What Nick Saban, Alabama Teammates Say About Tide Freshmen

Missing spring practice had an impact, as did near prescription lockdowns and complete lockdown of workouts.

It is a little hard to see how the young stars of this Alabama football team can be on the practice field without an outside eye. Matt Zenitz of AL.com had some intel from the first and second scrimmages but not as many were allowed at Bryant-Denny Stadium for those practice games.

So, now we have to rely on the interviews of these young players and the assessment of these young players through the words of Nick Saban.

One of the names getting the most Presidential buzz is Will Anderson. The outside linebacker has impressed throughout August and September, but only once was Saban or anyone referred to in a conference interview to watch.

“We have many new people – both Drew Sanders and Will Anderson have promised something,” Saban said on August 29 for the first time. “They are still figuring out exactly what to do and how to do it, but they are ‘both guys I think maybe can contribute to the team. I think we have at linebacker in general There are some other people who might be able to develop and help us this year as well. “

There is a lot of competition in the secondary and some rookies are competing for the lead roles.

Brian Branch is the one with a shot in the fifth star known as the star.

“Brian Branch is definitely a bowler,” receiver Jaylen Wadle said on Tuesday. “I really like the way he competes. He is real physical and he is going to be the star of the future, definitely a household name.”

related: Bryan Branch may be the starting ‘star’ of the Alabama defense

Hewitt-Trussville also has Malachi Moore in that mix. Junior cornerback Patrick Surtain spoke about Branch and Moore on Tuesday.

“I’m also improving them in knowing plays, knowing adjustments, knowing concepts,” said, a full-time starter in the secondary. “He has the talent to cover and stuff, but I know that he has to constantly understand development, playbooks and games, that’s what he has.”

Saban also told of Moore and Branch after the September 8 practice.

“Both guys played multiple positions, Star, Money,” he said. “I think both people have a chance to contribute. We lost four of the five starts in the secondary last year, so we don’t have much experience. And this is one of the situations that we are trying to create more depth. Those people seem to be the kind of people who have enough maturity as new people to focus on the things they need to do so that they have a chance to go out there and play. We’ve enabled some people to move around afresh, and we’re probably going to have someone do it in the secondary. “

related: Notes, Intel from Alabama Football Scrimmage

The Jordan fight is not a new man, but will have a greatly expanded role as a safety. In Year 2, Battle stated that Battle “is more vocal”.

“He’s flying out of there,” Suret said, “and he’s developed into the leadership we need in the secondary. So, we expect a lot of good things from her and she’s doing well.”

On the offensive side of the ball, some young receivers are working in the mix for a comeback, returning stars Davonta Smith and Wadle. Jevon Baker caught a touchdown pass in Saturday’s condemnation. Traeshon Holden and Thai u Jones-Bell are also true new receivers.

“I think all three young receivers who came in were really challenged, and they accepted the challenge really well,” Waddle said on Tuesday. “So, I think they’re doing real good, all of them. They’re learning real fast, and they’re going to be real good.”

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There is also discussion of a deep stable or running back that develops behind Nazi Harris and Brian Robinson.

Newcomers such as Jas McClellan and Roydell Williams of Hueytown have made an early impact.

“We were really impressed with what we were running,” Saban said after a second investigation Saturday. “The young guys played really well, so you know we had a lot of good things on the offensive side.”

Robinson is impressed by what he sees from newcomers.

“It hasn’t taken them a long time to learn the playbook,” he said. “They pick up very fast, they work hard. So, my job is to make sure that they are doing all the work that goes on and off the field so that they can stay focused and learn the playbook, so that they themselves In a team role. Somehow. “

And don’t forget about Trey Sanders.

The five-star recruit who missed all of the last time with a foot injury has a point to prove this fall.

“He definitely makes our job easier,” offensive guard Donte Brown said. “He hits the holes well, he doesn’t hesitate, he runs very smooth, he knows to read the gaps, he’s an all-around player.”

Robinson said he sees growth in Rose Sanders.

“I feel like he can have some kind of offensive ball or special teams impact on our team,” Robinson said. “I think the tray has recovered quite well.”

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow her on twitter @ByCasagrande Or on Facebook.