Tiffin, Fitzgerald Tops In Kicking

Although Nick Saban seems to put in more components of the kicking game during spring practice than is the case for many coaches, it is the nature of using newcomers on coverage and return teams that special teams work is ordinarily firmed up during fall camp.

Alabama does not neglect the kicking game, giving stern attention to some aspects. This year the Crimson Tide returns many of the key players for kicking situations, including placekicker Leigh Tiffin, punter P.J. Fitzgerald, and snapper Brian Selman. Fitzgerald is also the holder on placekicks. All are upcoming seniors.

The Tide also returns the main man on punt and kickoff returns, upcoming senior Javier Arenas. But as Arenas pointed out prior to the scrimmage. during the spring he will merely catch punts. Coverage will not be live. And there are rarely kickoffs during a scrimmage, particularly a spring scrimmage.

In Alabama's first scrimmage of the spring Wednesday, there was punting and field goal kicking.

Fitzgerald punted four times for 168 yards, a 42.0 average. Senior Heath Thomas punted four times for 149 yards, a 37.3 average.

Tiffin was good on field goal attempts of 45 yards, 42 yards, and 20 yards, but missed from 54, 45, and 32. Sophomore Corey Smith made his two field goal tries, from 32 and 18 yards.

One of the names missing from this year's spring roster who has been a part of the Tide for a few years is placekicker Andrew Friedman. The Fairhope native had another year of eligibility.

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