As the University of Alabama football team returned to the practice fields Monday, it’s as if the preliminaries have all been completed.
The Crimson Tide had held four team workouts before spring break, which for many players was sort of the acclimation period, especially the eight early enrollees including junior college transfers.
However, now begins the three-week buildup to the A-Day scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 19, when some jobs will be won and other front-runners to start in the fall established.
Alabama is in need of four new starters on offense and at least seven on defense, but there are really only a few spots that aren’t up for grabs. Coach Nick Saban has made it clear that some of the self-admiring attitudes that hurt the Crimson Tide last season won’t be tolerated.
“I think that immature people and immature players sort of think that life’s going to give into their demands,” the coach said. “Mature people know that I have to give into life’s demands. If you really want to advance in this world, you’ve got to kind of do what you need to do to be successful, and most of the time that gets defined by somebody else.
“Like your boss. He defines the expectation for you, so if you want to advance, you need to do a good job. We need everybody to buy in and do a good job for what we need them to do so that we can be successful as a team.”
Here’s a look at some of the players to keep an eye on in April.