David Scott at cornerback has been especially impressive. "Of course we wouldn't have signed him otherwise," Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush said. "We're not going to sign a junior college kid unless we think he's got a chance to come in and contribute."
Scott commented on his first two days of practice. "I think I'm doing pretty good. I think I'm able to handle coverages better. Right now I'm just trying to get better each practice."
Being two years older than most of the newcomers is an obvious advantage, but Scott has a mental edge as well. He originally signed with North Carolina out of high school, giving him a season's worth of experience in a Torbush-coached scheme.
"I know part of what he's going to say already," Scott related. "I know what type defenses Coach Torbush is talking about.
"I've made some mistakes out there, but when they happened I'm thinking to myself, ‘I knew that. I knew that.'"
When Torbush was replaced as Tar Heel head coach, Scott transferred to Jones Community College in Ellisville, Mississippi. In his one season there Scott earned first-team junior college All-America status.
"He's been in the system before, so the terminology is familiar," Torbush said. "He's been around the other guys for most of the summer, so he's got an idea. Plus, he's experienced. He's not like a freshman coming in here. And he's really not like a regular junior college kid either, because the terminology and techniques that he did at North Carolina are very similar to what we're doing now."
"I think at this point I'm close to where I want to be, but I can get better every day," Scott said.
After signing with Alabama last February, Scott graduated from junior college and then moved to Tuscaloosa in the summer to work out with his new teammates and get a jump on conditioning. He's also benefited from his time in the Bama weight room.
"You always want to get stronger, but I think my strength level is pretty good," Scott said. "I don't think any receiver can just throw me around. I'm pretty close to where I need to be."
In Wednesday's workouts, Scott was especially effective attacking the receiver on the line of scrimmage, disrupting the pass pattern before it had a chance to begin. "Playing press-man defense, I can get a good jam," Scott said. "But then I need to learn to get off of him and into coverage."
The Tide returns virtually the entire depth chart at corner. And redshirt freshmen Charlie Peprah and Anthony Madison are now added to the mix as well. But anyone predicting a playing rotation should not forget David Scott. "He'll have his hands full," Torbush said. "That's the great thing about competition. But I do think he's got a chance."
Scott is just anxious for the real practices to begin. "I'm not sure where I fit in right now," he explained. "We've got a lot more days of two-a-days to go. In a couple of days I'll know more, because the older guys are returning.
"The best man is going to play."
As Torbush explained earlier, junior college athletes are signed with the expectation they'll contribute right away. And Torbush likes what he's seen. "David has got a chance. He's got the look and mentality and toughness. That's all there.
"What he's got to do is come in and get somebody's job. But I think right now he's definitely got a chance."