From the moment he took over as Alabama defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush has preached sound tackling and solid fundamentals. Each day of Fall Camp his defenders go through a series of drills designed to teach repetitively each aspect of proper tackling.
Kicking Game Coordinator Mark Tommerdahl checks with true freshman Marquez Dupree before practice begins to make certain the youngster understands his responsibilities that day for special teams work. Many teams use true freshmen and backups to fill out their return and coverage units--and in a way Alabama does, too. But following the philosophy that "the best man plays--no matter what," the true freshmen and reserves work as 'scout teamers' to practice against the veterans.
With an average camera and a less-than-average photographer, good stop-action pictures are hard to come by. But here sophomore flanker Brandon Greer turns to look for the football in flight. Greer is a good athlete, but with so many talented receivers ahead of him it's a battle just to get into the playing rotation.
Shown stretching before a morning scrimmage, senior Adam Cox has returned to defense where he should get playing time at Rover. During spring he requested and received a shot at running back, but when that didn't work out the position move back to defense provided his best chance at playing time.
Redshirt freshman Ray Hudson talks to reporters following practice. Hudson's emergence as a viable candidate at tailback, making the Tide four-deep at that position, is one reason why Cox's move back to defense makes sense. As Coach Fran has pointed out, Hudson has a "genuine burst" of speed that makes him an intriguing possibility on offense.
Sophomore slotback Dre Fulgham climbs the ladder to catch a sailing pass. The fact that an outstanding athlete like Fulgham is still no better than second-string on a three-position depth chart at receiver is proof of the Tide's excellent talent at wideout.
Showing his best 'Superman' impression, senior Shontua Ray gets ready for the morning's work. Essentially a man without a position under the previous staff, the powerful athlete with blazing straight-ahead speed has been worked exclusively at strong safety since Franchione and Safeties Coach Ron Case arrived on the scene last winter.
He has yet to start a game for Alabama, but junior Alonzo Ephraim is being counted on as a mainstay on the offensive line. Ephraim is one of the top all-around athletes on the O-Line, and his combination of quickness, power and intelligence make him well-suited for center. Since starting slowly the first two weeks of last spring, the pride of Birmingham's Wenonah High School has strung together four consecutive weeks of outstanding play to solidify his hold on the starting job.