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April 11, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Alex Scarborough

Alex Scarborough
  (12:03 PM)

My apologies for running just a few minutes behind today. I had to rush home from Alabama's second pro day where Eddie Lacy ran a 4.59 and 4.62 40-yard dash. And with that bit of news, let's get things started.

K. cannon ozark, al [via mobile]

since saban arrived at bama the pass & run has ben balanced. but with so many good rec. for aj to hit do you see us passing more than runing or staying bal. ?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:05 PM)

The passing game may be more explosive, but don't look for an overall change in philosophy. This is Saban's offense through and through and he's a coach who values a strong running game and a balanced attack. Expect it to be close to 50-50 run-pass again this coming season.

K. cannon ozark, al [via mobile]

If we win the west this yr. i think we should who do you think we play? i know its early but i think south carolina.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:06 PM)

South Carolina should be considered the favorite. The defense stands to be better and the offense should have some more stability after last season. That said, I have a feeling Georgia will be better than people expect and Florida is just waiting to emerge as a national powerhouse again.

steve (texas)

does injury to trey d have an implications to him for the start of next season..what is usually the recovery time for this type of surgery..

Alex Scarborough
  (12:10 PM)

According to Coach Saban, it doesn't. It sounded like he could have continued if it weren't spring and there wasn't a necessity for him to do so. Saban expressed full confidence that DePriest will be 100 percent by the start of fall camp. That said, Reggie Ragland and Ryan Anderson have an opportunity now to earn some serious reps. Remember that C.J. Mosley is still being kept from contact as he recovers from offseason surgery to clean up his shoulder.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the First Alabama College Football Player to be Selected in the 2013 NFL Draft?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:12 PM)

The latest mock draft has Chance Warmack going eighth to the Bills, but don't be surprised if Dee Milliner draws interest from a team in the top 5. The Raiders at No. 3 are a possible destination for the corner.

Steve (Texas)

Thanks for all what you do Alex and excellent article on jai miller..so in the subject of mr miller do you think coach saban will keep him after spring and do you see him having playing time next year if he kept like on special teams and so on

Alex Scarborough
  (12:14 PM)

First of all, thank you for your kind words. And secondly, I do see him staying on after spring and having a role on this team. At the very least he'll be able to contribute on special teams. But remember the secondary is largely up for grabs this season. Be patient with Jai but don't be shocked if he makes a move this fall when he's had time to digest the playbook and acclimate himself to football once again.

Toby L (TX)

I understand the logic and thoroughness of Saban not taking QB commitments before summer camp, but like Foster Sawyer eluded to, QBs like to commit early so their spots not taken by someone else. Has this process caused the Tide to miss out on any elite QBs in the past and could it hurt our chances at getting a Sawyer or Cornwell this year?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:17 PM)

I believe it does turn off some QB prospects and I wonder how past recruitments would have turned out if Saban's policy were different. But with that said, Alabama didn't have trouble getting a top-5 prospect in Cooper Bateman this past class and hasn't had any difficulty drawing significant interest from some of the top signal-callers in this year's class. It's very old school thinking from the staff, but it's wise. They want to know exactly what they're getting from someone at arguably the most significant position on the football field.

Shaun (TN)

I am worried about the star position. Who do you feel confident in taking that role this fall? Sunserei is not the answer.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:18 PM)

It's a concern, but I think Alabama will be able to mix and match its way out of trouble. Jarrick Williams, Landon Collins, Nick Perry and Bradley Sylve are all options Saban can turn to depending on who the matchup is. And don't sleep on Sunseri. I've heard good things about his improvement this offseason and he knows full well what kind of pressure is on him to perform better this year.

Shaun (TN)

Who has stood out in practices so far on Offense and Defense?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:19 PM)

On offense: the receiving corps is tremendously talented and deep and the offense as a whole stands to be even more explosive than it was last year. On defense: There are so many questions to be answered from the secondary to the linebacking corps to the defensive line.

Tim and Will (TTown)

How is the offensive line working together so far? How dominant can we expect them to be?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:21 PM)

So far, so good. Saban said yesterday how pleased he is with the group's development and sounded very content with where they'll be come fall. That said, expect them to be good but don't get your hopes up and starting thinking they'll be as good as last year's line. They were downright historic. Overall, though, there's a lot of talent on the line this year and they should find a way to make it work effectively.

Bama Bob (Bama)

Brandon Ivory is no Jesse Williams. Is he still the solution at Nose or is there someone else that could step in?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:22 PM)

He's not the same as Jesse, but that doesn't mean he can't be effective there. The nose guard position isn't about making plays, it's about making plays for others. And I have confidence that Ivory and Lake will be able to eat up blockers. They're both very big bodies with adequate athleticism. The one to watch is Lake. He's got very strong hands. He's raw, but promising.

Bama Bob (Bama)

The Trey Depriest injury may hurt him some with a loss of practice. Do you see any of the young guys stepping up and using this opportunity to take the role from him?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:23 PM)

I don't know if he'll lose his job, but expect Reggie Ragland and Ryan Anderson to benefit most from his absence. As I noted earlier in the chat, there are a lot of reps to be had this spring at inside linebacker.

Bama Bob (Bama)

I have read alot about DeAndrew White's scrimmage. What was it? A) He was getting good seperation. B) McCarron was putting it on the money. C) The CB covering was Vinnie Sunserei who couldn't cover my dog.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:25 PM)

OK, enough with the Sunseri bashing. He shouldn't be the one covering him anyways. But either way, I think it's a combination of A and B, with a little of something else. Remember White is prohibited from contact so it's hard to believe any CB covered him as effectively as he would have in a game. The numbers are promising, but don't get carried away by one scrimmage only a few people were permitted to see.

Steve (Bama)

How does the Cyrus move to defense affect our lineup next year? Is he good enough to play the star or nickle?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:26 PM)

He's made a lot of progress at corner and looks like a good bet to come on at either nickel or dime. He's a natural at the position with his quickness and good size. Alabama needs more in terms of depth at CB but Cyrus is a good start.

Darren (Decatur, GA)

Alex, do you really believe Dee Hart will be able to sustain kick return duties? Seems like that position outs a lot of torque and force on the knees due to the cutting and whatnot.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:27 PM)

If he's limited primarily to that, then yes, I think he stands to be in good shape. He's a good cutter but that doesn't mean he'll have to bounce backward and make the driving movements that effect his knees. His biggest asset might be his ability to read blocks and catch the football, something other specialist struggled with last season.

Steve (Bama)

If McCarron pulls off the same stats and another championship, can he win the Heisman?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:29 PM)

He's got to sustain a little better in big games (remember LSU, TAMU, UGA) but if he puts up similar numbers and takes Alabama to the BCS, I think he earns himself a trip to NYC.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is sophomore who recently committed to Bama the next Jadaveon Clowney for Saban to take him so early in the process?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:31 PM)

OK, OK, now we're getting carried away. Let's see how he develops the next two seasons before we go throwing around Clowney's name. I don't want to get my helmet knocked off. That said, it does say something about the staff's evaluation of him that they would accept a commitment this early. As my colleague Greg Ostendorf pointed out on TideNationESPN.com a few days ago, Alabama has become much more selective and patient when it comes to accepting commitments. If you haven't read his story, you should.

Matt (Nashville, TN)

do you have a guess for which spring game Cornwell attend? He is deciding between Bama and ut and will commit in June if I am remembering right

Alex Scarborough
  (12:32 PM)

Can I read the mind of a teenager? No, though I wouldn't be surprised if he went elsewhere and came back to Tuscaloosa shortly after for the summer camp.

