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

Alex Scarborough
  (12:00 PM)

Welcome to another hour of Alabama football talk. Thanks for joining. As always, we'll operate on a first come, first served basis. Let's go ahead and get this thing going.

pj (midlo)

what type of seasons would you project for Lacy (GB) and T Rich (CLEV) this NFL season

Alex Scarborough
  (12:02 PM)

Lacy has a chance for a solid rookie campaign since he's stepping into a readymade situation with the offense as potent as it already is. As far as Richardson, I expect more of the same in his sophomore season with the Browns. Brandon Weeden is a year more comfortable under center which will benefit Richardson.

Bill (NYC)

Does number 63 Kellen Williams have a shot of starting this year? Thanks

Alex Scarborough
  (12:03 PM)

I don't believe he'll start, but in the event of an injury at guard he'll be in the conversation. And given that projected RG Arie Kouandjio has a history of injury, Williams should be on his toes.

Mari IL [via mobile]

I asked the Gatornation guy if he shared my view that florida has the best pool talent to chose from out of all the fantasy drafts in past 20 yrs he said maybe alabama diid whats your take

Alex Scarborough
  (12:05 PM)

I think Alabama has the edge in all-time talent over Florida. There are already dozens of hall of famers and more than 100 first-team all-americans in Tide history. And with Saban continuing to churn out top talent, those numbers will only continue to rise.

TigerCliff (Baton Rouge)

Everybody talks about LSU rebuilding on D-lineWhat about Bama on O-line

Alex Scarborough
  (12:08 PM)

It's fair to say Alabama's offensive line is in rebuilding mode. You don't replace three All-SEC linemen without facing challenges. But like at LSU, there's plenty of talent waiting in the wings. Ryan Kelly was recently named to the Rimington Award watch list despite never starting a game under center, Arie Kouandjio is a veteran with plenty of experience as a reserve and the same could be said of Austin Shepherd.

Cbell (Lubbock, TX)

What role do you see Dee Hart playing this year?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:11 PM)

At the very least, I see him making an impact on special teams as a return man. He was starting to edge out Christion Jones on punt return prior to his injury last season. At running back, he'll begin the year in a limited capacity, I expect, coming on late in the game and in third-down situations.

Tom (Baltimore )

Has Cornwell's commitment changed any of the minds of prospects who have committed elsewhere to reconsider Alabama?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:12 PM)

There hasn't been a flip yet, but I do believe a commitment of Cornwell's status does create momentum that can win over some recruits that might be on the fence.

Mari IL [via mobile]

Who will be the best nfl runningback out of T rich,Lacy,Ingram,and possibly yeldon when its all said and done

Alex Scarborough
  (12:13 PM)

Too early to say on Yeldon, though I do believe his skill set could translate very well to the pros. Of the three other backs, I believe Richardson will have the best career in the NFL. He's a big, powerful, durable back who will be handed the ball often at Cleveland.

Shane (Tuscaloosa)

Alex,Recently there was an article written saying that UA football's biggest threat was the incoming and younger class due to attitude. He was specifically referencing the threat that they would walk onto the field and just expect to win. Thoughts?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:16 PM)

I'd point to an inconsistent pass rush and a thin secondary as the top concerns for the Tide at this point, but the question of attitude is a reasonable one. Winning championships is a matter of mental fortitude more than talent. And until you've seen a player go through the challenges of a season, you don't know how they'll handle it.

Chris (Mobile)

I think Cyrus Jones is arguably the best athlete at Alabama and he looked very smooth and natural at CB in the A day game. With that being said, will Cyrus Jones be our number 2 or 3 CB this year, and if he is do you think he could be our best CB by season end?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:19 PM)

He could develop into the third corner, but I don't believe he'll beat out both Geno Smith and John Fulton to be the second corner opposite Geno Smith. Jones is very talented and could wind up being a starter next season, though.

jim (atlanta)

How conferrable are you with the kicking game?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:19 PM)

The way I look at it is that Cade Foster is a solid option as it stands and whatever they get from Adam Griffith is icing on the cake. Foster took a major step forward last season.

