Alabama Football: A-Day Wrapup And Stats


Questions surround the Alabama Crimson Tide heading into 2015 and just like every year, Alabama fans hope that some of those questions start to get answered during the spring.

Alabama’s annual A-Day game is kind of the “midterm exam” for the Alabama football team before they get their “final exam” on the football field during the regular season.

Certain players separate themselves from the pack in terms of training to win playing time, while others may face setbacks whether it is poor performance, off the field issues, or even injury.

For the second straight year the quarterback position is up for grabs, but unlike last year the competition has been sort of on the back burner during spring practices due to several injuries and off the field run ins for Alabama players. On Saturday afternoon, however, all eyes were on five signal callers vying for a shot at becoming the next man to lead the Crimson Tide.

Jacob Coker received the lion’s share of playing time with the starting offense, throwing 28 passes, completing 14 for 183 yards and a touchdown. He made several excellent throws during the game, including a beautiful 40-yard TD to ArDarius Stewart, but also made several poor throws, including an interception which was returned by safety Maurice Smith for a touchdown.

Coker is the elder statesmen among the Alabama quarterbacks, is the only senior, and has been the odds on favorite to win the job ever since Blake Sims graduated. But redshirt freshman David Cornwell has been making waves during spring practices.

The big, strong armed youngster led the way for the Crimson team completing 12 of 24 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, but he too made several poor throws and was intercepted twice.

Another youngster, true freshman Blake Barnett, got a chance to play with both the Crimson and White teams, throwing his best pass of the day late in the game, a 29 yard TD to ArDarius Stewart. Despite playing his best with the first team offense, Barnett still made some freshman mistakes including an interception.

Truth be told, none of the Alabama quarterbacks really looked stellar and it is quite obvious that all of them, despite all being talented, have a long way to go before opening kickoff in September. The good news is, the same could be said for AJ McCarron following his spring performance in 2011 (and 2012 for that matter) and Blake Sims following his performance in last year’s A-Day.

Who will replace Sims at QB may not be the biggest question mark heading into 2015, because Alabama is also forced to replace one of the greatest receivers in Alabama history in Amari Cooper.

It is highly unlikely that any one player will be able to replace Cooper’s productivity and presence, but the Tide receivers are deep with talent. They took a major blow in the spring when Cameron Sims, who was expected to be a major contributor this coming season, went down with an ACL tear.

There was absolutely no question who the best receivers on the field were yesterday and there was no question who both Jacob Coker and Blake Barnett looked to when they needed a big play. Receiver ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster combined for 14 catches, 243 yards, and 2 TD. Both touchdowns went to Stewart, but Foster set up another TD in the second quarter when he caught a beautiful pass from Coker down to the one yard line, setting up a Derrick Henry score.

If Stewart and Foster can continue their progress they could become a deadly combination for whoever lines up at center for Alabama. The Tide will also look to speedy Chris Black and ultra talented tight end OJ Howard in 2015.

Nick Saban has stated that running backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake have established themselves, and will undoubtedly be the alpha dogs in 2015. Neither saw much action in the A-Day game, with Henry carrying the ball just 15 times and Drake not facing any contact due to his leg injury last season.

Much of this centers around Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin wanting to evaluate their quarterbacks and receivers, but a question still lingers of who will be able to step up as a third back for Alabama. Many expected it to be Bo Scarbrough before his knee injury during spring practices, and DeSherrius Flowers likely would have had an opportunity to make some waves but was injured early during A-Day. Tyren Jones has been kicked off the team, and former safety Ronnie Clark was forced to play at running back during spring. Clark will probably get a chance to continue to develop there, but with more youngsters like Damien Harris coming during the fall he just might revert back to defensive back.

Denzell Devall and Ryan Anderson are still the elder statesmen among Alabama’s deep outsider linebacker group, but both were held out of A-Day due to injuries and the future was on full display. Youngsters Tim Williams, Rashaan Evans, and Christian Miller combined for 4 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. The much quicker, speed rushers are what Alabama’s defense is heading towards rather than the bigger, stronger outside linebackers of years past like Courtney Upshaw, Adrian Hubbard, and Xzavier Dickson. I fully expect those three to see more and more playing time in 2015 which will be a much needed boost for the Tide pass rush.

Defensive back was an Achilles heel for Alabama last year, and most expect the same to be the case in 2015. Despite that the Alabama DBs played very well during A-Day with corner Marlon Humphrey and safeties Maurice Smith and Eddie Jackson standing out.

Humphrey showed both his ball skills, with an interception, and his underrated tackling ability as well. Jackson is moving from corner to safety, which is likely a combination of him still recovering from his 2014 knee injury and Alabama’s lack of depth at the position, so he still has a lot to learn to be his instincts and tackling ability could lead to him flourishing in the role.

Flourishing is exactly what Maurice Smith seems to be doing at the star spot as he played extremely well at A-Day. He was beaten for one TD, though it was a perfectly thrown ball. Alabama’s DBs will get more help in the fall when Cyrus Jones returns from injury as well.

Kicker Adam Griffith was one of the most inconsistent players on the entire Alabama roster last year, and that continued once again during A-Day. He kicked four field goals, missing two of them including a very makeable 37 yard field goal. As inconsistent as Griffith is, punter JK Scott is one of the most consistent players on the team and that continued as well.

There are still questions left to be answered for the 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide and nothing was answered during A-Day or the spring in general, as it never is, but we did start to see some of the answers coming together. Is it August yet?




