Stephen's Report

Notes from Alabama football’s first week of spring practice

Greg M. Cooper - USA TODAY Sports

The first week of spring football practice at the University of Alabama has allowed media personnel to get a look at the new faces on the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff, notice Nick Saban in his straw hat for a twelfth straight year and write multiple stories on Tua Tagovailoa’s injury. 

During Saturday’s session, a close-up on defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski was on the agenda as he provided high energy toward his group in agility drills.

Senior Isaiah Buggs led drills with junior defensive end Raekwon Davis, while Quinnen Williams, Johnny Dwight, Phidarian Mathis, LaBryan Ray and Stephon Wynn (freshman) followed both players. 

With sunny, 73-degree weather conditions, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has more notes listed below on Saturday’s practice. 

-Tua Tagovailoa was present for a second day since Tuesday’s injury to his index finger on his left hand. Despite being limited, he was able to make some light throws and spent time working with athletic trainer, Jeff Allen. In terms of routes on air drills, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones took the bulk of reps with walk-ons Kyle Edwards (No. 16) and Chris Howard (No. 18) behind them. 

-Devonta Smith continues to take reps with cornerbacks. Going back to Saban’s presser on Tuesday, only one player that Alabama recruited for its secondary – Saivion Smith – is on campus as an early enrollee. Everyone else will arrive in the summer and for the talented sophomore receiver, this gives him a chance to feel out a different spot to help the team. 

-With Smith working in the secondary, the trio of Tyrell Shavers, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have been leading wide receiver drills. Coach Josh Gattis is already putting in much effort with this year’s group and per sources, the unit ‘has not been around anyone quite like him.’ 

-Alabama will continue to experiment with its offensive line, however, the first-team group through three practices looks as follows: Jonah Williams (LT), Joshua Casher (LG), Ross Pierschbacher (Center), Lester Cotton (RG) and Jedrick Wills (RT). 

-Upon viewing inside linebackers, Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses led all guys through drills with Joshua McMillion, Markail Benton and Ben Davis behind them. Coach Pete Golding was very animated with this group in tackling drills, as he wanted he player to focus on intensity. 

-Christian Miller and Jamey Mosley held it down all week for outside linebackers, especially with Anfernee Jennings (knee) missing the entire spring. Terrell Lewis, Christopher Allen and Jarez Parks followed Miller and Mosley through drills. Tosh Lupoi, who will serve at defensive coordinator in the fall, had all edge rushers going over lower body attack and power techniques. 

-Former Tide defensive line coaches Bo Davis and Karl Dunbar took in practice from the sideline. Both guys were a part of national championships at Alabama, with Dunbar helping the program capture its latest title in 2017. He was hired to the Pittsburgh Steelers shortly after the season and Davis is with the Detroit Lions. He served two stints in Tuscaloosa on Saban’s staff. 


-Alabama will resume practice next Tuesday (3/27) at 3:30 p.m. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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