What to Watch for at A-Day

This Saturday, fans will be welcomed back into Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time since the Iron Bowl in November and be able to get a look at a re-tooled Crimson Tide roster. A-Day has always been more so for the fans than anything else, so expect simple concepts and essentially a glorified practice rather than Nick Saban tipping his hand in front of a national audience. Not to fear, there will still be plenty to take away. Let’s start with the obvious:

The QB Battle:

Of course, every throw that both Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson make will be analyzed and subsequently over-analyzed, and rightfully so. It seems the two are dead-locked in a battle to be Alabama’s next starting quarterback. However, don’t forget to keep your eye on the two freshmen, Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan as well. It is more likely than not that neither have a real shot at being QB1 this fall, but the first opportunity to see them in game action is exciting nonetheless.

RB Depth:

We addressed this earlier this week. This running back room is DEEP. Will star freshman Justice Haynes show out in his first game action at Bryant Denny? Will Jase McClellan demonstrate that he is the best on the team? Personally, I am very excited for what I believe will be a breakout season for rising sophomore Jamarion Miller. The room runs at least five deep however, so keep an eye on all of them.

Is Malik Benson the Real Deal?

For the most part, the wide receiver group is very similar to what it was last season with the returns of Jermaine Burton, Ja’Corey Brooks, Isaiah Bond, Kobe Prentice, and Kendrick Law. But there is one big outlier that some believe could elevate the group into elite status, and it’s JUCO transfer Malik Benson. Benson was seen catching passes from Bryce Young at his pro day even though he never played a snap with him, an early sign of trust from Saban. Look for Benson to burst onto the scene on Saturday.

How Good is Caleb Downs?

The hype surrounding the Alabama freshman safety has already reached borderline out of control levels. He very well may be the best player in the nation in this class, but as a guy who has yet to play a snap in Crimson, he is being talked about more so than any freshman in recent memory. Downs has an opportunity to stake a claim as a starter on this defense and prove that the hype is warranted.