Jeff H (Huntsville, AL)

Alex, How are things looking with the injury to Derrick Henry and what kind of a role do you see him having this year? Also how much of a role do you see OJ Howard having at the Tight End position?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:23 PM)

I fully expect Henry to be 100 percent by the time fall camp begins. As far as expectations on the field, I look for him to compete for the third/fourth/fifth running back spot and get 5-10 carries per game, in addition to working on special teams. I think Howard will begin the year at H-back (not as a starter, however) and will eventually transition to TE when he gets a little more upper body strength.

Tom (Baltimore)

Do you think OJ Howard will end up starting/get significant playing time?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:25 PM)

He could wind up starting by year's end, but I wouldn't say the odds are great. That said, I expect to see Howard on the field plenty this season. He's a guy who can stretch the field with his ability to catch the football.

Steve (Bhm)

Should UA hold an event like Friday Nite Light or Dawg Night?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:26 PM)

No. Alabama has had the top recruiting class in the country two years in a row and has not failed to finish outside the top three in the class rankings since Saban's first full season recruiting. Whatever the staff is doing they're doing it right.

Mari IL [via mobile]

Who enrolled early and do coaches like early enrolles say if you take summer classes and mess up then your ineligible i now it doesnt really happen like that but wouldnt that be something coaches fear

Alex Scarborough
  (12:29 PM)

Once the kid is on campus, I think coaches are much more comfortable in terms of maintaining eligibility because of the attention each athlete receives with a tutor or simply tracking grades. That said, the early enrollees were Derrick Henry, O.J. Howard, Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod, Luke Del Rio, Raheem Falkins, Leon Brown, Brandon Hill and Jai Miller.

Trent (Tuscaloosa,Al)

Can you predict the starting offense for Alabama?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:31 PM)

QB McCarron, RB Yeldon, LT C Kouandjio, LG A Kouandjio, C Kelly, RG Steen, RT Shepherd, TE Vogler, WR C Jones, WR Cooper, WR Norwood. Watch for Black to push C Jones as the third receiver and for either Harrison Jones or Jalston Fowler to see the field at H-back.

Tommy (Corner)

I believe that our kicking game is an extension of our defense.Do you see us offering a kicker as a change in our recruiting theory or that Saban has stockpiled enough talent to have the extra offer?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:32 PM)

Alabama just landed the commitment of the No. 3 kicker in the country, J.K. Scott. Saban will continue to look for talent in that area every year.

Jeff H (Huntsville, AL)

Alex,Out of all the four star running backs we have coming this summer, who do you expect to get the most playing time this season?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:33 PM)

Henry has to be the frontrunner because of his size and the fact that he enrolled early which gives him a leg up in terms of understanding. Of the three remaining backs, I look for Kamara to play the most because he has a unique skill set being a scat back type unlike every other back on the roster with the exception of Dee Hart who is still a question mark because of his medical history.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

You mentioned John Fulton at corner for the Tide. It's been a long ride for him at Bama. Is this the year he finally meets the lofty expectations many predicted when he arrived in Tuscaloosa? Is he all conference material?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:35 PM)

I don't see him beating out Geno Smith for the starting job, so he probably won't meet those expectations he had when he arrived on campus. That said, if he's a top reserve two years in a row then I wouldn't call that a failed career in any sense of the phrase.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

More explosive offense in 2013, Bama or UGA?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:36 PM)

I might be going out on a limb here, but I say Alabama has more potential to be explosive even though Georgia has a better history of creating big plays on offense. With a veteran under center and a deep pool of wide receivers, the Tide could have its best offense in years.

Mark (Tuscaloosa,Al)

How is the cornerback depth chart looking?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:38 PM)

Pretty thin. Outside of Belue, Smith and Fulton, there isn't anyone with significant experience. Jones could emerge as a third or fourth corner, but the learning curve could be noticeable having spent last season at wide receiver. The hope for the staff has to be that one of the incoming freshmen develops quickly into a reliable reserve.

