5 things to watch during Alabama A-Day spring football game

Credit: seccountry.com

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s been such a long spring for the University of Alabama football team that finals are already approaching to mark the end of the semester.


With the team playing in its third straight College Football Playoff, an early spring break and Nick Saban preferring not to hold any practices during Easter weekend, Alabama stretched out its spring schedule, which will culminate with the annual A-Day on Saturday.


Here are some of the things fans will be keeping an eye on during 1 of just 2 open workouts this year (the other being Fan Day at the start of training camp in roughly 3 months):


1. The passing game

The talk of the spring has been Alabama’s offense, specifically the passing game. For the first time since 2013, the Crimson Tide don’t have a new starting quarterback, but there’s a new offensive coordinator.


Brian Daboll, the former tight ends coach of the New England Patriots, is expected to employ a more diverse attack and incorporate some NFL-style elements, but the key to any offensive development is Jalen Hurts.


Now a sophomore, both teammates and former players see someone with better decision-making and more comfortable in running the offense. This will be Hurts’ (and Alabama’s) first time playing publicly since completing 13 of 31 passes for 131 yards against Clemson.


“He’s really stepped up as a leader,” junior guard Ross Pierschbacher said. “Vocally, he’s become more of a leader even in this offseason just leading us in the huddle or the sideline telling us the direction that we want to go. I think he’s got a really good relationship with Coach Daboll which has shown. They’ll be messing around and joking around. I think it’s made him play looser and really learn the offense. It’s been helpful for us.”


2. The new players

Between early enrollees and junior college transfers, Alabama had 16 new players this spring, easily the most ever in program history.


While the only one who might have walked into a starting job was long-snapper Thomas Fletcher, numerous players are already making serious challenges for playing time, including defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.


This will be the first opportunity for most to see the recruiting Class of 2017 in action, and the buzz is twofold. Quarterbacks always draw a lot of attention, and Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones are slated to be the only backups to Hurts this fall. But fans are also eager to see if players like running back Najee Harris, tackle Alex Leatherwood and linebacker Dylan Moses match their recruiting hype.


The other newcomers expected to play for the first time in an Alabama jersey are Xavier McKinney, Tyrell Shavers, Daniel Wright, Brian Robinson, Chadarius Townsend, Elliot Baker, Major Tennison and Kyriq McDonald. Townsend came in as a running back, but has spent the spring with the wide receivers.


3. The pass rush

Fans who watched last year’s A-Day remember seeing linebacker Tim Williams terrorize the quarterbacks so much that the final score ended up being 7-3. Don’t expect a similar score this year as Alabama probably will focus on the passing aspect of the game, both offensively and defensively.


In addition to Williams, Alabama must replace everyone who had more than 5 sacks last season (Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster).


Senior linebacker Rashaan Evans is a given as a pass rusher, as is outside linebacker Christian Miller, but the coaches have numerous other options for pass rushers.


“Honestly, I think it could be a number of guys,” Miller said. “It’s all together.”


4. Trevon Diggs at cornerback

Alabama fans got a taste of Diggs’ versatility last year when he made 11 catches for 88 yards and 1 touchdown as a freshman wide receiver, but he also saw action returning punts and kicks.


Specifically, he returned 7 kickoffs for 166 yards to average 23.7 yards, and 13 punt returns for 130 yards with a long of 47.


Diggs spent the spring at cornerback, and considering his 6-foot-2 frame and athleticism, he not only might be the next Cyrus Jones, but potentially an even better pro prospect.


“He’s a real good football player, a real athlete, so I knew he could do it,” junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley said.


5. The atmosphere

Ever since a then-capacity 92,138 fans showed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium (which has since been renovated) for Nick Saban’s first A-Day in 2007, the spring scrimmage has been a staple for fans regardless of whether the Crimson Tide are coming off a national championship.


Last year’s scrimmage drew 76,212, when Alabama was coming off a national title. Each of the last five A-Days have attracted between 73,506 (2014) and 78,526 (2012) fans except for the 2015 game (65,175).


The forecast is for rain and possible thunderstorms later in the day.


Alabama A-Day spring game time, details

Date: Saturday, April 21


Time: 3 p.m. ET


Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium


Weather: According to the Weather Channel as of Friday morning, the forecast is for scattered showers and thunderstorms, 15 percent chance of rain at gametime, 86 degrees and 10-15 mph winds.


