Emmanuel Henderson) is getting better all the time, had a really nice touchdown catch today so I think we got the right combination of people at that position. We still need to pay better attention to detail in route running and sort of get a better, I don’t know, like chemistry between quarterback, receiver so that we can develop confidence in the passing game.”
In general, Saban seemed happy with the team’s progress over the spring but acknowledged that there is plenty of work to do. You can check out his comments below.
Of course, Nick always makes time for a little recruiting.
Exclusive Footage!— Hall-Tech Sports (@HallTechSports1) April 23, 2023
#1 LB in the @DemarcusRiddic getting a ride with Coach Saban to A-Day game…this is major!! @AlabamaFTBL is making a strong push to flip the Georgia Commit.
Currently the most interesting recruiting battle in the SEC‼️
( via FB Willie Riddick)#Alabama pic.twitter.com/ZbNlYd9ZBc
Malachi Moore took home the top award on Saturday thanks to his blitzing.
Malachi Moore, who finished with nine tackles, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup, won the Dixie Howell Memorial Award (MVP of the A-Day Game), while defensive lineman Tim Smith garnered the Dwight Stephenson Award (Most Valuable Lineman of the A-Day Game), both playing for the Crimson. In all, the Crimson defense had three interceptions, 10 tackles for loss and four pass breakups in the victory.
Others likely were in contention, including freshman running back Justice Haynes, who rushed for 64 yards and had three touchdowns for the Crimson, two rushing, one receiving. Malik Benson led all receivers with five catches for 70 yards, playing for the White.
Numbers necessitated his move to Star for the scrimmage. It will be interesting to see where he plays, but it seems almost certain that he will be a key part.
Last, Nate Oats pulled a couple of sharpshooters out of the portal.
It is the second transfer commit for coach Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide in as many days. Aaron Estrada, a former Hofstra guard, committed Saturday. They join former Wichita State guard Jaykwon Walton, who committed in late March.
At guard, they will join Davin Cosby Jr., who enrolled early this year but did not see game time, and Rylan Griffen, who has not indicated he will be departing. Veteran guards Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears did enter the NBA draft but retained their NCAA eligibility.
Nate is intent on running long wings at you in waves, and they’d better be able to shoot. Of the three transfers in thus far, one shot 37% from three last season and the other two shot 38%.
That’s about it for today, Have a great week.