Alabama Football: Three Spring Practice Question Marks

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

As Alabama Football prepares to take the field for spring practice on Monday, the biggest question is the highly-publicized quarterback battle following the departure of Bryce Young. This race, presumed to be between redshirt sophomore Jalen Milroe and redshirt freshman Ty Simpson, will officially ensue this week.

Although the quarterback room likely features the most important position battle, there is plenty of competition elsewhere. This Alabama football team has endless storylines in the 2023 offseason, and spring practice will begin to answer some of the questions surrounding the program.

Alabama Football: Who makes moves on the offensive line?

Alabama’s offensive line has notably been a position of concern over the last two seasons. The 2022 unit was improved from the previous year, but failed to exhibit the dominance of past Bama offensive lines. Guards Emil Ekiyor Jr. and Javion Cohen depart, as well as starting tackle Tyler Steen.

An optimistic view of the Crimson Tide offensive line situation is that it has been building to the 2023 season. The line played poorly for much of 2021, and last season felt like more of a transition year. Alabama brought in a grad transfer in Steen to be a one-year stopgap at left tackle, and gave some of its young and talented players significant reps.

Those younger players, including tackle JC Latham and guard Tyler Booker, will now be the faces of a revamped offensive line. At least two positions on the line have yet to be filled, so expect spring practice to be a battleground in the trenches.

Could unproven players such as true freshman Kadyn Proctor and redshirt freshman Elijah Pritchett seize starting roles?

Alabama Football: Will standouts emerge at wide receiver?

Alabama has talent and depth at wide receiver, but the pressure will be on this particular position group to produce this season. A trio of veterans will have every opportunity to become the next great receiving corps in Tuscaloosa.

Senior Jermaine Burton and juniors Ja’Corey Brooks and Malik Benson should lead the Alabama receiver room. Burton and Brooks were the Tide’s leading receivers last year, posting similar stat lines and each showing their individual potential. Benson was the top-rated JUCO player in the country, and comes to Alabama with high expectations.

Behind this trio, another group of three figures to be the future of the Bama receiver room, and could easily make an impact in 2023. Sophomores Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, and Kendrick Law all saw extensive playing time as true freshmen and look to elevate their games in year two.

Dark horses in the receiver room include sophomore Shazz Preston and incoming 5-star freshman Jalen Hale.

Alabama Football: Position battles abound in the secondary

It is well-known that Alabama loses most of its secondary to the NFL Draft. Junior cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry and senior nickel Malachi Moore are the significant returnees in the defensive backfield, and will likely be the leaders of the group. A collective of unproven talent, including redshirt sophomore Terrion Arnold, senior Kristian Story, incoming 5-star freshman Caleb Downs, and more will fill out the rest of the secondary.

Junior safety DeVonta Smith and sophomore cornerback Earl Little II will have the chance to make statements in spring ball. Spring practice will also offer the first look at freshmen defensive backs such as 5-star corner Dezz Ricks. Incoming freshman safety Tony Mitchell has a lot of promise, but was arrested in Florida over spring break last week.

There will be a lot of new faces in Alabama’s 2023 secondary, and competition will be fierce at several positions.

Next. QB Competition gets underway. dark

In an offseason of transition on the field and within the coaching staff, spring practice will be very important for Alabama football.