Alabama Football: Latest News and Notes from Fall Camp

Jimmy RenoCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2009

Kerry Murphy Update

Alabama DT Kerry Murphy returned to camp last night. Murphy had been out due to the recent shooting death of his 22-year-old brother.


Jack LB Position

Senior Eryk Anders and sophomore Courtney Upshaw are receiving most of the reps at the Jack LB position.

In Saban's multiple defensive scheme, the Jack LB is a hybrid position. It combines an LB and a DE position into one role. Sometimes the player will go down into a DE stance, making the scheme an instant 4-3 look.

Other times, the position player stands up and plays LB, giving the defense a 3-4 look. The position is important in Saban's defense as it's used primarily as a rushing position to place pressure on the QB.

Anders, who is athletic and very quick, was impressive in Saturday's scrimmage, recording three sacks from the spot. He appears to be the front runner to be the starter when UA travels to Atlanta to take on Virginia Tech.

Inside LB Dont'a Hightower had taken some reps there early on, but has since been practicing mainly at his normal position.



The RG position continues to be up for grabs. Redshirt freshman Barrett Jones took reps with the first unit in Saturday's scrimmage. After the scrimmage, Saban was asked about Jones and stated:

"He has been doing the best job today, to this point," Saban said, "but we've got a lot of competition at a lot of positions."

Jones has continued to be with the first grouping this week and appears close to winning the job. Sophomore Alfred McCullough has been battling for the position as well.

The LT position has been locked down by Juco transfer James Carpenter. The emergence of Carpenter, whom defensive coordinator Kirby Smart called a solid SEC lineman, has allowed blue chip recruit D.J. Fluker to take reps with the second-team at RT and take some of the pressure off of him.

William Vlachos, the strongest player on the team, continues to hold down the center position and has been impressive.


Free Safety

Replacing All-American Rashad Johnson at FS will be no easy task. Robby Green has been the front runner going into fall camp, but Mark Barron has continued to impress as well and has received work with the first administrative grouping.

Both players are expected to rotate in the position.


Freshmen Looking Impressive

WR Kevin Norwood has been impressive so far in fall camp. The 6'3" receiver has earned praise in camp from head coach Nick Saban, starting QB Greg McElroy, and his fellow receivers.

"Kevin Norwood made a lot of plays in the scrimmage," Marquis Maze said. "He's been making a lot of plays since we started camp. He plays fast. He's a very good guy, and he just wants to learn."

Norwood caught three passes for 60 yards, including a 44-yard TD catch from Thomas Darrah in the scrimmage Saturday.

Anthony Steen, a 6'3", 305-pound blue chip offensive line recruit, who has been working with the second grouping at LG, has been impressive so far in fall camp and caught the coaches' eyes.

Ed Stinson, a 6'5", 260-pound LB/DE, has caught the attention of the staff and his fellow defenders. Stinson is quick and powerful and has shown the ability to catch on quickly.

Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson, the two blue chip running back prospects, have both looked good at fall camp. Both will have to work hard for playing time as veterans Mark Ingram, Roy Upchurch, and Terry Grant have all been impressive.