As the 2008 college football season fast approaches, anticipation grows strong, especially in Alabama.
The offense, which was predicted to carry the Tide in 2007, fell well short of expectations in several games, resulting in national embarrassment. 'Bama looks to rebound this year by providing a showcase of offensive talent and skill absent for some time in Tuscaloosa.
After hauling in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, University of Alabama fans everywhere are eager to see the impact of such players as Julio Jones, the nation’s most revered wide receiver. With size, speed, and athleticism, this young man from Foley, AL should make an immediate impact for the Crimson Tide.
Also look for seasoned veteran receivers Nikita Stover, Will Oakley, and Mike McCoy to lead a phenomenal group of young receivers—the likes of sophomore Earl Alexander and recently-signed Burton Scott, as well as other incoming freshmen.
Will-be junior Andre Smith, honored with the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s most outstanding lineman in 2007, should prove to be one of the best linemen in the nation for 2008. In fact, the entire offensive line may be one of the best in the nation.
Along with teammate Antoine Caldwell, a senior leader at center, Smith has been named to the 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List. Caldwell has also been named to the Rimington Watch List as the nation’s top center.
Drew Davis, a junior offensive lineman who has spent most of his time in the back-up roll, was named the team’s most improved lineman following spring practice.
With the signing of Tyler Love, the best lineman in the nation in this year’s class, Alabama could finally have the O-line that can allow the backfield to work its magic. The only thing that could stand in their way is the injury bug, which has been prone to bite lately.
John Parker Wilson, a quarterback who has experienced a roller-coaster career, looks to reach the peak again during his senior year. A sub-par junior season in comparison to his breakout sophomore year left the Crimson Nation wondering where their star QB went.
However, JP has much to prove in his last season at the Capstone, and should provide the offensive spark needed.
Sophomore running back Terry Grant looks to improve upon his stellar freshman season that witnessed an explosion from the very first time he carried the ball. That carry resulted in his first collegiate touchdown and the first touchdown under Nick Saban’s reign—all on the very first offensive play of the season!
Expect many more explosions from Grant.
And finally, don’t forget Javier Arenas, listed as a defensive back, but known by all to be a threat from anywhere on the field. This 5’9” junior from Tampa may look undersized, but rest assured that big things come in small packages, and Arenas is no exception. He's starving for a touchdown after several very close misses last season.