Warmack Could Get All-Star Honors

All positions on a football field are not created equal, particularly when it comes to recognition. When the ball is snapped and almost all eyes follow it from quarterback to tailback or receiver, there is work going on that almost no one sees. For instance, the play of an offensive guard.

In Alabama's offense, a tackle is more likely than a guard to pull on a running play. The backles are more likely to be noticed in protection on a pass play.

There in the middle, doing the really dirty work, are the guards.

Barrett Jones started out his Alabama career as a right guard. After two years there, he moved to left tackle, where he won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman and the Jacobs Award as the best blocker in the Southeastern Conference. In his final season he'll move to center.

No such traveling around for Chance Warmack. Warmack graduated early from Westlake High Schol in Atlanta, began work in the spring of 2009 as a left guard, saw some back-up action as a true freshman in Alabama's 2009 national championship season, and has been a fixture at the position since.

Warmack, 6-3, 320, is now preparing for his senior season, his final year at Bama. He is being mentioned as an All-America candidate.

Josh Chapman, who finished his Bama career last season, has called Warmack one of the most powerful players Chapman has ever gone up against.

Warmack's savvy is more than just knowing his technique and knowing the scouting report of the next opponent. He also has knowledge of what can happen following a national championship. After Alabama went 14-0 to win the 2009 crown, the Crimson Tide was a three-time loser in 2010.

Alabama rebounded to win the 2011 national championship. No one in the crimson and white camp wants a repeat of the post-title slump.

"Sometimes coach (Tide Coach Nick Saban) reminds us why we had the season we had in 2010," Warmack said during a spring practice interview. "But it's important to never look back; always look forward. You understand the mistakes you made in the past, but it's always good to know that you can learn from those mistakes. Not really based off of what you've done in the past that caused you to fail or to be short handed, but what you can learn to improve to be better in the future. So we look at those things in 2010 and we try to act on those things now so we don't make the same mistakes."

Warmack must not have made too many mistakes in his career. He has started 26 consecutive games, including last year's BCS National Championship win over LSU in the Louisiana Superdome. He has blocked in 16 games in which Bama had a 100-yard rusher.

Last year the SEC coaches selected him second team All-SEC and he was honorable mention All-America by Pro Football Weekly. Last spring, in answer to a question from a reporter, Warmack said he considered an early entry into the NFL draft, but decided to stay for his final college season. Pro draft experts are projecting him as a first round selection next year.

Asked to discuss the 2010 Tide season of 10-3, Warmack is looking ahead, not back. I think that we have a lot of players that understand fully what it takes to be great," Warmack said. "That makes us who we are now."

Warmack began his career working under Assistant Coach Joe Pendry. For the past two springs (and last season) Warmack has been coached by Jeff Stoutland.

"Coach Stoutland brings a lot of intensity to the table in terms of getting the offensive line as a whole to just be physical," Warmack said. "The main thing he tries to coach is physicality, up front, personal, smash-mouth football. I love that about him. He's going to get it all out of you. I have a greater respect for the man because I understand what he's trying to get. I know deep down that he's trying to get his players to be the best players that they can be."

Warmack has a "first things first" attitude when it comes to mentoring his younger teammates.

"I see the older guys looking into themselves a little bit more in terms of developing themselves," Warmack said. "You have to develop yourself before you can tell somebody younger to improve themselves. So we all take it upon ourselves to get better individually and taking the younger guys up under our wings and try to help them as much as possible. It's not an easy task but that's what football's all about."

Warmack believes he has learned.

"I know a lot more than I knew in my freshman year, my sophomore year, and my junior year," he said. "I see a lot of things before it happens.

"I take it for what it is and run with it, and do the best I can as a player."

That's looking very, very good.

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