Notes From Alabama A-Day Football Game

A-Day marked the completion of 2011 Alabama spring football practice. The squad had 15 practice days, three of them scrimmages (including Saturday's spring game).

Alabama will resume practice in August. The Crimson Tide opens the 2011 season hosting Kent State on September 3 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The official estimated attendance at today's game was 92,310 as fans filled most of Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity: 101,821) on Saturday to set a new attendance mark for an A-Day football game. The total surpassed the previous record of 92,138+ set in 2007. It mark the third time in five seasons that Alabama has attracted more than 91,000 fans to the A-Day Spring Game, the three largest spring football game crowds in SEC history. The national record for attendance at a spring football game was set by Ohio State in 2009 when 95,722 attended the Buckeyes' spring game.

There are now five nine-foot tall bronze statues of national championship coaches on the North plaza at Bryant-Denny Stadium. In a pre-game ceremony, the statue of Nick Saban was unveiled. Saban coached the Crimson Tide to the 2009 national title. Among those participating in the ceremony was Gene Stallings, coach of the 1992 Bama national champions. The Saban statue joins those of Stallings, Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, and Paul Bryant.

"That statue represents a lot of people," Saban said. "It represents all the people on the team. I definitely wanted everyone's name that was on the team and contributed to that – whether it's players, coaches or administration, our fans and everyone who contributed to that – to be a part of it. It's an honor, but it's also something that is just representative of a lot of people in terms of what they've done. I think all those other statues out there set the standard for what we want to try to accomplish here. It feels good to have accomplished that, but certainly it's something we want to work towards individually in the future, that everybody works to be the best they can be and play to a high standard, team wise, and also how we rank nationally with everybody else and in terms of how we compete together as a team. I am proud of what the 2009 team accomplished. It was good to see all those guys come back and be a part of that and also the families of all the other coaches who had good fortune here to win a national championship and contribute to the tradition we have at The University of Alabama."

Also new on the North plaza are plaques honoring each of the 13 national championship teams, listing the players and coaching staff of each team.

Pre-game ceremonies included the long-time tradition (since 1947) of Alabama captains from the previous season having their foot- and hand-prints placed in concrete at the base of Denny Chimes. Quarterback Greg McElroy, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, and safety Mark Barron were honored. Hightower and Barron were juniors last season and later played in the A-Day Game.

Many former Crimson Tide players attended the A-Day Spring Game, including recent standouts Greg McElroy, Mike Johnson, Marcell Dareus and Mark Ingram. Also among the attendees were former players participating in the A Club 7-on-7 Flag Football Classic including Jim Bob Harris, Steadman Shealy, Kevin Lee, Antonio Langham, Derrick Oden, Jim Bunch, Forress Rayford, Taylor Britt and Shannon Brown.

A number of former quarterbacks participated in a competition, two quarterbacks to a team. The winning team was Greg McElroy and Kenny Stabler.

Captains were offensive lineman Barrett Jones and wide receiver Darius Hanks for the Crimson and linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Mark Barron for the White.

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