Alabama Football: Latest from the Crimson Tide practice field

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] /

There were two changes for Alabama Football practice on Monday. Tight end Jahleel Billingsley was allowed to practice. Whatever Billingsley did to require correction action did not mean he missed much work. On Alabama Football’s third day of Fall Camp, he was a full participant, though, in drills, he was at the back of the line of tight ends.

The other change was the Crimson Tide was in pads for the first time. Technically, the Monday gear is described as ‘shells’; helmet, shorts and shoulder pads. Anything close to full contact remains a few sessions away. The acclimation period will end later this week.

Short viewing sessions by the media are glimpses into how the 2021 team is evolving. Before full contact and any scrimmage has taken place is no time for conclusions.

There are however some strong indications about certain players that have been given by Nick Saban and Pete Golding. Saban, a hater of depth chart questions, practically named Javion Cohen the starter at left guard and he did that at SEC Media Days. Cohen will have to prove himself in Fall Camp scrimmages, but the unusually early praise from Saban should mean the left side of the Tide’s offensive line is set.

On Sunday, Alabama Football, Defensive Coordinator, Pete Golding did almost the same thing talking about Henry To’o To’o. Comparing where transfers usually are at this point, Golding used the words “above and beyond” and added the former Tennessee linebacker played much the same defense in Knoxville as he will as a member of the Crimson Tide. It is too early to predict To’o To’o will beat out Jaylen Moody, to start alongside Christian Harris at inside linebacker. To’o To’o has often been lauded for his physical skills, so if he has the defense down and can play fast, while also providing leadership, Moody is in quite a battle.

While Golding complimented To’o To’o, he was almost gushing answering a question about Kool-Aid McKinstry.

"He’s got the length that we want. He’s got the short-area quickness. He can run. He’s got top-end speed, he’s played offense, so he’s got the ball skills… (and) the ability to come up and put his face on you."

According to Golding, the getting in an opponent’s face attitude can be slow developing in young cornerbacks. Kool-Aid is clearly an exceptional athlete and he will see the field in some significant way as a freshman. Until he can consistently provide what is required of a cornerback, Jaylin Armour-Davis will start opposite Josh Jobe. The competition between the pair will be interesting.

dark. Next. Can a young Crimson Tide repeat?

The Crimson Tide will practice again on Tuesday, without the inquisitive eyes of media observers.