Things Are Changing

Things change in Alabama football beginning Wednesday. For players, the responsibilities pick up. Today is the first day of classes. That means less time for football, particularly meeting time. And, by NCAA rule, there are no more two-a-day practices once classes begin. It's also the day when the roster can be expanded from the initial 105 who participated in pre-season camp.

Alabama is expected to expand its roster from 105 to 130 over the next few practices. The roster can be expanded beginning today. It will probably take a couple of days to get all of the newcomers settled in.

Alabama is expected to add 11 players who had previously participated and 14 newcomers to the practice roster.

It is likely some others will be give the opportunity to do conditioning work this fall, then begin football participation next semester.

One of those expected to rejoin the Crimson Tide football team is Trent Davidson, the sophomore right tackle from Brewton. Davidson, who signed with Bama as a tight end in 2004 and played as a freshman that year, was redshirted with a foot injury last year, then shifted to offensive tackle.

Davidson, 6-5, 270, took a few days off for personal reasons in the early days of pre-season camp, then was excused for the remainder of the camp. His spot on the 105-man roster was taken by back-up center Morgan Garner.

One player who will not be returning to the Tide this fall is an offensive lineman who had done well in scout team work. But Al Jefferson, a 6-2, 275-pound right guard from Mobile, has gone to Jacksonville State, where he will reportedly be a starter for the Gamecocks. He had been a walk-on scout team player at Bama for two years.

Some others who are expected to re-join the squad are:

Punter Patrick Eads, 5-11, 180, junior, Birmingham;

Tight end Barrett Earnest, 6-3, 224, junior, Loretto, Tenn.;

Cornerback Tyrone King, Jr., 5-010, 190, sophomore, Birmingham;

Running back Johnathan Lowe, 6-6, 180, junior, Phenix City;

Running back Max Martin, 6-1, 215, junior, Madison;

Split end Courtney Moore, 5-10, 185, sophomore, Florence;

Right guard Layne Rinks, 6-2, 275, sophomore, Florence; and

Running back Theo Townsend, 5-8, 172, sophomore, Antioch, Tenn.

King, Lowe and Martin are transfers who are not eligible this year.

Alabama linebacker Juwan Simpson said Crimson Tide players are happy to be out of pre-season camp and into preparation for Hawaii.

Alabama will open the 2006 season hosting the Warriors at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday, September 6, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"You can see everyone's focus change," Simpson said. "For the past two weeks we've been out here sweating and bleeding with our teammates.

"Now the intensity goes up with the start of classes. You'll see players watching videotapes on their own time, trying to get ready."

Simpson said it's particularly meaningful for the seniors to begin the routine of the season. "We're excited," he said. "I've been waiting on this since the last game of last season. We sent the 2005 seniors out on a good note in the Cotton Bowl. Now we want to go out on a good note. That means giving it all on every day."

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