It's all about preparation

It's the oldest cliche' in football. Good teams aren't built during fall two-a-days, but rather through long hours of hard work in the off-season.

(Above left) Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kyle Tatum performs a front squat. How quickly Tatum and classmate Jeremy Clark develop will be key to Bama's success on the defensive line.

Speaking of defensive tackles, junior Ahmad Childress loosens his joints outside before moving to the weight room. By the end of spring Childress was playing fairly well, but the Nashville native knows that conditioning will be key to his performance in the fall. His goal is to lose right at 40 pounds this summer.

Charlie Peprah works with dumbbells at the end of his lifting session. A parttime starter last season, Peprah quickly established himself as a big-play cornerback. His interception and touchdown run almost won the Georgia game for the Tide. Now a sophomore, next season Peprah will have one cornerback slot all to himself.

Two of the better young athletes on the team, Mark Anderson and Greg McLain watch the action in the Bama weight room. Both athletes are capable of playing more than one position, but Anderson seems settled at defensive end while McLain is the most likely candidate to move to fullback this fall.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard works with J.B. Closner on the leg press machine. Most of Bama's lifting is done with free weights, but machines are ideal when an athlete wants to isolate a given muscle group or protect himself while rehabbing from injury.

Defensive end Chris Harris prepares to clean the weight. A legitimate 6-6 in height, Harris has the frame to develop into a prototype D-End. He's only a redshirt freshman, but Harris should be valuable this year as a reserve. That's Kyle Tatum looking on from behind.

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