Signees & projected roles, part 1

With several signees already enrolled in school and the rest set to arrive later this summer, now is probably a good time to run down the list of 2002 recruits and update their most likely starting point with the squad.

Brandon Avalos

Position this fall: Quarterback

As dangerous running the ball as throwing, Avalos is already enrolled in summer school and working out voluntarily with members of the team. Avalos was signed as a quarterback, and that's where he will play this fall. With Tyler Watts, Brodie Croyle, Spencer Pennington and Matt Miller already working at the position, Avalos will most likely redshirt his first season and work with the scout team along with Miller.

Chris Browder

Position this fall: Strongside Linebacker

Chris Browder

The "sack-meister" played very well in Saturday's All-Star contest, displaying excellent speed and a nose for the football. The Tide coaches expect him to begin his college career at outside linebacker, but Browder's best shot at stardom will probably come at defensive end. Listed at 6-5, he has the frame to add plenty of extra weight. Barring injury, Browder is probably looking at a redshirt season in 2002.

Ahmaad Childress

Position this fall: Defensive Tackle

The junior college transfer still must complete nine hours this summer to be eligible in the fall, but Childress is currently enrolled at Tennessee State in Nashville (his hometown) and working toward that goal. Signed as a defensive tackle, Childress should provide immediate depth at the position--though reports are that he has work to do to get into football shape. If he is unable to enroll in school this fall, then December becomes his target point.

Jeremy Clark

Position this fall: Defensive End

Jeremy Clark

Another defender that played well versus the Mississippi All-Stars, Clark could probably contribute as a true freshman if needed. He has the mobility and size (6-3, 275). But though he'll begin his college career at defensive end, his long-term potential probably lies at tackle. And true freshman virtually always require a redshirt year to play effectively on the interior of the defensive line.

Clark still lacks one point on the ACT to gain full eligibility. If he fails to achieve that mark, he could enroll this fall as a partial qualifier. However, several reports have him preferring to delay enrollment, gain the extra point and then enter school in January.

Ken Darby

Position this fall: A-Back

With a few more carries in Saturday's game, Darby could very well have been named MVP of the All-Star contest. He displayed a combination of speed, tenacity and running instincts that excited Alabama fans. Of the various football positions, running backs have a better chance than most of playing their first year on campus. Darby can obviously contribute at tailback, but Bama's current depth chart will probably dictate he begins at A-Back, which is just fine with him. Depending on how things play out, Darby could very well see action as a true freshman.

Grant Dickey

Position this fall: Offensive Tackle

Grant Dickey

The only offensive lineman in the class, Dickey is athletic enough to play any position on the offensive line. But right now the Tide coaches see him as an offensive tackle, which is where he'll probably start off. However, as talented as Dickey is, he's almost certain to redshirt in 2002.

Zach Fletcher

Position this fall: Flanker

A tall (6-3), well-muscled (195 pounds) athlete, Fletcher was signed with the intent to play him right away. He's already in Tuscaloosa and participating in voluntary workouts with his new teammates. Those that have watched Fletcher in action describe a long, lean athlete that runs very well. Fletcher has waited two impatient years to accomplish his dream of wearing Crimson, so expect him to contribute immediately.

Juwan Garth

Position this fall: Rover

Juwan Garth

Starring at center for his high-school basketball team, Garth is obviously an excellent all-around athlete. Coach Torbush loves players with varied athletic backgrounds, and Garth is slated to work at the hybrid Rover position. However, Garth is expected to redshirt during 2002.

Chris Harris

Position this fall: Defensive End

Like Jeremy Clark, Harris also played very well in the recent All-Star game. But unlike Clark, Harris' future almost certainly lies at defensive end. He played high school football and basketball for Central High School in Tuscaloosa, and Harris attended virtually every Tide spring practice session. Expect him to start voluntary workouts immediately. Harris (6-6, 230) has prototype defensive end size, but barring injury Bama is deep at the position. So a redshirt year is probable.

Nic Luke

Position this fall: W (fullback)

Nic Luke

Luke's size (6-0, 213) and background make him ideally suited for the fullback/W role in college, and Triandos Luke's brother is slated for the position at Alabama. Injuries and a slightly depleted depth chart at that position make playing time for Luke this year more likely than most of the other signees, but a redshirt is still the probable outcome.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Coach Franchione has a policy of allowing incoming players to select their starting position--though obviously with input from the coaching staff.


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