Spring game rosters

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin works with the quarterbacks and running backs during the NCAA college football team's spring practice, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin works with the quarterbacks and running backs during the NCAA college football team’s spring practice, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Check out the Alabama football team’s spring game rosters. First the Crimson team, then the White team.

No. Name Pos. Class Ht. Wt. Exp. Hometown/Previous School 

2 Tony Brown DB Fr. 6-0 190 HS Beaumont, Texas/Ozen

2 DeAndrew White WR Sr. 6-0 190 3L Houston, Texas/North Shore

4 T.J. Yeldon RB Jr. 6-2 221 2L Daphne, Ala./Daphne

5 Chris Black WR So. 5-11 185 1L Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast

6 Laurence “Hootie” Jones DB Fr. 6-2 220 HS Monroe, La./Neville

6 Blake Sims QB Sr. 6-0 208 3L Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville

7  Ryan Anderson LB So. 6-2 258 1L Daphne, Ala./Daphne

7 Cam Sims WR Fr. 6-4 204 HS Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish

9 Amari Cooper WR Jr. 6-1 204 2L Miami, Fla./Northwestern

10 Reuben Foster LB So. 6-1 236 1L Auburn, Ala./Auburn

11 Shaun Dion Hamilton LB Fr. 6-0 233 HS Montgomery, Ala./Carver

12 David Cornwell QB Fr. 6-5 234 HS Norman, Okla./Norman North

15 Jonathan Cook DB Fr. 6-0 190 RS Daphne, Ala./Spanish Fort

15 Parker McLeod QB Fr. 6-3 200 RS Marietta, Ga./Walton

21 Maurice Smith DB So. 6-0 195 1L Sugar Land, Texas/Fort Bend Dulles

22 Christion Jones WR Sr. 5-11 187 3L Adamsville, Ala./Minor

23 Jabriel Washington DB Jr. 5-11 183 2L Jackson, Tenn./Trinity Christian Academy

25 Dillon Lee LB Jr. 6-4 243 2L Buford, Ga./Buford

27 Derrick Henry RB So. 6-3 241 1L Yulee, Fla./Yulee

27 Nick Perry DB Sr. 6-1 211 3L Prattville, Ala./Prattville

28 Anthony Averett DB Fr. 6-0 180 RS Woodbury, N.J./Woodbury

31 Lawrence Erekosima RB Fr. 5-7 175 HS Simpsonville, S.C./Clinton

35 Walker Jones LB Fr. 6-2 238 RS Germantown, Tenn./Evangelical Christian

38 Y’Latio Jones DB Jr. 5-9 170 SQ Pinson, Ala./Clay-Chalkville

39 Kyle Kazakevicius WR Sr. 6-0 184 SQ Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic

40 Isaac Leon TE So. 6-6 215 SQ Boynton Beach, Fla./American Heritage

44 Levi Wallace DB Fr. 6-1 172 HS Tucson, Ariz./Tucson

46 Derrick Garnett LB Fr. 6-1 251 HS Tuscaloosa, Ala./Holy Spirit Catholic

45 Jalston Fowler RB Sr. 6-1 248 3L Mobile, Ala./Vigor

48 Bo Grant DB So. 6-3 198 SQ Valley, Ala./Valley

49 Max Fequiere LB Jr. 6-2 266 SQ Rockville Centre, N.Y./Malverne

52 Dee Liner DL So. 6-3 295 SQ Muscle Shoals, Ala./Muscle Shoals

54 Dalvin Tomlinson DL So. 6-2 299 1L McDonough, Ga./Henry County

55 Cole Mazza SN So. 6-1 251 1L Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty

56 Tim Williams LB So. 6-3 242 1L Baton Rouge, La./University Lab

58 Alex Harrelson SN Jr. 6-0 226 SQ Vestavia Hills, Ala./Vestavia Hills

60 Brandon Moore OL Jr. 6-0 277 SQ Cincinnati, Ohio/Hills Christian Academy

62 Will Davis OL So. 6-5 316 SQ Letohatchee, Ala./Fort Dale Academy

70 Ryan Kelly OL Jr. 6-5 296 2L West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West

72 Leon Brown OL Sr. 6-6 320 1L Riverdale, Md./Parkdale/ASA College

73 Brandon Hill OL Fr. 6-6 370 RS Collierville, Tenn./St. George’s/Hargrave

74 Cam Robinson OL Fr. 6-6 325 HS Monroe, La./West Monroe

77 Arie Kouandjio OL Sr. 6-5 315 2L Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic

79 Austin Shepherd OL Sr. 6-5 320 3L Buford, Ga./North Gwinnett

84 Brian Vogler TE Sr. 6-7 265 3L Columbus, Ga./Brookstone

85 Korren Kirven DL So. 6-5 297 1L Lynchburg, Va./Brookville

86 Truett Harris TE Jr. 6-3 210 SQ Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood

88 O.J. Howard TE So. 6-6 240 1L Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy

89 Bernel Jones DL Sr. 6-3 253 SQ Montgomery, Ala./Jefferson Davis

93 Jonathan Allen DL So. 6-3 270 1L Leesburg, Va./Stone Bridge

94 Dakota Ball DL So. 6-2 280 SQ Lindale, Ga./Pepperell

95 Darren Lake DL Jr. 6-3 323 2L York, Ala./Sumter Central

98 Adrian Lamothe P So. 5-9 190 SQ Monterrey, Mexico/Prepa Tec

99 Adam Griffith PK So. 5-10 188 1L Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun

Crimson Coaches

Burton Burns

Mario Cristobal

Billy Napier

Kirby Smart

Bo Davis

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin works with the quarterbacks and running backs during the NCAA college football team's spring practice, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin works with the quarterbacks and running backs during the NCAA college football team’s spring practice, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

