Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What to Watch for in Spring Practice: OL & DL

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Offensive & Defensive Lineman

On the offensive line, the Tide will say well to Senior Offensive Guard Mike Johnson, who is one of only two offensive starters from last year not returning. Another athlete you wont see this spring in starting senior William Vlachos, who is out of practice after undergoing foot surgery.

Other than that, the offensive side of the ball will look familiar this spring. Christopher Walsh reported Friday, that the first team unit was:

  • OT: James Carpenter
  • OG: John Michael Boswell
  • C: David Ross
  • OG: Barrett Jones
  • OT: Alfred McCullough

The second unit taking snaps together:

  • OT: Tyler Love
  • OG: Anthony Steen
  • C: Brian Motley
  • OG: Chance Warmack
  • OT: D.J. Fluker

The much anticipated lineman is D.J. Fluker who many have hopes of becoming the next Andre Smith. Also, given the numbers of linemen on the team, don’t be surprised to see some guys slide up and down the line.

On the defensive side of the trench, the obvious gaping hole of emptiness is where Terrence Cody used to line up. This year the D-line will have a lot more than shoes to fill. Leading the way to replacing Cody is Josh Chapman, followed closely behind by Kerry Murphy, Nick Gentry, and Brandon Moore. However, the main question will be whether any combination of Josh Chapman and Kerry Murphy can demand the same attention and respect from opposing offensive lines than Cody did. However, what the combination loose in size, they bring up in relative speed and agility. The two will still be able to create some noise in the trenches from the nose guard position.

As for the two ends on the defensive line, Marcell Dareus will hold the line down with Luther Davis. Darues led the line last year in total tackles, tackles for a loss, and of course interceptions. His biggest and only one coming against Texas in the National Championship game last year. Behind these guys will be a large group of guys including Darrington Sentimore, Damion Square, Brandon Lewis, Unda Billingsley, Chris Bonds,William Ming and Antony Orr, who are all looking to make it to the rotation in the regular season.

Adding to the talent on the defensive line will be incoming freshman Brandon Ivory, the 6-3 330 lb. defensive tackle out of Memphis TN. Ivory will try to add his name to the depth chart at nose guard, while  the defensive end from Birmingham, Wilson love will enter practice this fall at defensive end.

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