The respective Crimson and White rosters were released today, with the lucky Crimson team overloaded with starters. ">
The respective Crimson and White rosters were released today, with the lucky Crimson team overloaded with starters. ">

Bet the farm on Crimson

There are as many ways to organize spring scrimmage games as there are football coaches. Next year he'll probably do it differently, but in his first year as head coach of the Crimson Tide, Mike Price chose the "first stringers versus the world" strategy. <br><br>The respective Crimson and White rosters were released today, with the lucky Crimson team overloaded with starters.

At certain positions where injury and/or illness have depleted the ranks, the disparity in talent won't be quite so pronounced. For example Brodie Croyle will call the signals for Crimson, backed up by walk-on Teo Clark. While the White squad should be very satisfied with Spencer Pennington and Mike Machen.

Brooks Daniels will lead the Crimson defense from his weakside linebacker position.

Other positions where there is plenty of talent to go around should still be competitive. At tight end the Crimson squad will trot out David Cavan and Clint Johnston, while White can counter with Greg McLain and Donald Clarke. Tailback is similar. Shaud Williams, Ray Hudson and veteran walk-on Josh Smith will tote the pigskin for Crimson. Redshirt freshmen Kenneth Darby and Nic Luke will compete for White.

At wide receiver Crimson will be top-loaded with starters, but White has its share of talent. Seniors Dre Fulgham, Zach Fletcher, Triandos Luke and Brandon Greer will attempt to catch Croyle's passes. They're not starters, but Pennington's targets have talent. They include Brandon Brooks, Matt Miller, Lance Taylor, Tarry Givens, Marcus McKnight and Scoop McDowell.

But Pennington will have plenty of reason to envy Croyle when it comes to pass protection. All five of Bama's projected starters (Wesley Britt, Justin Smiley, J.B. Closner, Dennis Alexander and Evan Mathis) will be blocking for Crimson. Atlas Herrion, Danny Martz, Matt Lomax, Mark Sanders and Grant Dickey will try to block for White's running backs and protect Pennington.

"Try to protect" could well turn out to be the proper phrase, especially when you look at Crimson's D-Linemen. Tackles Ahmad Childress, Anthony Bryant and J.P. Adams man the interior of the Crimson line, while Antwan Odom, Leslie Williams and Mark Anderson will attack off the edge. For the White squad, Chris Harris and Jonathan Brunson are the best-known names at end. Jeremy Clark, Kyle Tatum and Taylor Britt will play defensive tackle for White.

Spencer Pennington will call signals for the White squad.

At first glance Tide fans would predict that there is enough talent to go around at linebacker. Except Price didn't do the White squad any favors when he placed both Bama's principal middle linebackers, Freddie Roach and Derrick Pope, on the Crimson team. Senior veteran starters Cornelius Wortham and Brooks Daniels will play strongside and weakside linebacker for Crimson. With Demeco Ryans and Juwan Garth, White has very good outside linebackers. Walk-ons Brandon Dean and King Gladney will play middle linebacker for the White unit.

Crimson again fields a clear edge at safety, with starters Roman Harper and Charles Jones set to play. White counters with back-up safeties Carlos Andrews and Chris James. However, at the deep cornerback position White could arguably hold an edge---at least in terms of total talent. First stringers Charlie Peprah and Anthony Madison will play for Crimson, but White's impressive cornerback corps will include Thurman Ward, David Scott, Ramzee Robinson and Roberto McBride.

Antwan Odom will start for Crimson.

The disparity should continue in the kicking game. Both the top two placekickers, Brian Bostick and Kyle Robinson, and the top two punters, Bo Freeland and Jeff Aul, kick for Crimson. Veteran long snapper Nick Ridings will do their snapping. White's side has talent, though. Michael Ziifle is available for both punting and placekicking. Mike McLaughlin and Josh Woodard are also placekickers. Jeremy Schatz and Will Fountain are among several punters who could see action for White. Mitch Grissett will probably handle their long snapping.

A-Day games always bring surprises, with previously unknown players seizing the chance to make at least a temporary name for themselves. But this year Price's strategy in dividing the squads will probably boil down to one thing:

Mortgage the house and bet everything on Crimson.

A-Day Rosters

The respective Crimson and White rosters are posted on the message boards.

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