Alabama Had New Starters Vs. West Virginia

Alabama dressed 89 men for the season-opening game against West Virginia at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Saturday, and among those playing were seven true freshmen, three redshirt freshmen, and four transfers, although it wasn’t the first Bama game for one of those transfers.

Alabama also had six first-time starters on offense and defense and a true freshman punter and a first-time starting placekicker.

Alabama had four first time starters on defense – end Jonathan Allen, middle linebacker Reuben Foster (who got the start because Trey DePriest was serving a one-game NCAA suspension), weakside linebacker Reggie Ragland, and defensive end D.J. Pettway.

Pettway was one of four transfers who saw action for Bama in the Tide’s 33-23 win over West Virginia, but it wasn’t his first playing time for the Crimson Tide. Pettway had played on Alabama’s 2012 national championship team, then was suspended and went to East Mississippi Community College for a year before transferring back to Bama last January.

Jarran Reed, a defensive lineman, came with Pettway from EMCC, and he, too, was a transfer who p[layed for Bama Saturday.

Dominick Jackson was another junior college transfer who played for Bama, backing up a true freshman starter for the Tide – Cameron Robinson – at left tackle.

The final transfer who played for Alabama was expected to play quite a bit more. Jake Coker, who came from Florida State and was the presumed starter by most Crimson Tide followers, had only mop-up duty at the end of the game at quarterback. It did appear that Coker had a problem with his left leg.

In addition to Cam Robinson at left tackle, Alabama’s only other first time starter on offense was quarterback Blake Sims.

Alabama had a first-time starting placekicker in soph Adam Griffith and a first-time punter in true freshman J.K. Scott.

Other true freshmen playing were linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton and cornerback Tony Brown on special teams, defensive end Da'Shawn Hand, and wide receiver Cam Sims.

Redshirt freshmen who had their first playing time for the Crimson Tide were quarterback Cooper Bateman (who held on field goals and extra points) and wide receivers Ardarius Stewart and Robert Foster.

Alabama started the game (and played most of the game) in nickel with Jarrick Williams at star. The defensive line was Jonathan Allen, A'Shawn Robinson, and D.J. Pettway; the linebackers Reuben Foster, Reggie Ragland, and Denzel Devall; cornerbacks Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones; safety Nick Perry; and strong safety Landon Collins.

The offensive starters were wide receivers Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White, tailback T.J. Yeldon, H-back Jalston Fowler, quarterback Blake Sims, tight end Brian Vogler, tackles Cam Robinson and Austin Shepherd, guards Arie Kouandjio and Leon Brown, and center Ryan Kelly.

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