Notes, intel from Alabama’s second spring scrimmage


James Ogletree, Staff Writer

Alabama completed its second spring scrimmage on Saturday as it continues to work toward its annual spring game on April 13. Here are some notes and observations from a source who was in attendance:

Freshman defensive lineman D.J. Dale started with the first team between LaBryan Ray and Raekwon Davis. He had an “impressive” tackle on Najee Harris four yards in the backfield and had “no doubt” the majority of the first-team snaps at nose. The source pointed out that doesn’t mean Dale has the upper hand on presumed starter Phidarian Mathis; the coaches sometimes do that to motivate experienced players to work to keep their spots.

Ale Kaho was “all over the field” as a third-team linebacker before playing some with the twos toward the end of the scrimmage.

Eyabi Anoma worked with the first team and Christopher Allen with the twos, switching spots from the first scrimmage. The source expects the coaches to craft certain plays to utilize Anoma’s pass-rushing potential.

Tua Tagovailoa was sharp, including a deep touchdown on a post route to Henry Ruggs III. He did take a few unnecessary sacks, though – an issue the quarterback acknowledged a few weeks ago. Mac Jones had a rough day and was replaced by Taulia Tagovailoa after his third interception. The younger Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson both struggled to move the chains while coordinating their respective teams.

The quarterbacks have been under center a lot more this spring than during the past two seasons, the source said.

Tua Tagovailoa’s protection suffered once Jedrick Wills left the scrimmage with what Saban called a sprained ankle. (The source would be “shocked” if Wills plays again in the spring.) Matt Womack slid from right guard to right tackle, Chris Owens slid from center to right guard for the most part, and Emil Ekiyor was the center. Evan Neal and returning starter Deonte Brown split reps at left guard.

The offensive skill positions, with the exception of the tight ends, sounded like they had a nice day. Jerry Jeudy had an “incredible” day, including making four defenders miss on one play. Najee Harris also had a long touchdown run.

Miller Forristall and Giles Amos got most of the first-team reps at tight end but neither was particularly effective.

Shyheim Carter played a lot of safety next to Xavier McKinney after only playing Star in the first scrimmage. In dime, McKinney played the Money (hybrid linebacker) spot, Carter and Jared Mayden played safety, and Josh Jobe played corner across from Trevon Diggs with Patrick Surtain II at Star.

Joseph Bulovas struggled again on Saturday, and the source expects him to eventually be surpassed by freshman Will Reichard.

The team will practice on Tuesday and Thursday before the spring game next Saturday.