What TV channel is the Alabama spring game on?

ESPN will have the 2-hour broadcast.


Who is calling the Alabama spring game?

Joe Tessitore, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway and Laura Rutledge will call the game from field level.


How can I watch the Alabama spring game online?

WatchESPN or on the Watch ESPN mobile app.


What do I need to know if I’m going to the Alabama spring game?

Format: The roster is split into 2 teams, Crimson vs. White. It’ll be the first-team offense against the first-team defense, with the reserve units facing one another as well. It’s a game-like scrimmage with tackling except on special teams.


Traffic: Fans attending are encouraged to go early, and keep in mind 3 problem areas:



Jack Warner Parkway to be closed from Crescent Ridge Road to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater because of the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championship.
2 lanes of University Boulevard are also closed for approximately one-half mile from the University Boulevard and Bryant Drive intersection west to Second Avenue.
Construction on I-20/59 continues.

Schedule: Weather permitting, the festivities include:


9 a.m. (ET): Fan Fest opens next to Bryant-Denny Stadium, including special trophy tent and former players signing autographs.


12:30 p.m.: Alumni flag football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.


1:15 p.m.: The Walk of Fame ceremony at Denny Chimes.


1:50 p.m.: The walk of champions.


3 p.m.: A-Day kickoff.


Halftime: A dodgeball game on the field featuring former Alabama players.


Postgame: Awards ceremony on the field. Fans will subsequently be given field access.


The post 5 things to watch during Alabama A-Day spring football game appeared first on SEC Country.


Top Stories

WATCH: What Ed Orgeron said following LSU’s lightning-delayed spring game

BATON ROUGE, La. — There’s rarely such thing as normal at LSU, even for something as simple as a spring game. Fortunately, Ed Orgeron is already used to it early in his coaching tenure after already dealing with one hurricane-altered game last season. LSU’s spring game was played at two different venues in one night. The […] The post WATCH: What Ed Orgeron said following LSU’s lightning-delayed spring game appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 day ago
  • 12

Daily Motorcycle News • IANNONE ELEVENTH IN AMERICAS GP QUALIFYING

IANNONE ELEVENTH IN AMERICAS GP QUALIFYING Team Suzuki Press Office – April 22.
  • 1 day ago
  • 11

Tennessee recruiting: Vols’ land 2019 WR Cameron Wynn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Saturday turned out to be a productive day on the recruiting trail for Tennessee despite the rain-shortened Orange and White game. Shortly after the game was called off, 3-star QB Michael Penix announced his commitment to the Vols. As it turns out, that was just the first commitment of the day. Shortly thereafter, […] The post Tennessee recruiting: Vols’ land 2019 WR Cameron Wynn appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 day ago
  • 7

D.C. United’s Ian Harkes sports a familiar name, but an original game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In some ways, Ian Harkes has not separated himself from his famous father. He, too, starred at an elite Atlantic Coast Conference program. He, too, is a midfielder. Before signing a homegrown contract this winter with D.C. United, the team John Harkes captained at MLS’s birth 21 years ago, Ian explored opportunity […]
  • 17 hours ago
  • 7

Tennessee recruiting: QB Michael Penix announces commitment to Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Because of inclement weather that ultimately ended the game early, Tennessee’s spring game didn’t have the same fan atmosphere that it may have otherwise had. Whatever it offered, it appeared to be enough for 3-star quarterback Michael Penix, who announced his commitment to Tennessee shortly after the game on Saturday afternoon. #GBO […] The post Tennessee recruiting: QB Michael Penix announces commitment to Vols appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 1 day ago
  • 6
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Sport

SEC baseball update (4/24/17): Schedule, scores, standings, TV, watch online

With little more than a month between now and the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, we are beginning to see some separation in the SEC baseball standings. Kentucky currently sits atop the East, with a two-game lead over the rest of the division, while Mississippi State, Arkansas, and Auburn have all marked themselves as serious […] The post SEC baseball update (4/24/17): Schedule, scores, standings, TV, watch online appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 38 minutes ago

Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano limited by Orange and White Game rules, playbook

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee redshirt freshman QB Jarrett Guarantano proved Saturday he could handle the hype, even when things don’t go so perfect for him. Guarantano was 4-of-5 passing for 41 yards — solid while not spectacular — but with teammate Quinten Dormady going 10 for 10, it was clear which of the Vols quarterbacks […] The post Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano limited by Orange and White Game rules, playbook appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 38 minutes ago

