Shula Plans Lots of Scrimmage Work

Members of the Tuscaloosa County chapter of the Alabama Alumni Association met at Bryant-Denny Stadium Thursday night to hear Crimson Tide Head Coach Mike Shula speak and to catch a glimpse of the brand new audio visuals coming to the stadium this fall.

New video screens in each corner of the newly expanded north end zone were in action, along with the 120-yard long, four-feet tall message board strips spanning the length of the east and west stands.

They scrolled graphics and messages while the sound system blared "Yea Alabama!" to warm up the crowd for Shula's address.

Shula spoke to the group for about half an hour and took questions from members of the audience.

Shula told the gathering he wanted his team to scrimmage "as much as we can" in the fall, primarily for the sake of getting quarterback John Parker Wilson as much work as possible.

He said there were two scrimmages planned for Bryant-Denny Stadium, which would be open to the public. The scrimmages would only be closed if wet weather conditions move the scrimmages to the football complex (in order to preserve the condition of the game field.)

Shula expected his players to move into the new dorm adjacent the Bryant-Hall Academic Center on Monday, and said the cafeteria attached to that dorm would be on line around August 14.

The dorm cannot house a majority of athletes, but will be 49 per cent athletes and 51 per cent non-athletes.

Shula said Marc Guillon, because of his knowledge of the offense, would be "hard to beat" when asked about the expected battle for the back-up quarterback position. Redshirt freshman Jimmy Barnes and true freshman Greg McElroy are Bama's other quarterbacks.

Alabama hasn't had many good options for returning punts since Tyrone Prothro broke his leg against Florida, and Shula said Thursday that he will try true freshmen Javier Arenas and Terry Grant in that role once fall camp gets underway next week.

Shula said veteran players Simeon Castille, Matt Caddell and DJ Hall would also be in the mix for the return assignment.

Shula said he expected to release the 105-man roster on Monday, and said he didn't anticipate any spots being held open for late arrivals "unless something changes."

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