Despite being only a redshirt freshman, Brodie Croyle has just finished his second spring practice, giving him a leg up in the quarterback competition. Barring injury, senior Tyler Watts will likely start, but Croyle's rocket right arm and growing pocket awareness make him No. 2 "with a bullet." The Tide coaches are genuinely impressed with Croyle's ability as a passer, so don't be surprised to see him early and often next season.
Santonio Beard still has plenty of room to improve, especially as a blocker and pass receiver. But the junior tailback is significantly better now than he was when the new staff arrived. He and senior Ahmaad Galloway are essentially co-first string, providing Bama with a potent one-two punch on offense.
Shown throwing the football before a scrimmage, Cornelius Wortham (along with Brooks Daniels) has had an outstanding spring. Most fans were very concerned when Saleem Rasheed announced he was leaving Alabama early to enter the NFL draft, but Wortham, Daniels and a developing Freddie Roach have mostly alleviated those fears.
Receiver Brandon Greer (#81) lines up opposite cornerback Charlie Peprah (#26). Greer's strong spring has elevated him into the top group of receivers for the Tide, while the redshirt freshman Peprah finished spring drills no worse than second string on anyone's depth chart at cornerback.
The retirement of Ron Case meant there was one opening on the Bama staff, but Coach Franchione quickly filled it by hiring veteran secondary Coach Melvin Smith away from Mississippi State. Smith, who will be principally responsible for Tide safeties, brings with him a reputation for aggressive, ball-hawking secondary play.
Redshirt freshman Juke King squats at last week's Night of Champions. Originally signed as a safety, King's rapid progress in the weight room quickly bumped him to strongside linebacker. He's still got some maturing and learning to do, but King will be counted on for solid back-up duty this season.
Shown left to right are Brodie Croyle, Tyler Watts, Spencer Pennington and Matt Miller in a seemingly choreographed warm-up. With the graduation of Andrew Zow, Bama had to get by with just four quarterbacks during spring drills, and only three of them were on scholarship. The arrival of Brandon Avalos in the fall will help, as he and Miller are expected to handle the scout team offense next season.