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10 things we learned during spring

5/1/2012

Here are 10 things we learned from Alabama spring ball:

1. AJ McCarron is ready to lead: The junior quarterback had a voice in the Alabama locker room in 2011, but this year he seems to have dialed up the volume. Many of the leaders from last year’s team are gone and it’s up to McCarron to keep an offense that is as inexperienced as it is talented on track. Coach Nick Saban has praised his command under center and all signs point to the tall righty taking the offense and making it his.

2. No. 4 can play: More than a week removed from A-Day, this statement seems fairly obvious. T.J. Yeldon, the freshman tailback from Daphne, Ala., showed that he can carry the rock in Tuscaloosa. He’s truly an elite talent and a rare multi-faceted back. He’s shown that there’s not a hole in his game, whether it’s turning the corner with a burst of speed, running over defenders with his 6-foot-2, 214-pound frame, or catching the ball out of the backfield -- all with a heavy brace on his left wrist. If he can carry his progress in the spring to the fall, watch out.

3. Health, though, is an issue: It’s not something you want to see in the spring: braces and bruises. But take one look at the running back corps and it’s hard to look past the litany of injuries. Eddie Lacy couldn’t play all spring while recovering from surgery, Jalston Fowler had a banged up shoulder that -- given his physical style of play -- is cause for concern, Dee Hart is still on his way back from knee surgery last year and even Yeldon couldn’t last the spring without needing a brace on his left wrist.