Coach Saban (Tuscaloosa,Al)

Who should I play on the o-line Alex? I know I am the coach but sometimes I need some help.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:40 PM)

The starting five out of the spring (see below) seems alright, but I'd pay attention to Leon Brown and Grant Hill's development.

Pete (Tuscaloosa,Al)

How do you see the Safety depth chart looking?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:41 PM)

Look for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and some combination of Nick Perry, Vinnie Sunseri and Landon Collins. I expect Perry might start, but it will be a platoon situation until someone separates themselves from the pack.

Keenan (Atlanta, GA)

How much of an impact will Chris Black have this year on the Tide offense?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:43 PM)

A significant one, I expect. He's a rare talent with the speed and quickness to create space, the hands to catch the football and the escapability to pop a big play at any time. He may not start, but he'll see the field plenty as Alabama rotates receivers in and out a lot this season.

Eric (Atlanta, GA)

Who do you see as having the inside track to backup AJ at quarterback this season and potentially be his long term successor?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:44 PM)

Alec Morris would be the guy I would point to because of his time in the system and his arm strength. Cooper Bateman or even David Cornwell might be the long-term option, but I can't say with any certainty until I see any of them in a game situation.

Mike (Destin)

who's the 3 breakout players on O and D this year?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:45 PM)

Good question. On offense, I'd point to RB Kenyan Drake, WR Chris Black and TE Brian Vogler. On defense, I'd point to S Landon Collins, CB Geno Smith and LB Trey DePriest.

Pete (Brantley)

Is it true that Cam Robinson has already told the staff he is coming?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:46 PM)

Can't confirm that. All I know is that he's repeated time and time again that LSU and Alabama are his top two schools.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

If you had to select one player on the defensive front seven to have a breakout year. and become a star, who would it be?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:47 PM)

Since I just said DePriest, I'll go a different direction here and say to watch out for DE Dalvin Tomlinson. He has the speed and quickness to rush the passer that Alabama has been missing.

AJ (Tuscaloosa,Al)

Who have said they are going to be early enrolles for the 2014 class?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:48 PM)

I'm told by my colleague Greg Ostendorf that David Cornwell, Shaun Hamilton and possibly Zach Whitley.

Jeff (Charlotte)

If Bama loses to Texas A&M this year, do they have a chance at the NC considering their schedule is very weak by SEC standards? But I guess considering they have only beaten 1 ranked team who finished in the top 20 to end the year (during the reg. season) it shouldnt be a problem I am guessing

Alex Scarborough
  (12:49 PM)

Depends on the outcome of the game whether it was competitive or not. Since it's on the road, I think there would be some slack cut for a close loss. But really it all comes down to whether or not there are two undefeated teams at the end of the year. If there aren't and Alabama wins the SEC CG then odds are they'd make it in the title game again.

BILL (COCKY BULLDOG FAN) [via mobile]

We'll see you in december to collect our title

Alex Scarborough
  (12:51 PM)

No reason to post that comment other than to note just how talented the SEC East is this year. Florida should be better and South Carolina has monster talent. It will be fun to see those teams duke it out.

jason (Andalusia, AL)

Who do you think will be next couple of recruits to commit?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:52 PM)

You'd have to ask my colleague Greg Ostendorf for that type of Insider info. He covers Alabama recruiting for TideNation.

Tammy (Florence, Al)

How strong do you predict Alabama to be in the trenches on both sides of the ball?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:56 PM)

On offense, I think Alabama will be in good shape. Though it must replace three starters, I think UA will be fine with those linemen stepping up. On defense, I'd like to see one or two more reserves step up but I expect guys like Brandon Ivory and Ed Stinson will hold down the fort just fine.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

What will be the biggest obstacle to the Tide winning a third straight national title?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:58 PM)

See the question and answer below. The biggest obstacle might be what happens between the ears for this team.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:58 PM)

Well that looks like it's all the time I have today. As always, come find me and all the Alabama content you can handle at TideNationESPN.com. Looking forward to SEC Media Days next week and our next turn in the chat room. Cheers!