White Roster 

No. Name Pos. Class Ht. Wt. Exp. Hometown/Previous School 

3 Bradley Sylve DB Jr. 5-11 180 2L Port Sulphur, La./South Palquemines

4 Eddie Jackson DB So. 6-0 188 1L Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Boyd Anderson

5 Cyrus Jones DB Jr. 5-10 194 2L Baltimore, Md./Gilman

8 Robert Foster WR Fr. 6-3 190 RS Monaca, Pa./Central Valley

11 Alec Morris QB So. 6-3 230 SQ Allen, Texas/Allen

13 ArDarius Stewart WR Fr. 6-0 193 RS Fultondale, Ala./Fultondale

17 Kenyan Drake RB Jr. 6-1 202 2L Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove

18 Cooper Bateman QB Fr. 6-3 215 RS Murray, Utah/Cottonwood

19 Reggie Ragland LB Jr. 6-2 257 2L Madison, Ala./Bob Jones

20 Tyren Jones RB Fr. 5-9 212 RS Marietta, Ga./Walton

20 Jarrick Williams DB Sr. 6-1 215 3L Mobile, Ala./Blount

22 Nate Staskelunas DB So. 6-3 206 SQ Greenville, N.C./Arendell Parrott Academy

24 Geno Smith DB Jr. 6-0 197 2L Atlanta, Ga./St. Pius X

26 Landon Collins DB Jr. 6-0 215 2L Geismar, La./Dutchtown

28 Altee Tenpenny RB So. 6-0 218 1L North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock

30 Denzel Devall LB Jr. 6-2 254 2L Bastrop, La./Bastrop

31 Jerrod Bierbower DB Sr. 6-1 198 SQ Dublin, Ohio/Coffman

33 Trey DePriest LB Sr. 6-2 250 3L Springfield, Ohio/Springfield

34 Tyler Owens LB  Sr. 6-0 225 SQ Columbiana, Ala./Clay-Chalkville

35 Thomas Woods WR Fr. 5-8 165 HS Birmingham, Ala./Vestavia Hills

37 Zach Houston DB Jr. 6-1 192 SQ Daphne, Ala./Daphne

39 Paden Crowder LB Jr. 6-4 235 SQ Vestavia Hills, Ala./Vestavia Hills

40 Bryant Bennett DB So. 5-11 190 SQ Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood

41 Kurt Freitag TE So. 6-4 255 1L Buford, Ga./Buford

41 Daniel Geddes DB Sr. 5-6 170 SQ Northport, Ala./Tuscaloosa County

43 Blaine Anderson DB So. 5-10 177 SQ Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park

45 Cedric Powell DB Fr. 6-0 187 HS Birmingham, Ala./G.W. Carver

46 Michael Nysewander TE Sr. 6-1 238 SQ Hoover, Ala./Hoover

47 Xzavier Dickson LB Sr. 6-3 268 3L Griffin, Ga./Griffin

47 Corey McCarron TE Jr. 6-2 245 1L Mobile, Ala./Spanish Fort

48 David D’Amico TE So. 6-0 213 SQ Birmingham, Ala./Vestavia Hills

49 Kieran Williams TE Fr. 6-4 243 RS Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer

50 Alphonse Taylor OL So. 6-5 328 1L Mobile, Ala./Davidson

51 Jake Long DL So. 5-10 229 SQ Vestavia Hills, Ala./Vestavia Hills

52 Andre Sims OL So. 6-3 312 SQ Montgomery, Ala./Sidney Lanier

53 Anthony Orr  DL Sr. 6-4 289 1L Madison, Ala./Sparkman

55 Josh Dickerson LB Sr. 6-1 228 SQ Evans, Ga./Lakeside

57 D.J. Pettway LB Jr. 6-3 265 JC/1L Pensacola, Fla./Catholic/E. Mississippi CC

58 Brandon Greene OL So. 6-5 304 1L Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove

59 MK Taylor SN Sr. 5-10 230 SQ Oxford, Ala./Oxford

61 Austin Peavler OL So. 6-3 317 SQ Wellington, Fla./Wellington Community

64 Grant Hill OL So. 6-6 308 1L Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville

66 Chris Posa OL So. 6-3 269 SQ Commerce, Mich./St. Mary’s Prep

68 Isaac Luatua OL Jr. 6-2 315 1L La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada

