Five things to watch for at Alabama’s A-Day spring game

Alabama football’s A-Day scrimmage has arrived, marking the end of spring practice.

The scrimmage will begin at noon Saturday.

After two closed scrimmages and weeks of practice, Nick Saban is prepared to showcase a new-look staff and overhauled offense in front of a 50-percent capacity Bryant-Denny Stadium.


Here are five things to watch:

1. The quarterbacks

With Mac Jones headed to the NFL draft, Alabama needs a new quarterback.

Former five-star recruit Bryce Young is the frontrunner to take the starting job after serving limited time as the backup in 2020.

Young completed 13 of 22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown last season.

“Bryce is the quarterback for right now,” said Saban. “He’s going to operate the first team.”

The other thing to watch from the quarterbacks will be the balance of snaps given to Paul Tyson and Jalen Milroe.

2. The offensive line

The offensive line is in flux with departures and injuries it has dealt with this spring.

With five freshmen coming in this season, the offensive line might have the most uncertainty of any position group.

Look for a mix of veteran leadership and young talent on display this Saturday.

3. The wide receivers

Replacing the production of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will not be easy, but last year was no easier without Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy.

Alabama returns John Metchie III, who saw significant time last season, and sophomore Javon Baker.

“This is a game where a lot of the young guys will get a chance to play,” said Saban.

Freshmen Ja’Corey Brooks, Agiye Hall and Christian Leary are among the others who will look to make an impact.

4. The defense

Will Anderson Jr. and Christopher Allen return for another year on the edge for Alabama, making the pass rush one of the team’s biggest strengths.

Alabama returns an experienced group, including redshirt seniors Phidarian Mathis and LaBryan Ray on the defensive line.

Freshman cornerback Ga’Quincy “Koolaid” McKinstry headlines the group of young players making their debut in front of fans.

5. The new coaches

Saban’s ability to flip a staff has been put to the test this offseason.

After hiring former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien to replace Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator, Saban brought in former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone to coach the offensive line.

Alabama faced a set of unique circumstances when special teams coordinator and tight end coach Jay Graham resigned to address mental health issues, leading to the hire of Drew Svoboda.

Other additions to the staff include running back coach Robert Gillespie and cornerback coach Jay Valai.