Jake Coker: 14-28, 183 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 1 carry, 4 yards

Alec Morris: 7-11, 60 yards; 3 carries, -27 yards

Blake Barnett: 4-6, 26 yards, 1 TD; 1 carry, -6 yards; 1 catch, -7 yards


Derrick Henry: 15 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, -5 yards

Kenyan Drake: 5 carries, 13 yards

Lawrence Erekosima: 1 carry, 2 yards


ArDarius Stewart: 8 catches, 118 yards, 2 TD

Robert Foster: 6 catches, 125 yards

Dakota Ball: 3 catches, 23 yards

Chris Black: 2 catches, 13 yards

Lawrence Erekosima: 2 catches, 4 yards

Cam Robinson: 1 catch, -2 yards


Marlon Humphrey: 8 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 INT

Keith Holcombe: 8 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack

Christian Miller: 3 TKL, 2.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks

Anthony Averett: 3 TKL, 1 PBU, 1 INT

OJ Smith: 2 TKL, 2.0 TFL

Josh Frazier: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1 PBU, 1.0 sack, 1 QBH

Walker Jones: 2 TKL

Shaun Dion-Hamilton: 2 TKL

Rashaan Evans: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 QBH

Brandon Bell-Brayboy: 1 TKL

Jonathan Cook: 1 TKL

Jabriel Washington: 1 TKL, 1 INT

Robert Foster: 1 TKL

Da’Shawn Hand: 1 TKL

Ronnie Harrison: 1 TKL, 1 INT

Paden Crowder: 1 PBU


JK Scott: 5 punts, 53.8 yards per punt, 1 inside 20

Adam Griffith: 2/2 FGs (Made: 49 yards, 28 yards; Missed: 53 yards, 37 yards)

Kenyan Drake: 2 kickoff returns, 57 yards



David Cornwell: 12-24, 110 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 2 carries, -10 yards

Cooper Bateman: 7-11, 48 yards, 1 INT; 2 carries, -17 yards

Blake Barnett: 2-3, -1 yards, 1 INT; 4 carries, -3 yards


Ronnie Clark: 5 carries, 15 yards

Desharius Flowers: 1 carry, 2 yards


Ronnie Clark: 7 catches, 40 yards

Ty Flournoy-Smith: 5 catches, 45 yards

Raheem Falkins: 3 catches, 28 yards

Parker Barrineau: 3 catches, 16 yards, 1 TD

Brandon Turner: 1 catch, 11 yards

Michael Nysewander: 1 catch, 9 yards

Johnny Dwight: 1 catch, 7 yards


Bradley Sylve: 9 TKL

Reuben Foster: 7 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Reggie Ragland: 7 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU

Eddie Jackson: 6 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Tim Williams: 5 TKL, 2.0 TFL, 1 FF, 1.0 sack, 2 QBH

Geno Smith: 4 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Maurice Smith: 4 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1 INT, 51 yards, 1 TD, 1.0 sack

Tony Brown: 3 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1 QBH

Dillon Lee: 3 TKL, 2.0 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1.0 sack

Jarran Reed: 3 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU

Dalvin Tomlinson: 2 TKL, 1 PBU

Parker Barrineau: 2 TKL

Darren Lake: 2 TKL

Cedric Powell: 1 TKL

Isaac Luatua: 1 TKL

Korren Kirven: 1 TKL

Jamey Moseley: 1 TKL, 0.5 TFL

DJ Pettway: 1 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 2 QBH


Adrian Lamothe: 6 punts, 43.8 yards per punt, 2 inside 20

Darius Thompson: 5 kickoff returns, 137 yards

Anthony Averett: 1 kickoff return, 25 yards


– Dixie Howell Memorial A-Day MVP: Robert Foster (WR) & ArDarius Stewart (WR)

– Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter Award: Dominick Jackson (OT) & Reuben Foster (ILB)

– Jerry Duncan “I Like to Practice” Award: Maurice Smith (CB), Bradley Sylve (CB), Chris Black (WR), & Bradley Bozeman (OT)

– Billy Nieghbors Defensive Lineman Award: Jarran Reed (DT) & DJ Pettway (DE)

– Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award: Ryan Kelly (C)

– Bobby Johns Defensive Back Award: Tony Brown (CB) & Geno Smith (S)

– Johnny Musso Offensive Back Award: Kenyan Drake (RB) & Derrick Henry (RB)

– Ray Perkins Receiver Award: Robert Foster (WR)
– Woodrow Lowe Linebacker Award: Robert Foster (ILB)

– Derrick Thomas Community Service Award: Keith Holcombe (ILB) & Josh Casher (C)

– Bear Bryant Outstanding Non-Scholarship Award: Michael Nysewander (FB), Jamey Mosley (ILB), Parker Barrineau (WR), Levi Wallace, Lawrence Erekosima (RB)

– Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award: Ronnie Harrison (S/WR), Rashaan Evans (OLB), Ross PIerschbacher (OG), Blake Barnett (QB), JC Hassenauer (C), David Cornwell (QB), DaShawn Hand (DT), Anthony Averett (S/WR), Christian Miller (OLB), Bo Scarborough (RB)

– Bart Starr Most Improved Player Award: Eddie Jackson (CB/S), Ty Flournoy-Smith (TE), Dalvin Tomlinson (DL), ArDarius Stewart (WR), Shaun Dion-Hamitlon (ILB), Brandon Greene (OT/TE)

– Mal Moore Leadership Award: A’Shawn Robinson (NT), OJ Howard (TE)

– Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award: Cam Robinson (OT) and Dillon Lee (OLB)

– Dwight Stephenson Lineman of A-Day Game Award: Ryan Kelly (C)