69 Paul Waldrop OL Jr. 6-4 285 SQ Phenix City, Ala./Central

75 Bradley Bozeman OL Fr. 6-5 325 RS Roanoke, Ala./Handley

80 Raheem Falkins WR So. 6-4 210 1L New Orleans, La./G.W. Carver

82 Ty Reed WR Sr. 6-1 193 SQ Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill

85 Malcolm Faciane TE Jr. 6-5 265 2L Picayune, Miss./Picayune Memorial

86 A’Shawn Robinson DL So. 6-4 320 1L Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights

87 Parker Barrineau WR Jr. 6-0 184 1L Northport, Ala./American Christian Academy

89 Armani Purifoye WR Fr. 6-1 187 HS Kingsland, Ga./Camden County

90 Jarran Reed DL Jr. 6-4 315 JC Goldsboro, N.C./Goldsboro/Hargrave/E. Mississippi CC

96 Stephen Hodge DL Jr. 6-1 257 SQ Akron, Ala./Hale County

96 Cameron McGuire PK Fr. 6-2 170 HS Frisco, Texas/Wakeland

97 John Pizzitola PK So. 5-11 175 SQ Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park

99 Brandon Ivory DL Sr. 6-4 308 3L Memphis, Tenn./East

White Coaches

Lane Kiffin

Kevin Steele

Lance Thompson

Bobby Williams

Tenpenny, Drake studying

Alabama running backs Kenyan Drake (17), Tyren Jones (20), T.J. Yeldon (4), Derrick Henry (3) and Altee Tenpenny (23) are shown during an NCAA college football practice Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)

Alabama running backs Kenyan Drake (17), Tyren Jones (20), T.J. Yeldon (4), Derrick Henry (3) and Altee Tenpenny (23) are shown during an NCAA college football practice Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt)

Alabama backup running backs Altee Tenpenny and Kenyan Drake missed Thursday’s practice to do academic work, coach Nick Saban said.

If they don’t get enough work done before Saturday’s spring game, they might not play.

“They didn’t do what they were supposed to do in school this week so I sent them to the study table for four hours and they didn’t come to practice,” Saban said. “I’d rather do it now than during the season. You know, all these players need to learn that they have a responsibility and an obligation to do the right thing for themselves.”

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning and his offensive coordinator Adam Gase visited the Crimson Tide this week to share ideas.

“Since they’re a no-huddle team, we had a lot of questions for them, in terms of what gives them problems and what defensive teams do that gives them problems,” Saban said. “That was kind of a mutual, hopefully beneficial — I know it was a benefit to us. I hope it was a benefit to them as well.”

Jarrick Williams a key defensive back

Alabama defensive back Jarrick Williams (20) grabs a breather in the heat during the Crimson Tide's fourth preseason football practice of the 2013 season, Monday, August 05, 2013, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama defensive back Jarrick Williams (20) grabs a breather in the heat during the Crimson Tide’s fourth preseason football practice of the 2013 season, Monday, August 05, 2013, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Jarrick Williams is one of the versitile safeties for the Alabama football team. He also plays the nickel and dime back.

