Alabama Football: Among NIL buzz, actual football chatter from T-Town

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

A Tuscaloosa summer for Alabama Football players includes opportunities to become better before Fall Camp begins. Currently, NIL deals and agent signings are getting most of the coverage, but there has been some football going. Offseason strength and conditioning are always important. So are summer 7 on 7 drills though the coaches cannot be involved.

The 7 on 7 format is a long way from real football. There are no pads. Quarterbacks are not under any sack pressure. For a team’s passing game, the drills are valuable skills development. Though not like a real game, the drills can help less experienced players learn and understand the playbook. An added value comes with building team chemistry, particularly with new personnel joining starting lineups.

Five of the defensive backs in dime sets are pretty clear, with Josh Jobe, Jordan Battle, DeMarcco Hellams, Malachi Moore and Brian Branch. None of those guys are expected to lose their key roles. The other corner position is heavily contested. Alabama football insiders have been raving about the summer work of Kool-Aid McKinstry, but so far, the top ‘other’ corner is Jaylin Armour-Davis. Not much has been heard about JUCO transfer, Khyree Jackson. Given the reputation Jackson brings to Tuscaloosa, that could change at any time.

Coming out of spring, the wide receiver buzz was mostly about Agiye Hall. Some national college football experts have described Hall as the Tide’s next great playmaker. That may happen, but based on insider reports of summer drills, the new receivers drawing the most attention are Ohio State transfer, Jameson Williams and summer enrollee, freshman, JoJo Earle, who has been described as the next Jaylen Waddle.

The summer pecking order at wideout starts with John Metchie, Slade Bolden and Javon Baker. Two of those guys will have a major challenge holding their jobs after the new wideouts get two or three games behind them.

With Bill O’Brien’s proclivity to use two tight ends, snaps for wideouts may decrease from recent seasons. Alabama football fans know how good tight end, Jahleel Billingsley is; but Cameron Latu is gaining plenty of notice. When O’Brien opts for a three-tight end set, (13 or 23 personnel) freshman Robbie Ouzts could get the call.

There is no drama at QB, with QB1, QB2 and QB3 firmly entrenched. Bryce Young has been impressive and a now-healthy Paul Tyson has looked improved.

The competition at inside linebacker, between Jaylen Moody and transfer, Henry To’o To’o will likely continue well into fall camp. According to Crimson Tide insiders, To’o To’o has been everything he was expected to be.

Next. Recruiting misses only a blip for the Tide. dark

The early days of July always trigger a countdown to  Fall Camp. No official date has been announced, but around August 5 is a good guess.