Notes From A-Day Football Game

Nick Saban was on the field behind the offense during the A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. At one point late in the first half Saban almost became a part of the play as on a scramble pass istuation he got roughed up a little by pass-rushing linebacker Brandon Fanney. Saban kept his feet and escaped unharmed.

One of the first questions of the post-game interview of Alabama Coach Nick Saban (from Creg Stephenson of the Anniston Star) was whether Saban would be in a black jersey in next year's game. Saban picked up on it immediately. "I'll probably be in a black shirt next year so I can avoid contact," he said. "I showed pretty quick feet, though, to not go down." He added that he suspected quarterback John Parker Wilson had run a "pick play. I'm pretty sure he did it on purpose."

Probably nothing should be read into the fact that Brandon Fanney was not made available for post-game interviews.

Based on starting loineups (which may be a fallable basis), the first team players as spring training comes to an end are:

Offense (the Crimson team starting offense): Wide receiver Earl Alexander, wide receiver Mike McCoy, wide receiver Will Oakley, left tackle Andre Smith, left guard Mike Johnson, center Antoine Caldwell, right guard Marlon Davis, right tackle Drew Davis, tight end Travis McCall, quarterback John Parker Wilson, and tailback Terry Grant.

Defense (the White starting defense): Right end Brandon Deaderick, left end Bobby Greenwood, nose tackle Lorenzo Washington, jack linebacker Brandon Fanney, strongside linebacker Jimmy Johns, middle linebacker Rolando McClain, weakside linebacker Cory Reamer, left cornerback Javier Arenas, right cornerback Kareem Jackson, strongside linebacker Justin Woodall, safety Rashad Johnson.

Leigh Tiffin was the number one placekicker, P.J. Fitzgerald number one punter, Javier Arenas and Jonathan Lowe kickoff rand punt return men.

Assistant coaches were assigned to the teams. Coaching the White team were Bobby Willoiams, Burton Burns, Curt Cignetti, Tim Davis, Rob Sale, Kirby Smart, Lance Thompson, Patrick Suddes, Dan O'Brien and Todd Alles. Coaching the Crimson team were Jim McElwain, Joe Pendry, Willie Carl Martin,, Tommy Perry, Travis Trickett, Kevin Steele, Bo Davis, Jeremy Pruitt, Lance Taylor and Scott Cochran.

The crowd was not the story of this A-Day Game. Although it was an outstanding crowd of 78,200, it was not a completely full Bryant-Denny Stadium as last year.

The officiating crew for the A-Day Game was made up primarily of men who never get to officiate a real Alabama game. A Southeastern Conference rule prohibits alumni of a college from officiating gaqmes involving the alma mater. Six officials in the A-Day Game are University of Alabama alumni, five of them former players.

The referee was Steve Shaw, generally regarded as the top referee in the SEC. Other officials, all former Crimson Tide players, were Jay Vines (head linesman), Mike Washington (field judge), Brent Sowell (umpire), George Ranager (back judge), and Lamonde Russell (umpire).

Another official was Bob Skelton, Jr., the son of former Tide quarterback (and longtime NFL referee) Bobby Skelton.

At halftime, A Club Alumni Association President Jack Traffenstadt made a presentation of a $60,000 check to Athletics Director Mal Moore for the Crimson Tide Foundation. The A Club also made a presentation of a check for $9,300 to Tommy Brooker, president of the A Club Educationaol and Charitable Foundation. Brooker also received a check from Nick Saban for $23,000.

Terry Saban, wife of Alabama's head football coach, headed up a pre-game fund-raising drive for The University Libraries.

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