Alabama Practice Report 4/10: Deionte Thompson Works With WRs
Alabama held its 11th practice of spring workouts inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility due to rain Friday. The Crimson Tide, who wore shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) is now in its last third of its spring practice schedule.
- Head coach Nick Saban said on Wednesday there were two new position experiments they are looking at over the next few practices: early enrollee safety Deionte Thompson with the wide receivers and cornerback Eddie Jackson with the safeties. Both were at these new positions (that aren’t permanent) on Friday.
“We’re going to spend a few days with Eddie (Jackson) playing safety,” Saban said. “Spend a few days with Deionte Thompson playing receiver just to take a look and see. And maybe when those three days are up, we might do some other experiments with some other players but nothing that we’re really considering at this moment.
Jackson was also working with the safeties on Wednesday, while Thompson may have been with the wide receivers as early as Wednesday. Thompson is still wearing his usual No. 14 while practicing with the wide receivers, despite quarterback Jake Coker also wearing No. 14. (When cornerback Anthony Averett, usually No. 28, practiced with the wide receivers for a few practices earlier this spring, he wore No. 16 during those workouts.)Thompson was at the back of the line on one side of the field, behind Robert Foster, Derek Kief and Parker Barrineau.
- Defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson, who was reportedly carted off the field during Monday’s practice with an ankle injury, was working off to the side wearing a black non-contact jersey, and a knee brace and boot on his right leg with strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran. Initially, he was laying on his back doing leg lifts, but by the end of the one media-viewing period, he was riding on a stationary bike.
Saban said on Wednesday that Robinson is day-to-day with a “sprained ankle and sprained knee.” Robinson was rehabbing his injuries inside the team's weight room on Wednesday, while the rest of the team was outside practicing.
- Quarterback Cooper Bateman was practicing strictly with the quarterbacks, wearing the black non-contact jersey given to the position group. Bateman had been splitting time with the wide receivers over the past six practices, wearing a white jersey at least part of the time in several of those workouts. But Friday’s practice was only one media-viewing period instead of the usual two, so Bateman may have switched over to the wideouts after reporters left.
- Also, it looked like David Cornwell might be the second-team quarterback behind Coker as things stand now.
- The running back order looked to be: Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, DeSherrius Flowers and Ronnie Clark. The position group worked on ball security drills during the early portion of the viewing period.
- Alabama’s first-team offensive line (from left to right) appeared to be: Cam Robinson, Ross Pierschbacher, Ryan Kelly, Bradley Bozeman and Dominick Jackson. Saban said last Friday after the Tide's first scrimmage that this current first-team group, for the most part, has stood out as the team’s top offensive linemen this spring.
- Alphonse Taylor, who missed last Saturday’s scrimmage due to an MCL injury, looked to be with the second-team unit again. Earlier this spring, he had been working with the ones at left guard.
- Korren Kirven remains with the offensive line and defensive linemen Dakota Ball and Johnny Dwight are still with the tight ends. Ronnie Clark, who many thought would return to safety full time this spring after a brief stunt at running back last fall before sustaining a season-ending injury, is still with the running backs. All four players have been at these positions all spring and, simply based off observation and other hints, it should not be surprising if all of these position experiments became permanent fixtures.
- Related: Dwight catches the ball smoothly for a player used to having his hand in the dirt.
- Offensive lineman Grant Hill (medical leave) missed his 11th consecutive practice Wednesday.
- Cornerback Cyrus Jones (hip) and outside linebacker Denzel Devall (foot) wore black non-contact jerseys and rode exercise bikes for the 11th consecutive practice. Neither will play at all this spring due to their injuries.
Alabama has no media availability Friday. The team will hold its second spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. Saban and selected players will speak to the media again on Monday after practice.
Check out videos and photos from Friday's practice: