Left Guard Has Big Shoes To Fill

Right guard has a deodorant named for it. Left guard? Nothing! For the past couple of years the position at Alabama has been in great hands. This year it's one of the few spots on offense where there is a question about the starter.

We've been looking at the possibilities for Alabama's starting positions when fall camp opens the first week in August. Mike Johnson, who earned All-America at left guard in the Crimson Tide's 2009 national championship season, has moved on to pro football.

Prior to the start of spring practice, there had been a thought that David Ross (6-3, 302, senior) might get a look at a guard or tackle spot. Ross was the back-up last year to junior William Vlachos at center. But Vlachos missed all of spring work recovering from foot surgery and Ross spent all spring at center.

Chance Warmack (6-3, 301, sophomore) saw very little action last year in five games, but finished spring practice as seemingly the number one man at left guard. He enrolled early at Bama in 2009 and earned his playing time last year as a true freshman.

As has been pointed out, Alabama Assistant Coach Joe Pendry, who tutors the offensive linemen, moves players around so that most offensive linemen are capable of playing several positions.

Two years ago, John Michael Boswell (6-5, 291) was considered the most talented of a highly regarded group of offensive tackle prospects. Boswell is now in contention at left guard.

Last fall, Anthony Steen (6-3, 292, redshirt freshman) was lauded by Coach Nick Saban for his work on the scout team. He has been listed behind Barrett Jones at right guard, but Steen could move to the left side.

Austin Shepherd (6-5, 315) is a true freshman who enrolled at The University in January and went through the off-season program and spring practice and worked at left guard.

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