Noting A-Day

Attendance at Saturday's scrimmage was among the best in recent memory, with fans wrapping two thirds of the lower bowl and filling the west upper deck in the areas that weren't cordoned off for the ongoing construction. The official crowd estimators called it 40,000 fans in attendance.

Tyrone Prothro appeared at Saturday's A-Day game to a standing ovation, as he participated in the presentation of a $100,000 check from the Pontiac for his total of Pontiac game-changing performances during 2005 season.

It shouldn't be forgotten that this is only Mike Shula's third spring practice at the university of Alabama. He was hired, of course, in May 2003 after Mike Price had been fired.

The April Fool's Day A-Day game is the latest spring game of the Mike Shula era, and it was the first time spring practice had been divided by a week off for spring break.

Rashad Johnson was an instant away from turning in the play of the day when he intercepted a John Parker Wilson pass eight yards deep in the end zone and raced out past the rest of the players on the field for what might have been a 108 yard touchdown. But quarterback John Parker Wilson ran a slid in front of Johnson to draw whistle for stoppage of play.

Should we say uniform change?

The University of Alabama celebrating its 175th birthday this year, and they got the party started a bit early with a new logo on the field at the 25-yard lines of Bryant-Denny Stadium and a patch on the players' jerseys. UA was founded on April 12, 2006. All varsity athletes' uniforms will sport the 175th anniversary patches in 2006, with the football team wearing the patch for the first time in the A-Day game.

Cranes worked on Saturday even as the scrimmage took place, and the Alabama fans come back to Bryant-Denny Stadium it will be in a new-look facility. The Tide opens the 2006 season on September 2, 2006 with Hawaii. Alabama's eight-game home schedule includes Vanderbilt (9/9), La. Monroe (9/16), Duke (10/7), Ole Miss (10/14), FIU (10/28), Mississippi State (11/4) and Auburn (11/18).

DeMeco Ryans picked up more hardware on Saturday, too. He was presented at halftime with the Vince Dooley award, given by the Atlanta Touchdown club for the best defensive back or linebackers.

Ryans and Brodie Croyle were in front of a large contingent of fans in front of Denny Chimes as the put their hands and cleats in cement, as a part of captain's ceremonies before A-Day.

Injured players out on Saturday included Will Oakley (hamstring), Ramzee Robinson (back), Cory Reamer (knee), Ali Sharrief (hamstring), Chris Keys (leg), Glen Coffee (pelvis), Justin Britt (shoulder), Cody Davis (shoulder), Travis McCall (ankle), Barrret Earnest (knee), Keith Brown (toe), Marc Guillon (knee).

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