Chat with Alex Scarborough
Welcome to TideNation! On Thursday, reporter Alex Scarborough stops by to chat about the state of Alabama football.
Scarborough joined ESPN.com in 2012 after covering University of Alabama athletics and high school football for The Tuscaloosa News. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Send your questions now and join Scarborough Thursday at noon ET!
Alex Scarborough (12:14 PM)
My apologies for the delay. Had some technical problems but we're back up and running.
Alex i think it great to hear Rolando back in school do you think maybe coach saban has in around as like a student assistant to work with younger players and mentor them on not what to do like a guy like Reuben foster
Alex Scarborough (12:15 PM)
It's too early to say whether he should come back in that respect. I think the fewer things on Rolando's plate right now the better. I do, however, believe Saban will bring him in at some point to speak with the players and show them just how quickly things can go wrong.
alex is it safe to say the longer this enrollment takes for the Wr. robert foster the likely we all will see him as a redshirt this season
Alex Scarborough (12:16 PM)
Even before now I thought there was a very good chance he'd redshirt for nothing other than the depth at the position. There are five to six guys with starting potential already. Why waste a year of eligibility if there's no need?
with the amount of Great athletes Coach Saban has at his disposal do you still see him putting christian jones back at punt returner because it an adventure with him..alabama should dominate the special teams with all these speed players they have
Alex Scarborough (12:17 PM)
If you made me guess who would be the No. 1 punt returner I'd point to Dee Hart being the guy. He was beginning to take over that role last year before he went down with injury. And you're right about calling Christion and adventure back there. He's got home run potential but he's made some head-scratching decisions at the same time.
How many 5 stars do you see Bama finish with?
Alex Scarborough (12:20 PM)
I'd put the over/under at one with that one being Marlon Humphrey. The other two five-stars I'm paying attention to are Leonard Fournette and Cameron Robinson. Da'Shawn Hand putting Bama in his top three was interesting as well.
two part question. How big of a role do you think chris black will have in the offense this year wiuth the depth we have at wr. and if you had to pick a corner to lock down a wr would you pick blue or smith or someone else?
Alex Scarborough (12:22 PM)
Good questions, both of them. I think Chris Black will play a significant role and could even push Christion Jones to start at slot receiver. He's simply too talented to keep off the field. And as far as a "lock down" corner, I like Belue at the start of the year and Smith toward the end. Belue looks much more confident in his second year on campus and Smith is coming into his own.
MARI IL [via mobile]
Will this be the hardest year for the tide to win the sec west in a while
Alex Scarborough (12:25 PM)
I wouldn't necessairily put it that way because Auburn and Tennessee are recovering, Ole Miss is still coming into its own and LSU lost so much from the year before. But in the context of winning an SEC title and looking at the East, I think you can make that statement. Georgia, Florida and South Carolina are strong programs right now.
Any chance Marlon Humphrey doesn't wear Crimson?
Alex Scarborough (12:26 PM)
I'd put my money on him ending up in Tuscaloosa. The history with his dad and the fact that Saban is arguably the best defensive backs coach in the game is simply too much to ignore. He'll take his time and weigh his options, but I think Marlon ultimately chooses UA.
Josh taylor (Birmingham,AL)
For the incoming freshman for the Tide, who do you personally think will make the biggest impact on the offensive side?
Alex Scarborough (12:29 PM)
While I think Derrick Henry has tremendous potential, I'd say O.J. Howard has the best chance to make an impact at TE. He's the most athletic guy at the position and the best at catching the football. He'll have to prove he can produce in terms of blocking, but when it comes to being a playmaker he's got all the tools.
Can you give us any updates on Jai Miller and how he's coming along? Not getting a lot of info on one of the more interseting stories in the program (IMO).
Alex Scarborough (12:30 PM)
I've heard only good things from those around him in terms of working hard during the spring and picking up the playbook quickly. He's got a lot of guys ahead of him at safety (Sunseri, Perry, Collins, Williams), but he's got the right mindset and is already there in terms of strength and athleticism.
Was Cyrus Jones moving up the depth chart at CB more due to his natural gifts at the position? or the lack of development of the players who were there before him? some of both?
Alex Scarborough (12:32 PM)
A bit of both. There's clearly a lack of depth at the position, but you can't undervalue his natural talent. I like what I saw from him in terms of quickness and fluidity. He could very well be a third cornerback with a good fall camp.
Chris B. (Gadsden, AL)
Which player do you think will be this year's flip like Reuben Foster and T.J. Yeldon the past 2 years?
Alex Scarborough (12:35 PM)
Hmm ... Good question. I think Alabama isn't yet out of the picture with LB Tre Williams. He's said that UA assistant Lance Thompson hasn't stopped recruiting him since his commitment.
Who will be our opponent in the SEC championship?
Alex Scarborough (12:36 PM)
Call it a gut feeling, but I think everything falls into place for Florida this year. Had Georgia not lost so much to the draft, I'd go with the Bulldogs.
On the Topic of CB, It looks like Bama is completely set at the Safety position with starter-quality players unable to get snaps, while seems to lack the same quality and depth at CB. Any Idea how/why this happened?
