Coach: Dennis Franchione
7-5-0, 1 year
2001 Record: 7-5
at Vanderbilt WON 12-9
at South Carolina LOST 36-37
at Mississippi LOST 24-27
at Auburn WON 31-7
Iowa State WON 14-13

2001 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

Coach Franchione claims the arms race has settled in with senior Tyler Watts.
2002 Outlook is well aware of the Tides recent history. A preseason #3 ranking in 2000 went flop. A #24 ranking in 2001 went 7-5. So folks may wonder how many chances Alabama is going to get. But when you look at the numbers coming back, it's just impossible to keep them off the list. Approximately 19 starters back! That is the highest of any Top 25 team. Alabama opens this coming fall riding a four-game winning streak that dates back to last year, which included some big wins against rival Auburn and a bowl victory over Iowa State. Offensively, Andrew Zow is finally gone at QB leaving the job solely to his alternating incumbent Tyler Watts. This has to be a good thing now that Watts should not be looking over his shoulder. All of the running backs return. There are some extremely gifted names departing at receiver and tight end, so it is up to Antonio Carter to pull things together. That is probably the biggest question mark offensively. Where do you start on defense? The names of the entire defensive line are huge and have been there quite a long time. So what has been the problem? Well, if you watched several of their key SEC match ups, it should not have taken long to figure out the pass defense is lacking, try 95th ranked in the nation last year. That will be the test for the Tide this off-season. Outside of that, second year coach Francione has all the numbers pointing to a successful 2002 campaign. So we'll give them one more chance.

Projected 2002 record: 8-5

DT Jarret Johnson suffered a knee injury early in spring practice. The injury originally appeared to be a tear requiring surgery and several months of extensive rehab but turned out to be a bad sprain that forced him to miss only the rest of the spring.
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Tyler Watts, 94-172-3, 1325 Yards, 10 TD's

Rushing: Ahmaad Galloway, 174 att., 881 yds., 6 TD's

Receiving: Antonio Carter, 32 rec., 428 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Ahmaad Galloway, 6 TD, 36 points

Punting: Lane Bearden, 50 punts, 39.6 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Brooks Daniels, 102 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Jarret Johnson, 9 sacks

Interceptions: Thurman Ward, 1 for 60 yards

Kickoff returns: Antonio Carter, 7 ret., 22.3 avg.

Punt returns: Antonio Carter, 20 ret., 6.9


OFFENSE: Andrew Zow-QB, Jason McAddley-WR, Freddie Milons-WR, Terry Jones Jr-TE, Neal Thomas-K
DEFENSE: Aries Monroe-DE, Victor Ellis-SLB, Shontua Ray-SS, Reggie Myles-FS, Saleem Rasheed-MLB (NFL)

Alabama led the SEC and was 9th in the nation in rushing last season and still returns nine starters from that group. Both leading rushers are back for the ride, including Ahmaad Galloway, who was voted spring MVP, and super prospect Santonio Beard. All five starting linemen are cemented in place for 2001, including All-American Candidate Alonzo Ephraim at center. Ephraim was named the winner of the Dwight Stephenson award for the most valuable offensive lineman during the spring game. Also keep an eye on Freshman All-American Justin Smiley at guard, who has already reserved a spot in the Alabama history books as potentially one of the best offensive linemen to wear the Crimson jersey. There is little doubt about who will play quarterback. Coach Franchione claims the arms race has settled in with senior Tyler Watts. Speculation was abound in Tuscaloosa that young super recruit Brodie Croyle, a redshirt freshman, had a chance to unseat Watts. That is not the case. "Tyler deserves to be No. 1," Alabama coach Dennis Franchione said at the start of spring practice. "If he finishes there, then so be it." Watts accounted for 1,889 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns in 2001 while splitting time with Andrew Zow, who has now moved on to play Canadian football. Spring practice also brought about the emergence of the A-back and W-back positions. Coaches refer to the scheme as the "Root Beer Series". The A-back is a hybrid tailback/receiver position, while the W-back pulls together the talents of a fullback and tight end. Look for the Tide to start opening up the offense this season with more deep routes by receivers and backs catching the pigskin. Alabama will need to locate some assistance at receiver if the passing game is going to make any leeway with Freddie Milons moving on. No wonder the coaches have flirted with new looks to get some bodies open. The offensive line really came on strong to close out 2001, just less than six months ago. No reason exists why the Tide cannot get the chains moving.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Tyler Watts-Sr Brodie Croyle-Fr
FB Donnie Lowe-Jr ..
TB Ahmaad Galloway-Sr Santonio Beard-Jr
WR Antonio Carter-Sr Triandos Luke-Jr
WR Sam Collins-Sr Dre Fulgham-Jr
TE Theo Sanders-Sr David Cavan-So
OT Wesley Britt-So Atlas Herrion-Sr
OG Justin Smiley-So Danny Martz-So
C Alonzo Ephraim-Sr J.B. Closner-Fr
OG Marico Portis-Sr Dennis Alexander-Jr
OT Dante Ellington-Sr Evan Mathis-So
K Brian Bostick-So Mike McLaughlin-Fr



