Welcome to another chat about all things Alabama football. I'll be here for the next hour answering your questions. So let's begin.
Who will be the First Crimson Tide to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft?
Either Chance Warmack or Dee Milliner. Warmack might be the safe assumption since he likely won't drop past 10 overall, but Milliner has room to move up and impress some teams in the top 5 picks.
Will Altee Tenpenny be the next Ed Lacey??
I've heard that comparison thrown about. While he's not yet the same size as Lacy, he could be by the time he has a year or two in the system. He's a powerful runner with a solid frame. He looks like a young Trent Richardson to me. I like his mix of size and quickness and I believe he has a very high upside.
What is the effect of Henry's injury? I would open a door for another freshman, but none are on campus right?
Nothing tangible, I'm afraid. His being out leaves room for more carries for Kenyan Drake, but he's not a guy with a whole lot to prove. He's solidly the No. 2 back right now. But if Henry's injury lingers into the fall, which isn't expected but anything can happen, then he'll find himself quickly in a dogfight with three other freshmen all eager to play right away.
What do you expect to see Saturday? Anything to look for in particular?
A number of things. But the highlights: 1) How do the first and second team offensive lines perform, 2) Who impresses among the backup QBs, and 3) Can the secondary hold up against so many talented WRs. I think we'll see a lot of offense come Saturday and not much in the way of defense.
How are the corners looking in practice? Every article I read, especially by you, points to the corners. Is Belue and Smith holding up against our receivers?
It sounds like those two are holding their own and just recently Saban said Belue is having a really good spring. The problem is a lack of depth behind them. There aren't many pure corners waiting in the wings. Look for the backup safeties to fill the roles of nickel and dime corner a lot this season.
What had to led to Saban's change in recruiting philosophy in regards to sophomore commits? When up until this year, he reportedly didn't take them, or did so reluctantly, and rarely? And now has taken three 2015 pledges already.
It is curious, isn't it? My only thought is that he's seen enough of these guys to feel comfortable about their ability to perform at the next level. Saban is very hesitant to accept a commitment from anyone he hasn't seen in camp. That said, it's important to remember that while they've committed, that doesn't mean anything is set in stone on either side. A lot can change in the time between now and Feb. 2015.
What do you think the tide will run on offense? Will they run the ball with Yeldon, Fowler, Drake and Henry, or will they integrate more play action passing?
I imagine we'll see a lot of what we saw last year: Running power and working off of it with play action. It's Saban's MO and I don't see that changing even with Eddie Lacy gone, a new O-line and a ton of talent at WR. Saban knows an offense must be balanced and I don't see them moving away from that now.
Who will start alongside Clinton-Dix in the back of the Bama defense?
Right now I'd say it's between Landon Collins and Vinnie Sunseri. I'd give Sunseri the edge because of experience but I believe Collins is capable of winning out. He's the more talented of the two. That said, both will see the field plenty as Saban likes to use multiple safeties depending on the package.
Will O.J. Howard have the most impact of any Alabama freshmen in 2013?
He has a chance to be the most impactful because of the position he'll play and a lack of experience there with Michael Williams gone. He's a playmaker who can really stretch the field. That said, don't count out Derrick Henry making an impact or someone like Jonathan Allen coming in and impressing at defensive end or Jack LB. Alabama needs pass-rushers.
Well folks, that's all the time we've got. Come back at the same time and place next week and we'll do it again. Cheers!