Kicking-game specialists set

With the exception of deep snapper Nick Ridings, there is little or no continuity on special teams from last season. But considering the Tide has been mediocre in the kicking game for some time, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

(Above left) Dave Ungerer was brought to Tuscaloosa with a mandate to improve Bama's special teams. Without benefit of spring practice, Ungerer was forced to evaluate his personnel while also implementing his schemes during fall camp.

Brian Bostick adjusts his shoulder pads at practice. The junior won a hard-fought battle for the placekicking job. Bostick would also be the Tide's second option for kickoffs.

Junior Bo Freelend waits for the snap from center at practice. He gained the nod over Jeremy Schatz for the starting role of punter. Freelend has a very strong leg, but he's continuing to work on his consistency. NOTE that his jersey number has been changed to #24, giving him a unique number for the upcoming season.

Nick Ridings (#50, center) watches practice from the sidelines. This will be Ridings' fourth season to work as long snapper, his third to handle the job completely. Ridings was placed on scholarship two years back in recognition of his value to the team.

Triandos Luke listens intently to the question. Despite starting at wide receiver, Luke will also be used returning both punts and kickoffs. He's expected to share the punt-return role with senior tailback Shaud Williams.

Left to right: kickers Jeremy Schatz, Jeff Aul and Patrick Eades watch their teammates kick following practice. Aul will begin the season handling kickoffs. He can also punt, but he's concentrating exclusively on the kickoff role for now.

Ramzee Robinson poses after practice. Robinson hasn't returned kicks during a game since early on in high school, but he's been so impressive in the role during practice that the redshirt freshman will handle kickoff returns (along with Luke) to start the season.

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