Williams is in competition to the starting safety spot next to Landon Collins with Geno Smith and Nick Perry. Being able to play three spots helps him get on the field.

“I’ve been everywhere, it don’t really matter, as long as I’m out there playing,” Williams said.

Tough to juggle all those positions?

“It’s a hard task, but it’s nothing because I’m used to calling and being in there as well. Used to be, when I first got here, I didn’t know it at all.”

Do you like the nickel role?

“I like that job because it’s great at coverage, you get to fit the run and you’re there for the tackles.”

How’s Geno progressing?

“Geno’s looking very good, looking great.”

Is it good or bad when safeties make a lot of tackles in this scheme?

“It’s a good thing to me because you want to be that guy. You want to be that guy that makes the team run the ball the opposite way, away from you.”

Chris Black ready for bigger role

Alabama wide receiver Chris Black (5) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama wide receiver Chris Black (5) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

First off, check out my story on the Alabama football team in Thursday’s editions of the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily. It’s on the wide receivers.

Here are some leftover quotes from sophomore Chris Black, who was interviewed for the story.

What makes you different than other receivers?

“Being versatile. I can be in the slot or outside. I’ve really made a lot of progress playing outside this spring with DeAndrew White being out; taking more reps outside than I’ve done in the past.”

Where did you have to get better?

“Just more the feel of the game playing outside. I’ve played a lot of slot in my two years here. It’s just a different feel when you go outside.”

What differences?

“You see a lot of different covers; a lot of DBs play different. Slot is more reading a lot of things, where the outside is just you and a DB.”

What have you worked on in the offseason?

“I feel I was a lot more focused. I didn’t worry too much about making mistakes as much. Just focused on my game and focused on the good things I can do.”

How has offense done vs. first defense?

“Pretty good. We’ve built a lot of chemistry. To me it looks good. We’ve still got a lot to improve on, but I think we’’ve done a pretty good job this spring.”

Black seems to be one of those Internet all-Americans. Fans really like him and think he should be the guy.

He was rated higher than Amari Cooper, but a shoulder injury derailed him his first year. Expect Black to be more an impact this season.

“He’s something awful to cover, too,” safety Jarrick Williams said. “He’s pretty good. Quick. He’s a shift to slack guy. He can do it all.”

Connection with Blake Sims

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Quarterback Blake Sims has come out in first place in the Alabama football team’s quarterback competition headed into Saturday’s spring game.

That’s significant since the competition continues in August once Florida State transfer Jacob Coker joins the team.

Coker will have a tall task to take over against Sims. He still has to learn the offense and develop a connection with the receivers that Sims already possess.

“(We) developed a lot of chemistry with Blake; of course, we had a lot of chemistry last year,” receiver Chris Black said. “Me, him, and all the rest of the receivers, we’ve done a pretty good job this spring.”

What do you see from Sims?

“Blake has made a big step up from last year to right now, especially with taking on the role of starting quarterback,” Black said. “I’m proud of him with that.”

How is he with the deep ball?

“He’s done a really good job,” Black said. “The first scrimmage he threw two to (Amari Cooper) they connected, and one for a touchdown. He’s pretty accurate.”

Season opener kickoff announced

Hey, it's the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. What else would you expect?

Hey, it’s the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. What else would you expect?

The Alabama football team’s season opener has a kickoff time. The Crimson Tide faces West Virginia of the Big 12 Conference to begin the season on Aug. 30 in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, and the game will begin at 2:30 p.m.

The nonconference game will be televised nationally on ABC and ESPN2.

This will be the fourth time the Crimson Tide played in the season opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff. Alabama defeated Virginia Tech 35-10 in 2013, knocked off Clemson 34-10 in 2008 and Virginia Tech 34-24 in 2009.

Alabama is also slated to open the 2015 season against Wisconsin in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. 

Releford playing before for NBA scouts

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) shoots over LSU guard Andre Stringer (10) as LSU guard Tim Quarterman, right, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo)

Alabama guard Trevor Releford (12) shoots over LSU guard Andre Stringer (10) as LSU guard Tim Quarterman, right, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Southeastern Conference men’s tournament, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo)

Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford will participate in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which is slated to begin on today in Portsmouth, Va.

The four-day, 12-game tournament, is in its 62nd year and is one of the top professional showcases in the nation. The tournament features 64 seniors from various NCAA programs. Scouts from every NBA franchise and numerous professional leagues will be there.

