AL/AR Tide player notebook

The Tide travels to Fayetteville this weekend to take on Arkansas in Bama's 2002 SEC opening game. Individual player notes:

Alabama player stats (vs. Arkansas)

  • Dennis Alexander made his first career start for the Crimson Tide at left tackle against the Razorbacks during the 2000 season. He played a career-high 77 snaps in the game at Fayetteville.
  • Todd Bates made his Alabama debut in last year's win over Arkansas in Tuscaloosa. Bates had one tackles and recovered one fumble in the win. His 27-yard fumble return set up a third quarter TD as Alabama posted a 31-10 win. Bates was the only true freshman to see action for Alabama in 2001.
  • Santonio Beard had his first career rushing attempt in last year's win over Arkansas, a 14-yard gain in the first half.
  • Anthony Bryant had a career high four tackles in last year's win over Arkansas.
  • Gerald Dixon has been productive in his career against Arkansas, averaging six tackles per game for the Crimson Tide. Dixon had a career-high nine tackles and one TFL (-2) in last year's 31-10 win in Tuscaloosa. Two years ago in Fayetteville, Dixon added eight stops in a loss to the Razorbacks.
  • Jarret Johnson has recorded 13 career tackles, including two sacks (-17), in his three-game career with Arkansas. Johnson has also added four QB pressures and blocked one punt. Last year in Tuscaloosa, Johnson recorded five tackles and matched his career high with two sacks (-17) in Bama's 31-10 win over the Hogs. Johnson's lone career blocked punt came in Fayetteville during the 2000 season.
  • Nose tackle Kenny King has had three good games in his career against the Razorbacks, averaging six tackles and four QB pressures per game. The senior had six tackles in last year's 31-10 win over Arkansas and added one sack (-4) and three quarterback pressures. In the Crimson Tide's 35-28 win in 1999, King also had six tackles and added a career-best six QB pressures against the Razorbacks.
  • Nautyn McKay-Loescher had a career-high six tackles in last year's win over Arkansas. He later added six tackles in a loss to Tennessee, matching his career-best set in the Arkansas game.
  • Roberto McBride had nine tackles in last year's game with Arkansas, with one interception and one pass breakup. The interception in last year's game with Arkansas was the first of his career.
  • Kindal Moorehead posted a career high three sacks (-23) in last year's 31-10 win over Arkansas. The 23 yards for loss are also the most by Moorehead in his UA career.
  • Thurman Ward had two tackles and his first career interception in last year's win over Arkansas. Ward's first career interception was returned 60 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, capping UA's 31-10 win.
  • Tyler Watts made his first career SEC start against Arkansas on Sept. 23, 2000 here in Fayetteville. He ran the ball 14 times for 69 yards and completed 8 of 20 passes for 117 yards and one TD in the 28-21 loss.

Williams joins elite group; Watts closing in on 1,000 yards rushing

Another Alabama player has a chance to surpass the 1,000-yard career rushing mark this Saturday night when Alabama visits Arkansas. Senior quarterback Tyler Watts is on the verge of joining 42 other Crimson Tide players who have rushed for 1,000 or more yards in their career. Junior A-back Shaud Williams joined that club last weekend against Southern Miss when he rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries. He now has 1,119 career rushing yards, including 884 yards while at Texas Tech (1999-2000).

Watts is seventh on the all-time Alabama rushing list among quarterback with 930 career yards. In his four-year career, Watts has 215 rushing attempts for 930 yards and six TDs. He enters the Arkansas game 70 yards shy of the 1,000-yard career mark.

Watts ran the ball two times for six yards in the win over Southern Miss last week. The senior now has 215 career rushing attempts, which ranks 10th on the all-time rushing attempts for quarterbacks.

Watts' two rushing attempts against USM moved him past Steve Sloan (1963-65) on the all-time list for most career rushing attempts. Sloan had 213 career rushes. Jay Barker (1991-94) is ninth on the list with 241 career rushing attempts.

Watts is currently seventh on the all-time rushing list for UA quarterbacks with 930 career yards. He is 25 shy of Ed Salem's (1947-50) sixth place mark of 955 career rushing yards. Against North Texas, Watts moved past Terry Davis (1970-72) into 7th place with 924 rushing yards. Davis is now 8th place with 865 career rushing yards.

Watts on target

Senior quarterback Tyler Watts has completed 45 of 71 passes (63.4 percent) this season for 588 yards and two touchdowns through UA's first four games. Watts' completion percentage is the second-highest among the SEC's starting quarterbacks. Tennessee's Casey Clausen has the SEC's highest completion percentage, hitting 76 of 106 passes (71.7) through UT's first 3 games.

