Spring Practice Dates Are Set
Alabama, the defending national champion, was 14-0 in 2009. The Crimson Tide of Coach Nick Saban has rebuilding to do, particularly on defense and in areas of the kicking game.
Alabama will hold its annual A-Day Game to conclude spring football practice on Saturday, April 17, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Admission will again be free to the public and kickoff is tentatively set for 2 p.m. Further details on television coverage and events surrounding A-Day will be released at a later date.
The Crimson Tide football team is tentatively scheduled to hold the first spring practice of 2009 on Friday, March 12. UA spring break is March 15-20 and the second practice is scheduled for Monday, March 22. Other than A-Day, practices are closed to the public.
Bama will have 15 spring practice dates including A-Day.
Last season's A-Day Game was televised nationally by ESPN with a Bryant-Denny Crowd of 84,050 looking on.
Five of the record six first team All-America players from the 2009 Tide team do not return.
Alabama does return Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram at tailback. Ingram was also the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the BCS Chamnpionship Game. Starting quarterback Greg McElroy, the MVP of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, is also back. New starters must be found at tight end, left guard and right tackle.
Safety Mark Barron and linebacker Nico Johnson are the only starters returning on defense, but Bama does welcome back lineman Marcell Dareus, who was defensive most valuable player in the BCS Championship Game. The Tide lost two juniors, All-America linebacker Rolando McClain and cornerback Kareen Jackson, to early entry to the NFL.
Dont'a Hightower, a starting linebacker who suffered a season-ending knee injury last fall, will be involved in spring practice, but will not take part in contact.
On special teams, Bama must replace All-America placekicker Leigh Tiffin, punter and holder P.J. Fitzgerald, snapper Brian Selman, and All-America return specialist Javier Arenas.
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