Taylor joins brothers on the O-Line

Taylor Britt has always been close to older brother Wesley and younger brother Justin. Now, he'll have a chance to become a little bit closer.

The junior from Cullman was moved from the defensive line to the offensive line before the start of spring practice and will work at guard and center. When the fall rolls around, he could line up next to senior Wesley, who is recovering from a broken leg, or possibly younger brother Justin, an incoming freshman who could end up on the offensive line. But the decision on precisely where Taylor will play isn't final yet.

While he wasn't quite as heralded as Wesley, Britt was an All-State, All-Region and All-County lineman and was recruited by Division I schools from Cullman High School. Taylor eventually signed with UAB. But after a red shirt season with the Blazers, Britt decided that being a Blazer wasn't for him, and the 6-foot-4, 278-pound middle son of Tommy and Vera Britt transferred to Alabama. He had to sit out the 2002 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Britt saw sparse action on the defensive line last season, playing against Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Hawaii. But after the season was over, coaches and Britt decided it was time for a move.

"The depth at the offensive line is hurting and I know there's an easy chance for me to step in," Britt said. "Playing time was a main reason, plus I thought I could be an effective guard if I wanted to further my chances for a future in this game. I've been looking forward to moving to the offensive line for a long time, so I was just waiting for them to make a decision."

Pictured after practice last fall, Taylor Britt (#52) played defense his first season for Alabama.

Unlike Kyle Tatum, who also moved to the offensive line, Britt has experience at the position.

"I played it in high school and at UAB," Britt said. "Right now, my technique is real rusty, so that's what we're working on."

Britt also said that playing defense will help him play offense.

"I can look at the stance and see what the guy is going to do," Britt said. "Plus (practicing against teammates) I know what the defense is going to do when they make their calls."

Offensive line coach Bob Connelly doesn't think that playing defense will necessarily help an offensive line automatically become good, but he thinks that the traits can carry over.

"The thing about playing defensive line is that usually defensive lineman are more athletic," Connelly said. "What we like from defensive lineman who convert to the offensive line is attitude, toughness, aggressiveness, and I think Taylor possesses those things. I'm excited to go through spring and see how he progresses."

Connelly also commented on Britt's progression through the first part of spring practice.

"It's early, but he's shown some good signs," Connelly said. "He has athleticism and good hands. We've just go to get him thinking a little bit less and playing a little bit more, but that will come with times and reps. Once he gets the system down, he's got a chance to help us out."

Due to an injury to Travis West, Britt is now primarily working at center, although he's worked a little bit at the guard position. He's doesn't have any real experience at center, but he already loves it.

Versatile enough to play any of several positions, right now Britt is working at both center and guard for the Tide.

"Snapping and taking my step back is the hardest thing, but I really like playing center because you're the quarterback of the offensive line and you're making the calls," Britt said. "Wherever they need someone to step in play, I'll do."

But whenever he has questions, he has plenty of veterans, including Wesley, to seek for help.

"I also room with (former Tider Justin) Smiley, so that's two great offensive linemen right there," Britt said. "Anytime I had a small question, they'll step in and help me out."

Right now, he's looking forward to the prospect of playing on the same line as his brothers.

"It would be great, just like the old days, me, Justin and Wes out there," Britt said.

But would he rather line up on defense and go against them?

"It doesn't matter, either way I'm going to whip 'em."

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