<
>

Ten Alabama players who stood out this spring

4/21/2015
Play1:35
Coker a lock for Alabama's starting QB job?

Joe Schad states the case for Jake Coker to be the starting quarterback at Alabama.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- As we wrap up Alabama's spring and look forward to the offseason, here's a look at 10 players who stood out during camp:

(Note: Players are listed in alphabetical order)

  • TE Dakota Ball: He's not going to make big plays in the passing game. He doesn't have anywhere near the athleticism of O.J. Howard. But Ball showed on Saturday what he brings to the table. The former defensive lineman has size and power to help blocking and in the running game. And as it turns out, he can catch the ball too, with three receptions during the scrimmage. It's not much, but it will keep a defense honest.

  • QB Jake Coker/David Cornwell: Before we get too down on the quarterbacks' performances at A-Day, remember what happened last year. All spring we heard how Blake Sims was doing well and then he flamed out during the scrimmage. So maybe it's time we trust the solid reviews coach Nick Saban gave to both Coker and Cornwell, despite so-so showings on Saturday. Cornwell has the size and talent to play the position, as does Coker. The thing going for Coker is he's clearly more comfortable in the offense and has indeed established a rapport with teammates, something that cost him last year.

  • LB Reuben Foster: Whether it's as the lone starter or splitting time with Shaun Dion Hamilton, Foster appears to be ready. With a few years in Saban's system, his knowledge should be there. Because there's no question his talent is. A heavy hitter with excellent speed, he was second on the Crimson Team in tackles with seven.

  • WR Robert Foster: Coupled with ArDarius Stewart as a first-team wide receiver, Foster looks like another nice weapon in Lane Kiffin's offense. Before A-Day began, Saban said how Foster had “really come along” this spring. And on Saturday the former No. 2 wideout in the 2013 class showed as much with six receptions for 125 yards.

  • S Ronnie Harrison: Every year there's an early enrollee who turns heads during camp. This year there's no doubt who that was as Harrison was the hot topic of conversation. The four-star safety from Tallahassee, Florida, appears to have taken to Saban's defense well. During the spring game, he even got an interception, returning it 31 yards.

  • RB Derrick Henry: He didn't break off any eye-popping runs on Saturday, but Henry didn't have to prove anything during the glorified scrimmage. At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds with the stride of a gazelle, he's an All-SEC talent. He's got drive too, apparently. Before the spring ever began, Saban held up the junior as one of the hardest workers during the offseason.

  • CB Marlon Humphrey: With so much uncertainty in the secondary, Alabama needed someone to step up. Enter Humphrey, the former five-star prospect who was redshirted his first year on campus. Competing this spring, the rangy corner fared well, leading the White Team in tackles while also intercepting a pass.

  • LB Christian Miller: Like Humphrey, Miller was another highly thought-of prospect who redshirted his first year on campus. And like Humphrey, he appears to have learned a lot in that time. The lanky outside linebacker showed great burst on Saturday, leading all players with two sacks.

  • S Maurice Smith: Speaking of Alabama's need in the secondary, it had to be good for Saban to see Smith make a few plays on defense on Saturday. The junior who has made the transition from corner to safety had four tackles, one sack and an interception he returned for a touchdown. As Alabama looks to fill three of four starting positions in the secondary, Smith should have a spot in the rotation.

  • WR ArDarius Stewart: The redshirt sophomore made his case to be Alabama's top receiver in 2015 with eight catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns during Saturday's spring game. Like Amari Cooper, who also comes in at 6-foot-1, Stewart doesn't have tremendous size. But when it comes to burst and the ability to make big plays, he has the potential to be a difference-maker.