It was pretty obvious whom University of Alabama coach Nick Saban was referring to when he opened his press conference after A-Day by saying, “Nobody ever has a bad spring game.”
Senior quarterback Blake Sims, who had been obviously pressing, didn’t have best day when completing 13 of 30 passes for 178 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
But A-Day is not when the Crimson Tide coaches do most of their spring evaluations. The majority of it had already been done during the closed practices and first two scrimmages, when Sims posted better numbers.
Instead, A-Day is mostly for show and for fans. The playbook is scaled down, the players aren’t expected to do anything too extreme, and everyone hopes that there aren’t any significant injuries.
So, yes, it almost does have a Little League feel to it in that you want all of the players feeling good about themselves at the end. Nearly every Crimson Tide player got a trophy as well:
Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter Award—Jalston Fowler, Reggie Ragland
Jerry Duncan “I Like to Practice” Award—Chris Black, DJ Pettway, Bradley Sylve, Nick Perry
Billy Neighbors Defensive Lineman Award—A’Shawn Robinson
Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award—Austin Shepherd
Bobby Johns Defensive Back Award—Landon Collins, Jarrick Williams
Johnny Musso Offensive Back Award—T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry
Ray Perkins Receiver Award—Amari Cooper, Christion Jones
Woodrow Lowe Linebacker Award—Trey Depriest
Derrick Thomas Community Service Award—Arie Kouandjio, O.J. Howard
Bear Bryant Outstanding Non-Scholarship Award—Paul Waldrop, Tyler Owens, Parker Barrineau, Josh Dickerson
Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award—Cam Robinson, Tony Brown, Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Eddie Jackson, Robert Foster
Bart Starr Most Improved Player Award—Geno Smith, Xzavier Dickson, Leon Brown, Jarran Reed, Brandon Ivory, Grant Hill
Mal Moore Leadership Award—Brian Vogler, Denzel Devall
Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award—Blake Sims, Ryan Kelly
Dwight Stephenson Lineman of the A-Day Game Award—DJ Pettway, Jonathan Allen
Dixie Howell Memorial Most Valuable Player of the A-Day Game Award—T.J. Yeldon
Nevertheless, here are the players and coaches who really had a good spring and those you can only say, “Not so much:”