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August 27, 2010

Notebook: Tide turns attention to first game

TUSCALOOSA _ The University of Alabama football team turned its attention to the regular season Friday, with those not expected to contribute wearing scout-team jerseys for the first time as the Crimson Tide worked out in shorts.

Among those sporting new practice numbers were redshirt freshman linebacker Jonathan Atchison; redshirt freshman safety Kendall Kelly; true freshman wide receivers Keiwone Malone and DeAndrew White; and true freshman tight end Harrison Jones.

As expected, junior safety Robby Green, who has been suspended for the season, was also on the scout team.

White's placement may mean that Alabama will start the season with a seven-man rotation at wide receiver with Julio Jones, Darius Hanks, Marquis Maze, Brandon Gibson, Earl Alexander, Kevin Norwood and Kenny Bell.

The offensive line had the same look at Thursday, with redshirt freshman D.J. Fluker at right tackle. The second unit was, from left to right, Arie Kouandijo, John Michael Boswell, David Ross, Anthony Steen and Alfred McCullough.

Junior Jerrell Harris continued to work with the interior linebackers, where the first four pairings during individual drills were sophomore Dont'a Hightower and junior Chris Jordan, Harris and sophomore Nico Johnson, redshirt freshman Tana Patrick and true freshman C.J. Mosley, and freshman Petey Smith and true freshman Jalston Fowler.

Although the viewing period ended before the defensive backs went through nickel recognition drills, freshman DeMarcus Milliner lined up ahead of sophomore B.J. Scott during the individual portion.

No players wore black, signaling no contact, during the viewing period.

Watchman list

The final preseason watch list was released Friday with senior tackle James Carpenter, junior defensive end Marcell Dareus and Hightower named candidates for the Rotary Lombardi Trophy, which goes to the best lineman.

Overall, Alabama has 26 players on various watch lists, which is almost certainly a program record.

Interestingly, junior running back Mark Ingram, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, doesn't lead the Tide with watch-list mentions. While he's on three (Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker), junior Mark Barron, Dareus, Hightower and senior quarterback Greg McElroy are all on four.

Here's the rundown:
Bednarik Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Julio Jones named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 15
Butkus Award (linebacker): Dont'a Hightower and Nico Johnson named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 21 (Rolando McClain reigning winner).
Walter Camp Award (Player of the year): Mark Ingram named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 16.
William Campbell Trophy (scholar-athlete, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy): Semifinalists announced Sept. 30.
Heisman Trophy: Finalists announced Dec. 6 (Mark Ingram reigning winner).
Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Marcell Dareus was named to the watch list. Midseason list to be announced in November.
Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman): James Carpenter, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower named to the watch list. Semifinalists named Oct. 27.
Lott Trophy (defensive impact player): Mark Barron on watch list. Quarterfinalists expected to be announced in October.
Manning Award (quarterback, includes bowls): Greg McElroy on watch list. Finalists named Nov. 29.
Maxwell Award (outstanding player): Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Bronko Nagurski Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 18.
Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 25.
Outland Trophy (interior lineman): James Carpenter and Barrett Jones on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 22.
Rimington Trophy (center): William Vlachos on watch list. Finalists announced Dec. 6.
Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Mark Barron on watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 1.
Unitas Golden Arm (senior quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists expected to be announced in November.
Doak Walker Award (running back): Mark Ingram named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 11.
Burlsworth Trophy (walk-on): Nominees announced Nov. 17.

No one from Alabama on watch list
John Mackey Award (tight end): Semifinalists announced Nov. 15.
Lou Groza Award (kicker): Semifinalists announced Oct. 29.
Ray Guy Award (punter): Semifinalists announced Nov. 12.
Paul Hornung Award (most versatile): Finalists announced in early December.

Tide-bits

Next week's game is the first ever meeting with San Jose State. Rookie coach Mike MacIntyre inherited a team with just 39 returning lettermen, coming off a 2-10 season (1-7 WAC).

Use of instant replay in the SEC was down last season, with 115 stoppages lasting an average of 1:26 and 28 calls overturned (roughly one in every three games). There were 122 replay reviews the year before with 39 plays overturned.

The temperature was 93 degrees at the start of Friday's practice, with a 98 heat index, 69 dew point and 45 percent humidity. The team will practice again Saturday at 2:30 p.m. before taking Sunday off. All practices are closed to the public.


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