SEC Football Roundtable: Alabama
What are some of the major position battles going on within your team?
It seems it will be running back by committee for the Tide in 2008. Glen Coffee, Terry Grant and Roy Upchurch will get the bulk of the carries. Wide receiver is another place with battles. Mike McCoy and Nikita Stover are currently the No. 1s, with guys like Will Oakley, Earl Alexander, Darius Hanks and Brandon Gibson backing them up.
In Saban's 3-4 defense, linebacker has been a spot for newcomers. Converted RB Jimmy Johns, Rolando McClain, Cory Reamer and Brandon Fanney seem to be the top four right now. Freshmen coming in over the summer and in early August will add depth, especially Jerrell Harris.
Who are some players on each side of the ball that you see emerging as stars this year?
Offensively, I think McCoy will emerge as John Parker Wilson's favorite target. With DJ Hall, Keith Brown and Matt Caddell now gone, receptions are literally up for grabs.
Defensively, I like CB Kareem Jackson. He was outstanding as a freshman and will be the Tide's top corner in 2008.
Are there any injuries your team is worrying about?
I don't think there have been any big-time injuries in the spring, but of course you always worry about it happening. Terry Grant is an injury-prone back, so I'll worry about his durability. Lorenzo Washington, probably the starting nose tackle, has had a couple surgeries, but he should be back to full strength.
What do you think your team’s major strengths and weaknesses will be?
No real strengths jump out at me. I think the offense will be solid, as well as the defense, but nothing just over-the-top great. Weakness could be the inexperience at wide receiver and linebacker.
What games are you most looking forward to watching this year?
The Clemson game Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome, at Georgia, at Tennessee, at LSU and especially Auburn at home. The streak ends this year.
What record do you think your team will end the regular season with?
Bama fans continue to talk about recruiting and being back on the national stage, but I don't think that year is this year. I'll say the Tide goes anywhere from 7-5 to 9-3 in the regular season.
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