(Above left) Redshirt freshman Chris Harris skips rope during conditioning drills. Harris spent the past several months working in the weight room, adding strength and some bulk to his frame. If the 2003 Tide D-Line is to be any good, youngsters like Harris must step up and contribute.
Junior tailback Ray Hudson prepares to skip rope. Hudson arrived on campus several years back already a powerful athlete in the upper body, but he had to play catch-up on lifts like the squat. Hudson's last couple of weeks of spring drills went well, and he's positioned himself to be a part of the primary playing rotation next fall.
Senior linebacker Brooks Daniels (left), sophomore quarterback Brodie Croyle (center) and junior defensive end Antwan Odom (right) run together. Odom joked that they should stick close to Croyle, "So we can get our picture taken." Afterwards, the photographer explained to Odom that in a group consisting of Daniels, Odom and Croyle, the QB would actually come in third on the Tide "star chart index."
Receiver Tarry Givens (left) and defensive end Leslie Williams walk back after one of their 100-yard runs. As a junior Givens obviously hopes to finally make an impact on the Tide offense, but he still has work to do to earn his way into the playing rotation. A senior now, Williams has given up gaining much significant weight, but he believes he can contribute anyway next year as a speed-rush end. If so, it would go a long way toward solving Bama's depth concerns at defensive end.
Despite the fatigue, redshirt freshman Kyle Tatum shows good form jumping rope. Along with Jeremy Clark, Tatum essentially has no choice about next season. Both youngsters must be ready to provide back-up minutes at defensive tackle.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard (right) walks among the Tide athletes during post-practice stretching. The regular Tide coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from any normal football coaching over the summer, but Pollard and his staff work with the athletes closely on a daily basis.