TUSCALOOSA – The freshly manicured grass behind the Mal Moore Facility finally had company this morning as Alabama opened preseason practice.
The Crimson Tide veterans took the field during the early session, while the newcomers will practice later tonight.
The two-time defending champions ran through drills in the sweltering Tuscaloosa heat that always seems to be at its peak.
Not every veteran player is in attendance during the preseason practice. Only 105, including newcomers, were allowed to report under NCAA rules. The rest of the players will join the team when school begins.
Here are some takeaways from practice:
- No players donned black non-contact jerseys, meaning everyone is healthy enough to participate at this point – always a good sign.
- Running back Jalston Fowler (knee) worked out with the tight ends and H-backs as well. Before his injury last season, Fowler showed versatility for the Tide and could be a dangerous weapon if he remains healthy.
- Defensive end LaMichael Fanning opened camp working with the tight ends and H-backs. Fanning is listed at 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, but seemed to fit right in with his new group. This move could turn out to be purely an experiment, but imagine the possibilities if Fanning catches on.
- Wide receiver Cyrus Jones continued to practice with the defensive backs. Jones worked out as a cornerback for much of spring ball.
- Dee Hart worked with the running backs, along with T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake.
- AJ McCarron, Blake Sims and Alec Morris were the quarterbacks on hand.
- Linebacker Trey DePriest (foot), defensive linemen Xzavier Dickson (knee), Wilson Love (concussion), wide receivers Kevin Norwood (toe) and DeAndrew White (knee), cornerback John Fulton (toe) all ran well and looked healthy.
- For the wide receivers, seven players were a part of the veteran group. Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White caught passes on the right side. Kenny Bell, Kevin Norwood and walk-on Parker Barrineau lined up on the left side, while Christion Jones and Chris Black worked the slot.