March 8, 2007

Safety spots up for grabs in Tide secondary

Secondary coach: Kirby Smart, first year at Alabama.

Leading candidates: 20 Marcus Carter (Sr., 6'0, 200); 49 Rashad Johnson (Jr., 6'0, 186); 27 Justin Woodall (So., 6'1, 213); 43 Sam Burnthall (So., 6'2, 184); 13 Corey Reamer (So., 6'4, 210); 41 Andy Davis (rFr., 6'0, 196).

2007 Signees: Michael Ricks (6'2, 195, Northeast Mississippi CC); Tarence Farmer (6'1, 190, Houston, Tex.).

2006 season leaders: Johnson finished with 33 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Carter recorded 31 tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

Strengths: After sitting behind Charlie Peprah and Roman Harper for two seasons, Carter took over as the starter at free safety, starting 10 of the 13 games as a sophomore. A big hit on Ole Miss wide receiver Marshay Green was the highlight of Carter's 2006 season.

After making the move from running back, Johnson, who made four starts in 2006, showed promise in his first full season in the secondary. Pound for pound, the former walk-on might be the most physical player on the team. In a scheme that will involve the safety positions in its blitz packages, Johnson's speed and aggressive style of play could be put to good use when the Tide brings pressure.

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