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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Cody Mandell

By Alex Scarborough

During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory

No. 29 Cody Mandell
Senior punter

Expectations for 2013: This coming season will mark the fourth and final turn as Alabama's starting punter for Mandell, who has held the job ever since walking on as a freshman in 2010. Last season was his best, as he averaged 43.8 yards per punt and pinned 19 punts inside the 20-yard line. Had his 3.57 punts per game, finishing just shy of the NCAA minimum of 3.6 or he would have ranked in the top-20 nationally for yards per punt.

Best-case scenario: Because of his offense's scoring efficiency and getting beyond punting range, Mandell likely won't get the recognition he deserves. But he should be thought of as one of the country's best if he puts together another season like he did as a junior. By adding a few more yards to his average, he could very well put himself in the conversation for the Ray Guy Award, handed out annually to college football's best punter.

Worst-case scenario: There is, however, the chance that Mandell regresses to his 2011 form. As a sophomore, the Louisiana native averaged a paltry 39.3 yards per punt and pinned just 11 punts inside the 20-yard line. He made a gargantuan jump in terms of leg strength from 2011 to 2012, going from two punts of 50 or more yards to 14.

Future impact: Alabama has found its heir to Mandell when he leaves after this season in the form of Colorado kicker J.K. Scott, who committed to the Tide a little more than a week ago. Scott, who earned an offer from the UA staff at camp and committed shortly thereafter, held offers from Notre Dame, Arizona and Colorado as well.