Fall Roster Sets Outlook for 2004 Season

The University of Alabama released its fall reporting roster to the media on Friday, leaving one name to be filled in by the time practice begins on Tuesday.

Teams are allowed to bring in 105 players for fall camp, and Alabama listed 104 names on its roster, including that of Ezekial Knight. Knight, a Randolph County High star last season, was listed on the roster, but he will not be able to practice with the squad until he is qualified academically. Knight was listed as a receiver on the roster.

Alabama officials said that an additional player would likely be added to the roster by the start of practice Tuesday.

Justin Britt, whose position was listed as offensive/defensive lineman in the Alabama media guide, was listed officially as a right defensive tackle on the roster released today. Marcus Carter was listed at strong safety, and Simeon Castille was at left cornerback.

One welcome return to the list was defensive back and special teams standout Chris James. James was not enrolled at Alabama and missed spring practice for personal reasons. He is listed at left cornerback on the roster.

Some notable scholarship players missing from the 105-man roster include Thurman Ward, who would have been a senior cornerback, Tarry Givens (senior receiver) and Damien Jones (freshman receiver).

Givens and Ward are expected to graduate this summer, and elected not to return for their respective senior seasons according to Alabama officials. Givens played in five games in his four years at Alabama. Ward was a defensive back in 2001 and 2003, playing in 24 games. In 2002 Ward lined up at receiver, playing in 10 games, logging one reception and four rushes. He was valuable to the Crimson Tide on special teams.

Jones, a freshman from Mobile, joined the squad in the spring after spending five years pursuing a professional baseball career. Jones has been in Tuscaloosa this summer participating in pass skel drills, and is expected to rejoin the team when Alabama expands its roster later in August.

As expected, six of the Crimson Tide's 2004 were not on the roster after failing to qualify academically: Nikita Stover, Kevin Hamilton, Jeramie Holifield, Brandon Fanney, Lorenzo Washington and Travis McCall. Grayshirts Drew Davis (Sparta Academy) and John Parker Wilson (Hoover) are expected to re-sign with Alabama in 2005.

C.J. Rhody, a placekicker from Stuart, Florida, is also expected to join the squad when the roster expands. The roster listed four placekickers, Brian Bostick, Alex Fox (who also serves as holder), Mike McLaughlin and Jamie Christensen.

Interestingly, there were four players on the roster listed as long snappers: Derrick Duke (Manasses, Va.), Bennett Traylor (Pensacola, Fla.), Nick Emfinger (Kemp, Texas), Drew Lane (Braxton, Miss.). David Sears, who did most of the long snapping in the spring, was not on the 105-man roster, however.

The roster lists 45 freshman, 22 juniors, 20 sophomores and 17 seniors.

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