Hold or fold: Romano Fenati stages a stunner at CoTA

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took a stunning win in the Moto3™ race at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, crossing the line over four seconds clear of dueling Del Conca Gresini Moto3™ teammates Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio for his first win since the same venue last year. The race was […] The post Hold or fold: Romano Fenati stages a stunner at CoTA appeared first on Superbike News.
  • 4 hours ago

Tripling down: Franco Morbidelli makes it three from three

Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took a third in a row this season in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, making him the first man to do so in the intermediate class since Daijiro Kato in 2001. Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) was the man on the chase in P2, with the podium […] The post Tripling down: Franco Morbidelli makes it three from three appeared first on Superbike News.
  • 4 hours ago

Five by five: magical Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) initially fought it out with teammate Dani Pedrosa for victory in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, before being able to break clear in the latter laps of the race to take his stunning fifth win in a row in Austin – his 11th straight win on US […] The post Five by five: magical Marc Marquez appeared first on Superbike News.
  • 4 hours ago

Gautier Paulin and Pauls Jonass Win the MXGP of Europe

The FIM Motocross World Championship raced on the sandy and demanding track at Valkenswaard this weekend. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass were the two riders who met the demands and took the overall victories. MXGP This weekend belongs to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier […] The post Gautier Paulin and Pauls Jonass Win the MXGP of Europe appeared first on Superbike News.
  • 4 hours ago

Toni Elias is Four for Four at COTA

Marc Marquez may be the King of the Circuit of The Americas with his five straight MotoGP wins here, but Toni Elias is a close second, the Spaniard winning his fourth successive MotoAmerica Superbike race in Texas today. For the second straight day, Elias scored victory at COTA, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider matching his effort […] The post Toni Elias is Four for Four at COTA appeared first on Superbike News.
  • 4 hours ago

Auburn baseball takes series from Arkansas as Hogs pitching fails Sunday

Auburn-Arkansas was always going to be a whale of a baseball series this sixth weekend of SEC play. And even though the Tigers took it with an 11-6 win on Sunday, things only became tighter in the league. The game itself was typical Sunday-in-the-SEC stuff. Arkansas used six pitchers. Five of them gave up runs. […] The post Auburn baseball takes series from Arkansas as Hogs pitching fails Sunday appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 11 hours ago

Recap: Auburn baseball team sets up big showdown vs. Mississippi State with series win over Arkansas

AUBURN, Ala. — Heading into Auburn’s three-game series against Arkansas, Butch Thompson felt there were people waiting for his Tigers to misstep and slip from the top of the SEC standings. Thompson’s ball club didn’t make many mistakes at Plainsman Park this weekend, though. After earning a win in the Friday night opener and dropping a […] The post Recap: Auburn baseball team sets up big showdown vs. Mississippi State with series win over Arkansas appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 11 hours ago

South Carolina has a spot in Ernest Jones’ top four

On Sunday night, 3-star linebacker Ernest Jones included South Carolina when he released a decision date and a list of four finalists. Jones, who’s ranked as the No. 49 outside linebacker in the class of 2018, also included Florida, Georgia Tech and Duke. A commitment will be announced on May 5.
  • 11 hours ago

LSU moves into driver’s seat with elite Texas OL Rafiti Ghirmai

LSU’s spring game weekend yielded several booms on the recruiting trail. It pushed the needle in the Tigers’ pursuit of one of the nation’s top offensive tackles as well. Rafiti Ghirmai is the No. 24 offensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting class and No. 42 overall prospect from Texas, per the 247Composite rankings. After taking […] The post LSU moves into driver’s seat with elite Texas OL Rafiti Ghirmai appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 11 hours ago

Complainant’s attorney in case against Caleb Brantley issues statement saying first police report was falsified

On Sunday afternoon, former Florida defensive lineman Caleb Brantley was arrested a case of battery after he allegedly struck a woman in the face and knocked her unconscious. Later in the day, the complainant in the case released a statement via her attorney on the incident.  She said that has had to undergo extensive medical treatment […] The post Complainant’s attorney in case against Caleb Brantley issues statement saying first police report was falsified appeared first on SEC Country.
  • 11 hours ago