A-Day to showcase QB talent

Laura Owens

The Alabama Crimson Tide held its last practice Thursday afternoon before the A-Day game. With the roster divided into Crimson and White, the teams took time to split up in practice to run their own plays.

Quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims are both listed under both the Crimson and the White rosters, and head coach Nick Saban said the two quarterbacks will play for both.

“We got two quarterbacks here who have both had really a good spring and have both played really well, and every time we have an opportunity to play, we’ll see how they respond to that circumstance and that situation, just like we’ll see how they play in this game,” Saban said. “That’s why I want both of them to play with both teams—to see how they respond to the situation. If they both respond well, then that’s a good thing.”

Defensive back Mark Barron said both quarterbacks have been playing well this spring.

“Both guys have been doing a great job this spring,” he said. “To be honest with you, I feel like both guys will give us a chance to win games.”

Barron, who has been in a black jersey all spring, will stay in the black jersey for the A-Day game. Saban said the players in black jerseys are capable of playing with tackling but that there’s no sense in reinjuring them during this scrimmage.

“Coming into this spring, I was having a little trouble with my range of motion and running normally, and now towards the end of spring, I feel like I’ve made progress and I’m feeling good about where I am right now,” Barron said.

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones, who usually plays right guard, was moved this week to left tackle, along with Alfred McCullough and Aaron Douglas. Jones said he played left tackle in high school, but it has been a while since playing that position.

“We’ve been doing some different experimenting on different lineups, and it’s been very different,” Jones said. “It’s been a challenge, and I think it’s exciting to be challenged, and it’s been an opportunity for me to show versatility to play tackle. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ll play anywhere if it helps the team.”

Another tradition of A-Day is that the captains from last season imprint their shoe and hand-prints at the base of Denny Chimes. Last year’s captains, Barron, former quarterback Greg McElroy and current linebacker Dont’a Hightower, will participate in the tradition this spring.

“I feel like it’s a really special experience for me because anytime you’re able to be a part of something that’s going down in history, it’s special,” Barron said. “I feel like it’ll be a great moment for me.”

Aside from A-Day news, former Alabama linebacker DeMeco Ryans announced today a pledge for a gift of $300,000 to endow a full scholarship in Ryans’ name for a deserving football student-athlete studying in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.

“DeMeco Ryans is one of the finest people to have played at this University,” Saban said. “What he did today, endowing a scholarship, is giving back what he got, but to have the compassion, the support, the love of the institution, the kind of ambassador that would do something that is so positive for the University I think is just wonderful.”