Warmack Excited To Start Season
Alabama opens the 2012 season Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, against the Michigan Wolverines in the Cowboys Classic. It matches the nation's second-ranked Crimson Tide against number eight Michigan.
When Bama's offense is on the field, Chance Warmack will be at left guard, beginning his third season as a starter.
Warmack, a 6-3, 320-pound senior from Atlanta, shared a first impression of the Wolverines:
"A physical team," he said. "Very physical team. They come off the ball quick."
Warmack said that Alabama doesn't prepare its players for specific defenders.
"It's basically all about the defense they run, not really the actual defender," he said. "It's the scheme, what front."
He said he was glad to be finished with fall camp and get into game planning. "It gets kind of redundant (practicing fundamentals against the Bama defense)," he said. "You know what your opponent is going to do and he knows what you are going to do and doing the same plays over and over. But it's beneficial."
Warmack was asked about blocking the two men who are battling for the starting job at one of Bama's defensive end spots. Quinton Dial and Ed Stinson are the leading candidates to join end Damion Square and nose tackle Jesse Williams on the starting Tide defensive line.
"Hey, man, everybody on the defensive line is tough, but those two are really physical players," Warmack said. "They have really long arms, so it's hard to get your hands inside of them. They are both really skilled at what they are doing. They are phenomenal players and I'm happy to be a part of the team with them."
Warmack said he and his teammates are excited to get the season started. He said the team's "M.O." is to "be as physical as possible and take it one step at a time, and not get too rattled.
"We realize it's a big opportunity to display what we're trying to establish as a team."
Warmack is a pre-season All-Southeastern Conference player who is on the watch list for the Outland Award (along with teammates Barrett Jones, who won the honor last year, and D.J. Fluker), given to the nation's best lineman. Tide running back Jalston Fowler said Warmack is his favorite lineman to run behind "because he cleans things out."
Warmack has played in 31 Tide games with 26 starts. In 16 of those starts, Bama has had a running back who rushed for 100 or more yards.
He's part of an offensive line that is considered to be the nation's best. In addition to Warmack, Jones at center, and Fluker at right tackle, Bama returns Anthony Steen at right guard and brings in Cyrus Kouandjio at left tackle, where Jones played last year.
Warmack said it's a tight-knit group. "We've been together a long time," he said. "I've watched Barrett Jones come up to the person he is. D.J. and I came in in the same class as freshmen. And Anthony. We're real close to Cyrus, because of his older brother, Arie Koundjio. So we're all real close."
When Warmack leaves after this season, he'll likely be replaced by freshman Alphonse Taylor, who entered The University in January as a defensive tackle, but moved to offense during spring practice.
"Man, he is phenomenal," Warmack said. "He has made leaps and bounds. He's going to be a really, really great player. He is going to be a really dominant player. He is a powerful guy. Really powerful. He knocks the linebackers off the ball, he knocks defensive linemen off the ball. He's just a real powerful person."
Warmack said a leader of the offense is quarterback A.J. McCarron. "Last year he was a leader, but he really didn't know the specifics of it," Warmack said. "He just naturally did it. Now he knows the steps, how to lead us in the right direction. If we have adversity or problems, he knows how to get out of those situations. He's doing a good job of it."
Sportswriter Laken Litman asked Warmack if he knew where McCarron would take the offensive line for dinner Thursday night. McCarron had said earlier he would foot the bill for his offensive line to have dinner at a restaurant of their choosing.
Warmack had not gotten the memo.
"He's taking us to dinner? Okay, free meal. I didn't know that. I'll put that on my calendar.
"Thanks for the heads up."
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