Alex Scarborough (12:38 PM)
Losing Kirkpatrick and Milliner early to the draft threw things out of loop, but it's also a result of the way Alabama recruits. Saban appears to really like safety types because he can use them at corner as well. It's why you see guys like Sunseri and Perry at nickel and dime so much.
Is Darren Lake the man to backup Ivory at the NG position? or is someone else going to fill that role?
Alex Scarborough (12:39 PM)
He is. He was able to do a little bit last year but coming from a small program out of high school he was very raw. Now that he's had some time in the system, he'll be able to start showing his true potential.
Jeff H (Huntsville, AL)
How is Derrick Henry recovering from his leg injury and do you see him playing a significant role at the RB position this season?
Alex Scarborough (12:41 PM)
He appears to be doing very well. He's posted a number of photos on Instagram of him working out lately and it looks like he's getting back to 100 percent. And from speaking with his HS coach, he expressed zero doubt that he'd be back to form in time for fall camp.
With so many options at Quarterback this year, who do you see playing behind McCarron?
Alex Scarborough (12:43 PM)
On the depth chart you'll likely see Blake Sims as the No. 2 QB, but if McCarron were to go down for an extended period of time I don't believe Alabama would stick with him since he's not a pure passer. In the event that someone else needs to start under center, I believe it would be redshirt freshman Alec Morris. He knows the playbook and has a very strong arm.
Bob P (Old Hickory, TN)
What do you think of this years team? Do you see any of the 2010 outlook there?
Alex Scarborough (12:46 PM)
I don't right now, but it's too early to say. You don't really know a team's mindset until they go through the summer when the onus is really on them to stay in shape.
Brandon (Ohio (Springfield))
Coming off B2B championships, how do yo honestly see the tide playing this year...i feel that if we win the VT and ATM we could see a OSU BAMA match up in cali... comments ??
Alex Scarborough (12:48 PM)
The schedule sets up very nicely for Alabama once it gets through that tough opening stretch that includes Va Tech, TAMU and Ole Miss. But don't sleep on what LSU and an SEC CG opponent will mean to a title run.
What potential do you see for our O-line this year? I know that Coach Saban does a great job of getting snaps to the younger guys, but we did lose a lot. How strong do you think they will be or do you see that as a weak spot for our offense?
Alex Scarborough (12:49 PM)
While I can't imagine the line being as good as it was last season, I do think it will be better than average. Ryan Kelly is the key at center and we've heard only good things about his development. Cyrus Kouandjio is an anchor at LT and Anthony Steen is a future pro at RG.
Any chance Fowler starts at H-Back? If so do you see them changing the role of the position to better make use of his play making skills?
Alex Scarborough (12:50 PM)
I don't see him starting, but he'll get plenty of snaps with some coming at RB and some at H-back. I think the position he could be most impactful is H-back, though, where he could be a threat to run, block and catch the football.
Bob P (Old Hickory)
Do you think the Bama run game will drop this year?
Alex Scarborough (12:52 PM)
Not with T.J. Yeldon healthy and running the football. He's as good as they come at the position. And with the depth of Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and Derrick Henry, I think Alabama will be fine. Oh, and that's not to mention the three four-star incoming freshmen at the position.
Duck (Key West, Fl )
What is your prediction for the A&M game ? I see pay-back
Alex Scarborough (12:53 PM)
Very early to say, but I like Alabama's chances. Had the game gone five quarters last season, the Tide would have won. But with the game being in College Station, I make it a toss up.
How thin is depth at cornerback? Past the two starters?
Alex Scarborough (12:54 PM)
Outside of the starters (Belue and Smith), there's not much in terms of experience, essentially only John Fulton to come off the bench. Adding Cyrus Jones to the rotation helps, but finding one to two more contributors would go a long way.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
What's the latest word on Drake?
Alex Scarborough (12:55 PM)
All is good on that front. He had a solid spring and positioned himself very well to be the No. 2 running back behind T.J. Yeldon.
RJ (East LA (Lower Alabama))
Does Reuben Foster see much playing time this year? How does Vogler fit in the TE picture (he's from my hometown)?
Alex Scarborough (12:57 PM)
Not starters reps, but Foster could see time late in games. He'll start out on special teams and could rise up the depth chart once he gets a handle on the playbook. And as far as Vogler, I think he starts at tight end. He had a good spring and has better than expected athleticism when it comes to getting open and catching the football.
Do you see Kellen Williams getting some time along the o-line this year
Alex Scarborough (12:57 PM)
Not as a starter, I don't believe, but on the second team line and as a back-up, sure.
Bama doesn't seem to have that "road grader blocking" TE (i.e Williams) on the roster, Who do you see filling that roll?
Alex Scarborough (12:58 PM)
Vogler isn't the physical presence of Williams, but he can hold his own. I'm curious to see if Malcolm Faciane can be that guy. He's a big, athletic option at the position.
Scratches (the Gump, AL)
Is Vinnie Sunseri still the hardest hitter on this year's team?
Alex Scarborough (12:59 PM)
He's right up there. Two other guys to watch along those lines are LB Reggie Ragland and S Landon Collins.
Alex Scarborough (1:00 PM)
Time flies, fellas. That's all we've got today. Thanks for stopping by and remember we'll do this at the same time and place next week. And as always, be sure to stop by TideNationESPN.com for your latest Alabama news.