The names on the defensive unit in Tuscaloosa are astounding. The foundation of the Crimson Tide roster will be the men up front on the defensive line. Four-year season veterans like Jarret Johnson, Kindal Moorehead, and Kenny King make this group about as developed as they come. However much of that talent skipped quite a bit of time in the spring with injuries, but all are expected to be full-speed by the start of the fall. With the vacancies, many healthy players caught a few positive glimpses from coaches of things to come, adding good depth to an already solid core. Anthony Bryant, Antwan Odom, and Gerard Clark all made the most of the increased practice time. "Most of the spring we had five possible starters that didn't practice," said Alabama defensive coordinator Carl Torbush. "That has helped all those other guys get better. I think with Jarret and Kindal not being there, Kenny King had to step up as a leader and it caused him to become a better player. I really like his athletic skills. He has really turned into a big-time football player." Head coach Dennis Franchione also had a few complimentary words to say about his star end. "Kenny King has probably had the best spring of all the defensive linemen. He is a better player than I have ever seen him be."

Many doubters question the limits of the linebacking crew with Saleem Rasheed leaving prematurely to the NFL. Coach Carl Torbush has a different idea. "Brooks Daniels and Cornelius Wortham are two really good football players who I think eventually play for All-SEC honors," Torbush explained. "They are that caliber player. They are solid, consistent, and get better every day. We've got two really good players. I've been amazed at their ability to understand everything we've got." Senior fullback Marvin Brown has converted from fullback to playing the middle, but needs to develop some consistency as one might expect a player at a new position to operate. He has all of the skills and physical attributes to make a solid contribution. You can also add incoming JC All American Derrick Pope to the Tide linebacking corps, making this group a sure diamond in the rough.

Alabama fans suffered through a horrible display by the defensive backs last year as this group struggled to stop opponents with quality passing attacks. Supposedly this unit made great strides this spring according to coaches. The emergence of numerous players that sat out last fall has the fans feeling much more confidant. "Our cornerback play this spring has us all excited about Anthony Madison and Charlie Peprah - and realize that Hirchel Bolden wasn't out there," Torbush stated. "There is no question, the redshirt freshmen have made a difference right now. Anthony Madison has had a great spring. There is no doubt about that. Roman Harper has a chance to be, eventually, a big time safety. Charlie Peprah gives us a big, strong, physical cornerback." Many of the tested players have chimed right in. Right now coaches have gotten five safeties they feel pretty good about, which gives the defense some added flexibility. But a word of caution, one spring of intra-squad musings does not magically fix the broken wagon wheel. If anyone had the stomach to view the LSU game last year, you are aware of the situation. If the Tide is to make any improvement on last fall, it will need to start here with a complete 180-degree turn.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Nautyn McKay-Loescher-So Todd Bates-So
DT Jarret Johnson-Sr Derek Sanders-Sr
NT Kenny King-Sr Anthony Bryant-Jr
DE Kindal Moorehead-Sr Antwan Odom-So
SLB Cornelius Wortham-Jr Juke King-Fr
MLB Freddie Roach-Fr Marvin Brown-Sr
ROV Brooks Daniels-Jr Jason Rawls-So
CB Gerald Dixon-Sr Roberto McBride-Jr
CB Hirchel Bolden-Sr Thurman Ward-So
SS Waine Bacon-Sr Carlos Andrews-Jr
FS Charles Jones-Jr Chris James-So
P Lane Bearden-Sr ..

Both leading rushers are back for the ride, including Ahmaad Galloway, who was voted spring MVP.

© Copyright 2002