Tide Moves to Game Day Preparation Mode

With the beginning of fall classes at the University of Alabama on Wednesday, the Alabama football squad switched modes from "fall camp" mode in the game preparation today, causing a slowdown in the practice tempo, but the Tide did get some its first on-the-field look at Utah State.

"It was really kind of a sloppy practice," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said of the shorts and shoulder pads workout. "The tempo was poor. We went to "look" teams today and it took us some time to get into it. We need to continue to practice like we've been practicing and it wasn't good enough today.

"All that being said it was still a good introduction to Utah State. The good news is that no one got hurt on the practice field today."

As game time draws nearer, Shula answered more thoroughly about the number of true freshman that might see action this year, but stuck to his earlier prediction.

"At least 10," he said. "All in the first game? I'm not sure because some of the might not be ready. By the second game there might be more." Shula said that the number of youngsters that play this season might still be above five, "had we had the same class without the NCAA sanctions we've been on."

Shula said that playing true freshmen in the long term is "Probably a little bit of a penalty to pay, but if you do a good job of recruiting you can make up for it."

Classes beginning also meant that Alabama could expand its roster beyond the 105-man roster allowed for camp. Among the walk-ons joining the group of 29 new faces was Jason Reese. Reese, a walk-on member of Alabama's basketball team said he'd like to make the field in some special teams capacity.

"It's my last year and it's something I always wanted to do," Reese said. "The opportunity presented itself and I went after it.

Another notable addition to the squad was Vic Horn, a junior who transferred to The University from Auburn.

Horn rushed for over 1,300 yards for Huntsville High in 1998, and was inked by Auburn in 1999. Horn spent the 1999 season at Hargrave Military Academy after failing to meet academic qualifications standards, however. He redshirted at Auburn in 2000 and played in a junior varsity game against Georgia Military in 2001. Horn saw limited action with the Tigers in 2002.

"This is where I always wanted to go in high school," Horn said, "but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. Now I feel like I'm at home."

Players newly listed today who were on the spring roster are: Danny Barger (safety), Jake Collins (flanker), Matt Grice (safety), Patrick Eades (punter), David Steakley (split end), Ryan Saxby (placekicker), Damien Jones (receiver), David Sears (long snapper) and Will Denniston (tight end).

Other names on the expanded roster are: C.J. Rhody (placekicker), Horn (tailback), Rashad Johnson (running back), Mookie Chaney (running back), Zayne Smith (defensive back), JD Dailey Jr. (defensive back), Patrick Burch (tight end), Courtney Moore (defensive back), Trent Dean (defensive back), Joseph McPhillips (punter), Nick Hudson (receiver), Reese (receiver), Rob Germany (punter), Jon Freelend (offensive line, brother of punter Bo Freelend), Morgan Garner (snapper, offensive lineman), Bryan Hobbs (linebacker), Layne Rinks (offensive line), David Brown (offensive line), Stephen Kulback (defensive end), Tanner Wickham (tight end.)


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