Christensen, Aul Have Slight Leads

The past week has seen a resurgence of kick at Alabama's fall training camp.

Placekicking and punting are still chief concerns for Alabama's special teams in fall camp, but the past week has eased the fears that no one will step up to win the jobs.

A two-man battle still exists for both placekicking and punting duties. Jamie Christensen and Ryan Saxby are the chief competitors at placekicker, while Jeff Aul and Jeremy Schatz have separated themselves as punters.

"Overall, I'm a little bit more optimistic than I was a week ago," Alabama special teams coordinator Dave Ungerer said. "(Saturday) was probably our best day overall, all things considered."

"We've got a pretty good competition going on at the punter and kicker. Jeff (Aul) is probably a little bit ahead right now as far as his overall distance and hang time. He's done a really, really good job this camp."

On placekicking, Ungerer said, "I think they're pretty even. I've got a little bit better feel for Jamie because he's played in a game and I don't think a big crowd will bother him, but Saxby's come on and made it a lot better competition than I thought it would be. We're not ready to make a decision yet."

Positions for kickoff and punt coverage and kickoff returns are also up for graps in fall camp.

Tyrone Prothro is firmly entrenched as the number one punt and kickoff returner, with DJ Hall, Matt Caddell and Brandon Brooks competing to be alongside Prothro for kickoff returns and for back-up duties in punt returns.

Kick coverage and returns are likely to feature true freshmen playing early, and Ungerer mentioned as many as four possibilites for true freshman on those units.

"We're thinking about Jimmy Johns being a guy, with his athletic ability and his size, can be a good cover guy or something like that. We're trying him at a lot of different spots right now to see what he can do. He's 240 pounds and can run so we put him out there at gunner today," Ungerer said.

"(Zach) Schreiber and (Prince) Hall would have a chance to fit in somewhere out of the 25 class, and Cory Reamer would be another guy who could have a chance to play, also."

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