Releford will compete as a member of the K&D Rounds Landscaping squad. His team will open up at 6 p.m. today with games following on Friday and Saturday.

He enters the event after a successful senior season in which he averaged 18.5 points, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game – all of which led Alabama. He topped the SEC in steals and was fifth in scoring on his way to first-team all-conference and all-district honors.

The Kansas City, Mo., native finished his career as the program’s all-time leader in steals (263), steals per game average (1.9) and total games played (134) and ranks fourth in total points scored (1,873).

Grant Hill being versatile

Alabama offensive lineman Grant Hill (64), offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor (50) and other linemen do line drills during the team's NCAA college football game for the Sugar Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama is scheduled to play Oklahoma on Jan. 2. (AP Photo)

Alabama offensive lineman Grant Hill (64), offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor (50) and other linemen do line drills during the team’s NCAA college football game for the Sugar Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama is scheduled to play Oklahoma on Jan. 2. (AP Photo)

Sophomore offensive lineman Grant Hill is learning two positions this spring just in case the Alabama football team needs his versatility in the fall.

Hill works in as the backup right tackle to Austin Shepherd and backup center to Ryan Kelly.

“Grant’s doing a good job in both regards,” coach Nick Saban said. “I think he would be an outstanding center if we played him at that position. And I think he would develop into a good tackle if we play him in that position.”

A backup center is needed now that last year’s backup, Chad Lindsay, transfered. There’s an open spot at left tackle, but Saban believes Brandon Greene or Cam Robinson can win that out.

Hill was highly regarded last season at tackle. Saban went out of his way to get him meaningful playing time because he was close to breaking into the starting lineup.

Junior college transfer Dominick Jackson is expected to join Alabama in the summer. He’s a tackle, so by the fall Hill may be able to concentrate on center.

“Getting this experience at both of these positions this spring is invaluable for his versatility and future,” Saban said. “When you have that kind of versatility, you’ve got so many more multiples where you can become and develop to be a starter in the future.”

Also, check out my notebook in Wednesday’s editions. There’s an update with the defensive line and outside linebackers.

Spring practice Day 13

The Alabama football team is in the home stretch of spring practice. The Crimson Tide completed the 13th practice Tuesday afternoon inside due to cold weather and a wet field.

During the viewing period of the media, the quarterbacks work on handoffs to running backs. You can watch in the above video. You’ll see a fullback used at times and sometimes a single back.

Quarterbacks also worked on passes to fullbacks and tailbacks. An interesting note, Kenyan Drake was second in the tailback line behind T.J. Yeldon with Derrick Henry third.

Cam Robinson is making a move at left tackle like coach Nick Saban said he would. He split time with Brandon Greene.

Saban a celebrity golfer

Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be in a charity golf event. (AP Photo)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be in a charity golf event. (AP Photo)

An 11-team field of NCAA coaches and celebrity alumni is set to compete in the eighth annual Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, and Alabama coach Nick Saban and former player Mark Ingram are paired together.

Other coaches include Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier. They are vying for their share of the $520,000 scholarship purse for their universities.

The event will be April 27-29 at the Reynolds Plantation resort on Lake Oconee outside Atlanta.

“This event is really a celebration of college football, with National Coaches of the Year, Heisman Trophy winners and celebrity alumni, all representing their universities in a competition for scholarship money for their schools,” said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge main event features pairings that include a university head coach and a celebrity or former athlete from the same school competing in a scramble format against other university teams from around the country. The tournament will be broadcast by ESPN in August and December. Specific dates will be announced this summer.

Tight end impact

Alabama tight end Brian Vogler (84) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Friday, April 11, 2014, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama tight end Brian Vogler (84) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Friday, April 11, 2014, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

The tight ends for the Alabama football team are expected to make more of an impact with new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

During the small window of practice the media is allowed to watch, the tight ends are thrown to a lot each practice.

That could mean a big season ahead for sophomore O.J. Howard. Read my story about him here.

Here’s more from Howard.

What does Kiffin bring to the offense?

“It’s like getting our athletes in space and showing off our ability. We have a lot of speed on the offensive side of the ball. It’s going to really help our athletic ability and show it off for us.”

Did you keel underutilized last year?

“Oh no, not at all. I was just coming in. I really didn’t know how to block as well as I’m learning to block now. I played my role and I did what the team needed.”

