Redshirt freshmen get stronger

Every true freshman but two took a redshirt last season, concentrating on lifting and conditioning while also practicing with the varsity athletes. <br><br>To a man, they've all made significant progress and are anxious for a chance to contribute.

One of the best all-around athletes on the team, redshirt freshman Juwan Garth (above left) is expected to contend for playing time at weakside linebacker. It will be interesting to see if he's given a shot at safety this spring.

Defensive end Chris Harris prepares to lift. At 6-5 and 240-pounds plus, Harris has the frame to develop into a prototype defensive end. Clearly he's used his redshirt year well, gaining strength and bulk in the weight room.

Running back Kenneth Darby makes the combination stretching/balancing exercise look easy. Powerfully built and cat-quick, Darby may be the fastest running back on the team within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. The A-Day scrimmage following spring practice will give Tide fans their first good look at the promising athlete.

It's not easy for long, lean athletes to add bulk, but Kyle Tatum is noticeably thicker and stronger than when he first arrived on campus. He should help both inside and out on the defensive line next year, but after another year of weight training tackle could be his best position. (that's Kenneth Darby mostly hidden beyond Tatum's right shoulder)

With Tide Strength Coach Steve Martin looking on, Nic Luke cleans the weight to chest level. Ideally Coach Price's one-back offense utilizes a taller, bigger running back, which could spell playing time for the 6-1, 210-pound Luke.

With both starting tackles graduated, Jeremy Clark will have to be ready to play next season. He's not as thick as Anthony Bryant (who is?), but Clark has also benefited from his year under the tutelage of Coach Ben Pollard and the Alabama strength staff. (that's former minor league pitcher--now quarterback, Michael Machen mostly hidden on the right of the photo)

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