Returning In 2006

In 2006, Alabama will return a little over 110 per cent of its 2005 rushing offense production. How can that be? It's easy to understand how, of course. That is possibly the case at several schools returning top running backs and losing passing quarterbacks. There are some unusual aspects to the 2006 Crimson Tide when looking at last year's final statistics.

Alabama had 1,710 net rushing yards last season. Among those with rushing yardage are two who are not returning, and both had negative net rushing yards in 2005 -- quarterback Brodie Croyle, of course, with minus 156 and Brandon Brooks with minus 3. Additionally, the team was charged with 15 yards in losses (taking a knee yardage).

So Alabama returns 1,884 yards of rushing offense, 110.2 per cent.

Top returning rusher is Kenneth Darby, who had 239 carries for 1,242 yards. It's a big drop to second. Jimmy Johns had 38 carries for 202 net yards.

Others returning are Glen Coffee with 48 carries for 179 net yards, Tim Castille 45-124, Tyrone Prothro 9-92, Le'Ron McClain 8-39, Keith Brown 2-12, and John Parker Wilson, who is in the negative category with 3 for -6.

Things are not so good in the passing category with Wilson having passed for 98 yards, only 3.8 per cent of the 2,597 passing yards. Croyle had the other 96.2 per cent with 2,499 yards. Marc Guillon did not have a completion. Croyle had 202 of the 209 completions, so the Tide returns only 3.3 per cent in that category.

On the other hand, most of the receiving yards are back. Alabama returns 200 of the 209 receptions (95.7 per cent) and 2,529 of the 2,597 yards (97.4 per cent).

D.J. Hall is the leading returning receiver with 48 catches for 676 yards, followed by Keith Brown with 34 for 642, Tyrone Prothro 17-325, Matt Caddell 13-179, LéRon McClain 18-140, Kenneth Darby 19-132, Zeke Knight 11-126, Nick Walker 9-120, Glen Coffee 8-91, Tim Castille 10-56, and Travis McCall 3-22.

Receptions graduated are Matt Miller with 4 for 52, Brandon Brooks 2-20, Marcus McKnight, 2-13; and Kyle Bennett 1-3.

Alabama scored 263 points in 2005, and including the team (which is credited with a safety and two points), Bama returns 239 of those points, 90.9 per cent. The lost points–6 each–are Croyle, Miller, Ryan Saxby, and Rudy Griffin.

Top returning scorer is placekicker Jamie Christensen, who was good on 25 of 26 extra point kicks and 16 of 25 field goals (is there anyone who doesn't remember No. 16?) for 73 points.

All other points were scored on touchdowns. Tim Castille had 42 points, D.J. Hall 30, Keith Brown 24, Tyrone Prothro and Kenneth Darby 18, LéRon McClain 12, and Glen Coffee, Zeke Knight, and John Parker Wilson 6 each.

Although Bama lost three of its four starters in the secondary, it may be a bit of a surprise to know that Alabama returns men who accounted for 8 of the 11 pass interceptions, which is 72.7 per cent. Returning players with interceptions are Ramzee Robinson with 2 for 60 yards, Juwan Simpson 2-7, Simeon Castille 2-0, Chris Harris 1-14, and Jeffrey Dukes 1-0. The others were by Roman Harper 1-50, Rudy Griffin 1-17, and DeMeco Ryans 1-7.

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