How can the tight ends improve?

“Right now, we want everybody to stay healthy. That’s the big thing. We’re doing good. We’re blocking. We all get along. We all know our role. There’s nothing we can really work on. Just play hard and stay healthy.” 

Cornerback commits to Tide

Montrell Custis of Hampton, Ga., verbally committed to the Alabama football team, he announced on Twitter on Monday night. Check out his video above.

Custis, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, is a three-star athlete, according to 247 Sports. He  originally committed to Kentucky but changed his mind after a visit to Alabama last weekend.

There were several offers to consider, including ones from Auburn, Clemson and Georgia Tech.

“I really want to give a special thanks to the whole UK coaching staff for giving me an opportunity 2 go 2 a great university like Kentucky,” Custis wrote. “But at the end of the day me and my family thought Alabama was a better fit for me. So I de-committed from UK and now I’m commit Alabama.”

He has size, speed and agility, according to 247 Sports. There were 67 tackles, 25 pass breakups and four interceptions last season.

Custis is the 10th commitment for the Crimson Tide in the 2015 recruiting class. He’s the second defensive back and first cornerback.

Baseball rankings, honors

Alabama celebrates a walkoff-double by Casey Hughston (9) for a win over Auburn in an NCAA college baseball game on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama celebrates a walkoff-double by Casey Hughston (9) for a win over Auburn in an NCAA college baseball game on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

The Alabama men’s baseball team moved up to No. 8 in the nation, according to Baseball America and Colligate Baseball and No. 11 by Perfect Game, after winning the series with Auburn over the weekend.

Justin Kamplain was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week for his Saturday start. He went 8.2 innings against the Tigers and allowed one run and three hits, buy but struck out give. Kamplain improved to 3-2 on the season with a 3.57 ERA.

There are nonconference games vs. Jackson State at home Tuesday and then a road trip to UAB on Wednesday.

Then the schedule gets challenging with road series at Tennessee and South Carolina next, followed by a home series with Florida. The regular season concludes at LSU and at home against

Mississippi State. That’s a back loaded schedule. The Crimson Tide is doing well now, but there’s still a long way to go.

Alabama's Ray Castillo (23) dives for a pop-up and makes for a great scorpion shot. (AP Photo)

Alabama’s Ray Castillo (23) dives for a pop-up and makes for a great scorpion shot. (AP Photo)

Women’s tennis wins SEC

The Alabama women's tennis team won its first SEC title.

The Alabama women’s tennis team won its first SEC title.

The ninth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team won its first SEC title Sunday afternoon with a 4-0 victory at No. 31 Tennessee.

The Crimson Tide finished the regular season with a 12-1 mark in conference play, its best record in program history, and enters postseason play with a 20-3 overall record.

The win was also head coach Jenny Mainz’s 200th victory at Alabama.

“I am so happy and proud of our team,” Mainz said. “This is incredibly exciting for our program. The most rewarding part of the season thus far has been to see this team come together and play with one heartbeat. It’s empowering how well they work together. All eight players have positively impacted this season and played an integral role in our success.”

This is Alabama’s second-straight 20-win season under Mainz and its fifth in program history.

“This SEC Championship represents all the former Alabama players as well as our current team,” Mainz said. “It’s been a compilation of all the hard work and commitment that all the Alabama players have contributed through the years.”

The final stretch

Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) grabs a pass during spring NCAA college football practice Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  (AP Photo)

Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) grabs a pass during spring NCAA college football practice Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

The Alabama football team has two more practices and Saturday’s spring game left.

Players are taking an extra day off today this week because they need to recover. They’ll work out Tuesday and Thursday.

“We need to take advantage these last couple practices,” coach Nick Saban said. “There are a lot of guys getting a lot of reps, getting a lot of opportunities to improve and learn. I still think our team has to develop the mental toughness, the psychological disposition to sustain better, finish things better, play harder, be a more relentless competitor. I like the attitude of our team, but I still think there are guys that need to improve in that area. If we are going to improve as a team, in the difficult times, finishing the game, fourth quarter, things get difficult, you get tired, that’s when we have to execute and do things well. So you know there’s a lot for us to work on.”

Check out my story on the offensive line and who is in line to be the left tackle.

Here’s my story on the scrimmage, if you missed it, looking at the quarterbacks.

And here’s a look at what Saban wants out of the last week of spring practice.

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)