Off-season lifting in full swing

Though fans (and coaches) have focused almost exclusively on recruiting the past two months, the current Tide athletes have been working hard on a daily basis. <br><br>Despite the confusion created by the coaching transition, under the direction of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard, the players never missed a beat.

Quarterback Brodie Croyle prepares to clean the bar to chest level. Since the start of Winter term, the Alabama squad has been working out on a daily basis, lifting weights and conditioning in preparation for spring football drills.

Junior defensive end Todd Bates works on his biceps. Bates missed most of last winter's weight training work, recovering from groin surgery. Finally healthy and able to go full out, Bates expects to get significantly stronger before next fall.

With defensive tackle Taylor Britt over his left shoulder, sophomore tight end Clint Johnston gets his mind right before attempting the lift.

Sophomore Freddie Roach takes a break from lifting. Having earned Freshman All-America honors last season, Roach could end up as a four-year starter for Alabama at middle linebacker.

Roman Harper easily clears the last hurdle. With football players, it's all about "explosion." After working hard on their hang clean, the athletes reinforce the motion by hopping flat footed over five hurdles in a row. Actually, athletes like Harper have to tone down their hops somewhat, otherwise they risk getting too high and out of control.

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