Alabama’s spring game and 14th practice overall is in the books. A crowd of 65,175 fans filed into Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday to witness what head coach Nick Saban and company looks to unveil in 2015.
Sophomore receivers Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart both put on a show. Alabama’s defense looks stingy, and sophomore punter JK Scott still has a strong leg. Team White defeated team Crimson 27-14, and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was awarded a steak after the game. Yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has the grades.
Wide Receivers—Overall [A]
Robert Foster [A]- Robert Foster has officially submitted himself as Alabama’s second option, behind Chris Black. He put in a stellar A-Day performance, grabbing six passes for 125 yards. Foster displayed solid game speed as well as balance and body control.
ArDarius Stewart [A]- ArDarius Stewart built chemistry with Jake Coker, Alec Morris and Blake Barnett Saturday. He led Alabama’s receiving corps with eight catches and totaled 118 yards with two touchdowns. Stewart’s route running was exceptional.
Summary: Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart could be the tandem to watch in the fall. Both players rose to challenge Saturday and put in solid A-Day performances. Tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith quietly had a productive game. He caught five passes for 46 yards for the Crimson team. Running back Ronnie Clark chimed in with seven receptions for 40 yards. Wide receiver Parker Barrineau scored the lone offensive touchdown for the Crimson team, a 9-yard strike from David Cornwell late in the fourth quarter.
Special Teams—Overall [B+]
JK Scott [A]- Sophomore JK Scott is still the man with a golden leg. He had a solid outing Saturday, averaging 53.8 yards per punt. Scott pinned the Crimson team inside its 20-yard line once. His longest punt went for 59 yards.
Adrian Lamothe [A]- Adrian Lamothe provided Scott with some competition. He averaged 43.8 yards per punt, netting a long of 51 yards. Lamothe pinned the White team inside its 20-yard line twice. He totaled six punts for 263 yards.
Adam Griffith [C]- Junior Adam Griffith had some good moments, despite the issues. He connected on two field goals (49 yards, 28 yards) and averaged 62.0 yards per kick on kickoffs. Griffith lost his footing on a 53-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. He later missed again from 37 yards. Consistency from the hash marks is a problem for him.
Summary: JK Scott and Adrian Lamothe both did well in flipping field position. Adam Griffin fared well on kickoffs, yet continues to struggle with consistency on field goals.
Defensive Line [A]- Alabama’s defensive line was a force Saturday. Josh Frazier recorded a sack for the Crimson team, while Jarran Reed led the White team in tackles (3). Dalvin Tomlinson and D.J. Pettway excelled at pressuring the quarterback.
Linebackers [A]- Junior Reuben Foster was a mad man inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. He and Reggie Ragland each had seven tackles for the Crimson team. Ragland also had a pass breakup. Tim Williams emerged as an edge rusher, collecting five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. Redshirt freshman Keith Holcombe registered eight tackles and a sack for the White team. Christian Miller put in two sacks. Walker Jones and Rashaan Evans each had one sack. Senior Dillon Lee chimed in with three tackles, a pass breakup, a sack and an interception.
Secondary [A]- Senior cornerback Bradley Sylve had a big day. He was the leading tackler from both teams with nine stops. Redshirt freshman Marlon Humphrey is hungry. He accounted for eight tackles with one for loss, a pass breakup and an interception. Defensive back Anthony Averett had three tackles, a pass breakup and an interception. Safeties Jabriel Washington, Ronnie Harrison and Maurice Smith all had one interception. Smith returned his for 51-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Summary: Alabama’s defense looks scary good as it enters summer camp. Its defensive line gave the quarterbacks all they could handle. Reuben Foster and Reggie Ragland guided the linebackers, while Maurice Smith recorded a pick-six for the secondary.
Running Backs—Overall [B]
Derrick Henry [B]- Junior Derrick Henry got the bulk of the carries, and did a decent job despite head coach Nick Saban being cautious with Alabama’s running backs. He rushed for 46 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown in the second quarter for the White team.
Summary: Derrick Henry saw the most carries, but senior Kenyan Drake wanted to do more with the ball. He had an open lane at times, but Saban refused to let him do too much. Drake had 13 yards on five carries. Ronnie Clark led the Crimson squad in rushing with 12 yards on five carries.
Jake Coker [C]- Senior Jake Coker looked the part Saturday, but there are still some areas in his game that need to be cleaned up. He developed a connection with Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart. Coker has dynamic arm strength, but needs to be quicker in delivering the ball. He completed 14 of 28 passes for 183 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Summary: Jake Coker had the best A-Day performance. He looked like a leader at times, and distributed the ball well in the first quarter. Junior Alec Morris looked out of sorts for much of the contest. He made some plays, but was also sacked twice. Morris connected on 7 of 11 passes for 60 yards. Sophomore Cooper Bateman lost his footing on his first series, but made some good throws nonetheless. He went 7 of 11 passing for 48 yards and an interception.
Redshirt freshman David Cornwell had his best series in the fourth quarter. He guided the Crimson team on a 5-play, 45-yard drive that ended on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Parker Barrineau. It was a struggle for Cornwell aside from that. He completed 12 of 24 pass attempts for 110 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. True freshman Blake Barnett had a rough outing.
He was intercepted twice, but rebounding well with a touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart late in the fourth quarter. Turnovers were a crucial factor Saturday, as Alabama’s quarterbacks were intercepted six times. Jake Coker and Alec Morris had more opportunities to be successful with the first-team offense (Chris Black, ArDarius Stewart, Robert Foster) than Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell had with the second team. Blake Barnett split reps with both teams.