Steven Seiler (AL)

What changes do you see in Saban's gameplan for Texas A&M this year?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:34 PM)

Go back and watch the final three quarters of last year's game and see. The pressure on the QB was much more contained and the secondary held up better than it did in the first quarter. Look for Mosley to be on the field more with more athletic linemen, too. Saban wants to match speed with speed this time around.

Issac (west palm )

Can our linebacker play be better then last years ?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:35 PM)

That's a lot to ask, but maybe. Losing Nico hurts, but not tremendously. Mosley is rock solid, DePriest is too and we're just now seeing Adrian Hubbard's potential. Hubbard, Dickson and Devall all stand to make improvements this coming season which would be huge for Alabama. That said, the defensive line needs to clear the way ahead of them and with just one starter returning, that area is a question mark until proven otherwise.

Drake (west palm )

Any good news on jabreil washington ?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:37 PM)

Fairly quiet on that front. Saban went through the list of possible Star and Money (inside cornerback) players yesterday and Jabriel wasn't a part of the conversation.

Toby L (TX)

Am I crazy thinking Nico Johnson will be a better pro than Te'o?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:38 PM)

Maybe not, but I wouldn't put money on it. I was at Alabama's Pro Day this morning and I watched Nico work out and turned to a colleague and said that if I had a team I'd take him. He's got a pro body, decent enough speed and is as sure-handed a tackler as you'll find. If he lands in the right spot -- a big "if" -- he could surprise some people.

RollMFTide (Bama)

I thought Bateman commited in min-May so he didn't have to go to the June Camps prior to be accepted. IS it possible that David Cornwell could throw for them prior to the Camp as he has spoke on June 1 being his target date. I believe that camp is after that

Alex Scarborough
  (12:40 PM)

It's true what you said about Bateman, but he's been the exception to the rule and that was partly because Nussmeier has known him for a long time dating back to his time at Washington. That said, it is possible Cornwell could make arrangements, but I have not heard anything solid on that front. Again, I'll refer you to my colleague Greg Ostendorf (Twitter @GregO_ESPN) for all your recruiting questions. You can hit him up at TideNationESPN.com.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

What areas will Saban focus on most in the 2014 recruiting class?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:40 PM)

Offensive line has been a target early on and I expect defensive back to be as well. There might not be as big an emphasis on running backs this year.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How far does Anthony Grant need to take the basketball team next season to have no worries about his job security?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:42 PM)

At least the tournament and I'd hope past the first round. But remember Alabama has a first-time athletic director in Bill Battle who may not be eager to destabilize a program that's been fairly successful of late -- not as successful as maybe it should be but nonetheless a winning program.

Keenan (Atlanta, GA)

Will one of the linebackers develop into the dominant playmaker/pass rusher Bama fans have become accustomed to during the Saban Era this season?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:46 PM)

Of the group, I'd say Hubbard is the most likely to become that type of player. He has all the tools but was inconsistent at times last season. He did, however, finish very strong with three sacks in his final three games. If he continues that trend and reached 10 sacks next year, it would be a big boost for Alabama's defense as a whole.

dave tn (tn)

How's the chatter on Tomlinson after last week's scrimmage?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:48 PM)

Overwhelmingly positive for him all spring. Here's exactly what Saban had to say about him yesterday: " He is very, very athletic, can run very well. I think we need some guys like that. I think he's done a really good job this spring. If he continues to progress, he'll be one of the guys that we rotate as a starting end next year."

dave tn (tn)

Sounds encouraging...still remember his heavyweight wrestling championship pin...but then the injury...and then wondering if he would overcome...could be the newcomer of the Fall...

Alex Scarborough
  (12:54 PM)

The wrestling background is intriguing for a guy at his position. So much of being a down linemen is getting leverage and using your hands effectively.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:59 PM)

Well that's all the time we have today. Thanks for joining me. I'll be back at the same time and place next week, but remember you can always turn to TideNationESPN.com for all the latest Alabama news.