A Few Notes Before Alabama Scrimmage

Generally speaking, the reporters assigned to cover Alabama football are a reasonably intelligent bunch, and we realize that seeing only a quarter of an hour or so of players going through individual drills lends itself to misinterpretation.

Thus, when Jacob Coker took the first snap (actually not a center snap, but a manager handing a ball to the quarterbacks), it’s safe to say that no reporter tweeted out that Coker was the Alabama quarterback. We also know we are not going to get quarterback statistics following the scrimmage, that Coker took the offense on a touchdown drive on the first possession, and that freshman Blake Barnett threw two interceptions -- one returned for a touchdown -- on his first two opportunities.

Well, we don't KNOW that, because reporters aren't allowed to watch the scrimmage. Hundreds of others are, though, and even though they are invited with the stipulation that they not share what they see, the information is quickly in the ethernet.

Here are a few observations from those few minutes of watching passers pass and catchers catch and linemen shove each other around, etc., before the scrimmage was to begin at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In the matter of missing persons: Tailback Bo Scarbrough was on the sidelines after having been absent. Scarbrough is not a part of most practice drills as he rehabilitates from a spring knee injury and prepares to serve a four-game suspension for an NCAA amateurism issue – four games that he likely would not play anyway because of his knee.

Fellow Tuscaloosa freshman Lester Cotton was not spotted in the individual drills period.

It seemed as though weather might be an issue with clouds overhead and the occasional spit of raindrops during the viewing period. At least I hope it was spitting rain, because a sideline visitor to the scrimmage was former coach and ESPN personality Lou Holtz.

There was an opportunity to visit with a couple of former players before the scrimmage. Jim Bob Harris, an All-Southeastrern Conference safety in 1981, was in town with his daughter for sorority bid day and slipped into the stadium to watch his son, walk-on tight end Truett. He said that former players will be invited to watch next Saturday’s scrimmage, as will Red Elephant Club members.

Former Alabama walk-on quarterback David Smith, who went on to earn the starting job and set a Crimson Tide record when he passed for 412 yards in the Sun Bowl against Army and was captain of the 1988 team, was in the stadium in his capacity as an SEC official. He was referee for the scrimmage. Alabama alumni, of course, are not permitted to officiate real Bama games, but are often used in scrimmages.

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