Alabama Football: Top performers from spring practice

Apr 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick Jr. (21) intercepts a
Apr 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick Jr. (21) intercepts a / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Football had a successful spring practice session to say the least, and the fan base had more access than ever. Between media members being at practice and coaches and players talking to the media, the world is getting more of a fishbowl glimpse into the Alabama Football program for the first time. 

As players adjusted to the new coaching staff and the corresponding systems that are still in the process of being implemented, several newcomers and returnees proved to be impressive.

Wide receiver Caleb Odom is an imposing presence at 6’5”, and the true freshman wowed teammates and coaches alike during spring ball. While veterans like Kobe Prentice, Germie Bernard, and Kendrick Law figure to catch a lion’s share of the passes, Odom’s massive frame and wide catch radius bring a different element to the receiver room. Look for him to carve out a niche, perhaps as a red zone target, in year one.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Ty Simpson had a good spring as well, and performed admirably in scrimmage settings including A-Day. Simpson has matured a great deal heading into year three, and gives the Tide depth at the quarterback position that it has lacked recently. Redshirt freshmen Dylan Lonergan and Austin Mack have had moments as well, and are both light years ahead of what Bama has traditionally had at the QB3 spot.

On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman Keon Keeley transitioned from edge rusher to defensive lineman and may have found his role. It will be difficult for Keeley to get starters’ reps in 2024, as this is one of the deepest and most experienced position groups on the roster.

However, the former 5-star is one of the most unique athletes on the team. Under the guidance of the coaches and strength & conditioning staff, I expect Keeley to add significant weight while maintaining his twitchiness. Eventually, he will be a freak on the Tide’s defensive line.  

In the secondary, true freshman defensive backs Red Morgan and Zabien Brown stole the show this spring. While Jaylen Mbakwe was the highest-ranked member of a loaded defensive back class and should be very good in his own right, it is two of his classmates that are really pushing for starting roles. 

Morgan in particular has been solid, and could possibly start at the Husky spot as a true freshman. Kobe Prentice’s comparison of Morgan to Caleb Downs is certainly high praise, and it speaks to Morgan’s level of preparation and maturity as he joins the collegiate ranks.