ALABAMA FOOTBALL EXPERIMENTS WITH OFFENSIVE LINE
By WVUA 23 Web Writer Tommy DiCostanzo
The Alabama football coaching staff began experimenting with their combinations of offensive linemen during spring practices this week.
The Tide will return four of the five starters from last season’s national championship team. Only graduating senior Bradley Bozeman, a two-year starter at center, will not return. The coaching staff have tried to replace Bozeman by moving Ross Pierschbacher to center. Pierschbacher has made 42 career starts at left guard but has not played center since his freshman season.
Due to Matt Womack’s recent foot surgery, rising sophomores Jedrick Wills Jr. and Alex Leatherwood practiced at the tackle positions. Leatherwood stepped in at left tackle during the national championship when All-American Jonah Williams went down with an injury. Leatherwood was dominant against Georgia’s formidable defensive line in that game.
Coach Nick Saban was confident that the shuffling of the offensive line would be beneficial during Spring practices. “The goal is always to get the best five players on the field,” he said.
The play of Leatherwood and fellow freshman Tua Tagovailoa serve as examples to the rest of the team that everyone must be ready to step in for the starters. Both players came off the bench against Georgia and were vital parts of the national championship win.