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STEPHEN’S REPORT: Alabama’s first scrimmage

Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban and company held its first spring scrimmage Friday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium at 1:30 p.m. The players battled for two hours in 84-degree weather.

Coach Saban didn’t release stats on quarterbacks, but he said Jake Coker looks more comfortable passing from the shotgun formation. Junior running back Derrick Henry had a field day, and receiver Raheem Falkins took a step forward in Alabama’s receiving corps.

Touchdown Alabama Magazine writer Stephen M. Smith breaks down the grades from Friday’s scrimmage.

Running Backs—Overall [A]

Derrick Henry [A] – Derrick Henry’s performance in Friday’s scrimmage adds to the assumption that he will be Alabama’s featured running back in 2015. He totaled 112 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Henry secured the ball, while displaying speed and power on the ground.

Bo Scarbrough [A] – Freshman running back Bo Scarbrough looked impressive, until a knee injury carted him off the field. He chimed in with 36 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Scarbrough’s injury came near the end of Alabama’s scrimmage.

Summary: Derrick Henry is on a mission. He’s taken on a leadership role, and wants to get better as a running back. He showcased vision, speed and ball security in Friday’s scrimmage. Scarbrough excelled at scoring inside the red zone. Both of his touchdowns came in the red area.

Wide Receivers—Overall [A]

Raheem Falkins [A] – Alabama fans have been waiting for Raheem Falkins to step up. He did a solid job Friday, catching five passes for 88 yards.

ArDarius Stewart [A] – Sophomore ArDarius Stewart collected three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He provided Alabama’s quarterbacks with a solid target in the slot.

Summary: Raheem Falkins, ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster all stepped up in Alabama’s first scrimmage, in the absence of Cam Sims. Falkins and Stewart led the receiving corps, but Foster put in three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Tight end O.J. Howard got involved as well, recording two catches for 58 yards and a score.

Defense—Overall [A]

Reggie Ragland [A] – Reggie Ragland showed versatility as a coverage linebacker in Friday’s scrimmage. His lateral quickness was exceptional, resulting in three pass breakups. Ragland led Alabama’s defense in tackles (5) and recorded a fumble recovery.

A’Shawn Robinson [A] – Not many defensive linemen come up with interceptions, but don’t tell that to Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson. He picked off a pass in Friday’s scrimmage and returned it for a touchdown. Robinson added three tackles to his stat sheet.

Summary: Reggie Ragland has settled into his role as Alabama’s defensive captain. He’s a natural run stopper, but Friday saw him do a better job of defended passes in coverage. A’Shawn Robinson made plays, and Dalvin Tomlinson put in four tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery. Alabama’s front seven looks to be very disruptive next season.

Huge sightings/Other Information

  • WR Chris Black didn’t record a catch.
  • QB Cooper Bateman was working with receivers.
  • Former Alabama offensive lineman DJ Fluker was in attendance.
  • Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban didn’t release QBs stats.
  • RB Bo Scarbrough’s knee injury occurred near the end of the scrimmage.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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