Alabama debuts

Alabama has used 24 first-time players this season. The most recent addition to the newcomers roster is redshirt sophomore kicker Brian Bostick (Cullman), who made his UA debut in the 20-7 win over Southern Miss. Bostick kick a pair of field goals in the win, including a 39-yarder in his first collegiate field goal attempt.
  • Alabama used 14 first-time players in its win over Middle Tennessee (Aug. 31), including one true freshman (DeMeco Ryans) and three JuCo transfers (Ahmad Childress, Zach Fletcher and Derrick Pope). Other first-time participants included Freddie Roach (MLB), Anthony Madison (RCB), Spencer Pennington (special teams), Shaud Williams (A-Back), Charlie Peprah (RCB), Michael Ziifle (PK), Roman Harper (FS), Mark Anderson (ROV), Zach Fletcher (WR), Clint Johnston (W) and David Cavan (TE).
  • Ryans was the only true freshman to see action for Alabama against Middle Tennessee, playing 12 snaps on defense and four on special teams. Alabama played only one true freshman in 2001, with Todd Bates making his debut in the third game of the season. Bates played in nine games last year as a true freshman, making one start.
  • Two more players made their Alabama debuts in the loss at Oklahoma, including redshirt freshman quarterback Brodie Croyle and junior college transfer David Scott.
  • Croyle's much anticipated debut took place in the second quarter with Oklahoma leading 9-3. He completed his first pass attempt to Sam Collins (7-yard gain) and moved the Crimson Tide into Sooner territory before a fumble by Santonio Beard gave OU the football at the Sooners 49-yard line.
  • Croyle had not played a down of football since the opening game of his senior year at Westbrook Christian HS in Rainbow City, Ala. Croyle injured his knee in the season opener and did not play the remainder of the 2000 season. He enrolled at Alabama in January, 2001 and practiced with the team during spring training. He was redshirted last year (2001) at Alabama.
  • Croyle's appearance at Oklahoma was his first game action in 105 weeks, dating back to the season opener in senior year in high school.
  • Scott made his Alabama debut on special teams at Oklahoma.
  • Alabama played a total of 68 players in the win over North Texas, including seven first-time participants. The list of players making their Crimson Tide debut against North Texas included true freshman fullback Greg McLain (Lineville), redshirt freshman center J.B. Closner (San Antonio, Texas), redshirt sophomore fullback Nathan Cox (Spanish Fort), redshirt senior safety Zac Holt (Scottsboro), redshirt senior safety Carl McInnish (Brewton, Ala.), redshirt sophomore middle linebacker Brandon Dean (Mobile) and redshirt freshman strong tackle Von Ewing (Troy).
  • In addition, sophomore Thurman Ward played in 11 games last year as a defensive back, but made his Alabama debut on offense tonight against the Mean Green. Also, redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Pennington took his first collegiate snap at quarterback for the Crimson Tide tonight when he entered the game with 3:25 remaining in the fourth quarter. Pennington played in the Crimson Tide's 39-34 win over Middle Tennessee in the season opener, but that appearance came on UA's "hands team" as the Blue Raiders attempted an on-side kick.

First-time starters

In the first three games of the 2002 season, five Alabama players have started for the first time in the football careers at the Capstone. The list of first-time starters includes sophomore tight end David Cavan, redshirt freshman Freddie Roach, redshirt freshman defensive back Charlie Peprah, redshirt sophomore defensive back Carlos Andrews and junior wide receiver Dre Fulgham.
  • Cavan and Roach made their first career start against Middle Tennessee (Aug. 31), while Peprah started as a nickel back in the Oklahoma game (Sept. 7). Andrews and Fulgham made their first career starts in the win over North Texas.
  • Cavan added a 15-yard TD grab in his first starting assignment.
  • Roach had 10 tackles and scored on a 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter.
  • Peprah started as nickel back in the loss to Oklahoma and added four solo tackles.
  • Junior wide receiver Dre Fulgham made his first career start for Alabama at wide receiver against North Texas. The Crimson Tide opened the game in a three-wide set against the Mean Green. Senior Sam Collins and junior Traindos Luke were the other two receivers for UA.
  • Fulgham made the most of his first career start against North Texas and hauled in a career high three passes for 39 yards, including a long of 24 yards.
  • In addition, sophomore safety Carlos Andrews made his first career start on defense, subbing for senior Waine Bacon, who had started each of the last 14 games for the Crimson Tide. Andrews has appeared in 14 career games for Alabama, but has never started prior to tonight.
  • Andrews also made his first career start against the Mean Green and contributed a career high five tackles in the win.
  • Peprah made his second career start for Alabama against North Texas (subbing at RCB for Hirchel Bolden).

Oh, brother

The 2002 Alabama football team has five sets of brothers on its roster. The family tree includes Joel and Ryan Babb, Wesley and Taylor Britt (Cullman), Triandos and Nic Luke (Phenix City), Marc and Matt Miller (Gadsden) and David and Stuart Cavan (Tuscaloosa).

2002 Leadership Council

The Leadership Council was elected for the 2002 football season last summer. The Leadership Council serves as a liaison between Coach Fran and the members of the football team. The members of the 2002 Leadership Council are as follows:
  • Waine Bacon
  • Lane Bearden
  • Antonio Carter
  • Sam Collins
  • Brooks Daniels
  • Gerald Dixon
  • Alonzo Ephraim
  • Ahmaad Galloway
  • Jarret Johnson
  • Kenny King
  • Marc Miller
  • Kindal Moorehead
  • Theo Sanders
  • Justin Smiley
  • Tyler Watts
  • Cornelius Wortham

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