Notable Additions: Chris Turner, DE, NW Mississippi JC, 6-3, 287; Jeffrey Dukes, SS, NW Mississippi JC, 6-3, 195; Justin Britt, DT, Cullman, 6-4, 270; Simeon Castille, CB, Briarwood Christian, 6-1, 185; Keith Brown, WR, Pensacola, 6-3, 190
Notable Subtractions: Antwan Odom, DE (NFL); Justin Smiley, LG (NFL); Triandos Luke, WR (NFL); Shaud Williams, HB (graduated); Derrick Pope, LB (NFL)
Notable Returnees: Anthony Bryant, DT; Evan Mathis, OL; Tim Castille, HB; Tyrone Prothro, WR; David Cavan, TE; Roman Harper, S; Juwan Garth, LB; Freddie Roach, LB; Jeremy Clark, DT
|2004 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE|
Defensive Overview: Alabama returns a corps of linebackers among the best in the league to anchor its defense, but an unproven, new-look secondary and a thin line leaves questions for 2004. DeMeco Ryans (SLB) and Juwan Garth (WLB) are listed as starters. Cornelius Wortham, who redshirted to return this year after and elbow injury derailed his senior campaign a year ago, will battle returning starter Freddie Roach for the middle linebacker spot. The line returns starters Jeremy Clark and Anthony Bryant (pending completion of needed academic work) at tackle, and Mark Anderson at end. Todd Bates, who served an NCAA mandated suspension last year, will start at the other end. Anderson is undersized for run-stopping purposes, but is relatively unknown and underrated as a pass-rusher. Bates is on the Hendricks watch list for the nation¹s best defensive end. Dominic Lee (DT) is the only experienced back-up on the line, but transfer Chris Turner should be ready to contribute, as should true freshman Justin Britt (DT). In the secondary, Alabama returns 5-9 Anthony Madison at right corner, and will start Ramzee Robinson at left corner. Tide coaches said Robinson was the best corner on the team in spring, allowing two-year starting corner second-team preseason All-SEC Charlie Peprah to move to safety. Roman Harper started at strong safety last year and has moved over to free safety, a minor adjustment for the junior. Depth in the secondary will be provided by newcomers. NW Mississippi transfer Jeffrey Dukes should be ready to help at safety, and could facilitate a move back to corner by Peprah. True freshmen Travis Robinson, Marcus Carter and Simeon Castille will almost assuredly be used this year.
Special Teams Overview: Alabama¹s placekicking was woeful at times last season, but Brian Bostick is the leader to keep field goal and extra point kicking duties. Competition might come from walk-on C.J. Rhody. Bo Freelend needs to add consistency to a booming leg at punter. He was named third team All-SEC by the league¹s coaches. Alabama must replace four-year long snapper Nick Ridings, and might use true freshman Trent Davidson. Two of the Tide¹s top two return men from 2003 are back (Tyrone Prothro and Brandon Brooks).
The Crimson Tide should have a winning season and go to a bowl this year if... Alabama can avoid the injuries that plagued the squad last year, find an adequate replacement at halfback for Shaud Williams, and Brodie Croyle can optimize production from a young receiving corps.
|TheInsiders.com 2004 College Football Preview|
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