Alabama Football : 3 Questions Heading into A-Day
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have been one of the most dominating teams in the country in the past five seasons, but even given the highly ranked recruiting classes and growing trophy case there are still some questions surrounding this year’s Alabama team heading into A-Day weekend.
1. Who will step up in the secondary?
By now, you have seen the statistics AJ McCarron has produced this spring, combining both accuracy and big play potential. While that has many excited about the offensive potential of this year’s squad, on the flip side it raises questions about the secondary as well.
Those questions may be legitimate. Alabama lost its two leaders in the secondary from last season in Dee Milliner and Robert Lester and will need to find someone to fill the void. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix showed plenty of flashes at safety and Deion Belue and Geno Smith should take the next step at cornerback. Outside of the afformentioned trio, keep a close eye on the secondary to see who is making plays. One to watch may be #26 Landon Collins.
2. Who will finish second in the quarterback competition?
AJ McCarron will be one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2013, but who will be able to take the reins in 2014? This is a serious question that needs to be answered sooner than later.
The issue is obviously pressing enough for Alabama coach Nick Saban to bring in three freshman quarterbacks to join Alec Morris, Phillip Ely, and Blake Sims in the quarterback competition. While the freshman (Cooper Bateman, Parker McCleod, and Luke Del Rio) have been getting a lot of attention, dont forget about the redshirt freshman Alec Morris.
3. Which freshman will step up?
Last year Alabama would not have been the team they were without the play of the freshman class, most notably Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon. Who will be that difference maker this season?
The most obvious choice will be tightend OJ Howard. At 6’6, he may need to pack on some pounds to his 230lb frame, but what makes Howard interesting to watch is his sub 4.5 speed and near 40 inch verticle leap. Howard is a new breed of tight end that can do it all. However also keep an eye on Raheem Falkins, the 6-foot-4 reciever out of Louisianna who will provide the Tide a tall target they have not had since Julio Jones’ departure after the 2010 season.