Alabama Crimson Tide: Tana Patrick

Alabama Intel: Wrapping up camp 

August, 23, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Camp formally ended for the Crimson Tide on Monday when the fall semester began on the University of Alabama campus. And while studies have gotten in the way of the early morning practices and two-a-days players had become accustomed to, the mood of preseason camp lingered for much of the week, as players fought to climb the depth chart and position changes remained in effect.

Preparation for Virginia Tech didn't begin until Thursday afternoon, when the second half of the brief media viewing portion of practice came with the condition that cameras not film the proceedings. For the first time, there was something coaches weren't willing to show the outside world.

[+] EnlargeBlake Sims
John David Mercer/USA TODAY SportsComing out of preseason practice, Blake Sims is the clear cut No. 2 quarterback for the Crimson Tide.
But even so, there was plenty to report, and in the final edition of Alabama Intel we'll try to do just that.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Two-a-days are over and camp is nearly at a close for the University of Alabama.

Well, technically speaking. Nick Saban isn't ready to stop teaching.

"Now, even though the players are moving out of the dorm, camp doesn’t really end, to me, until camp ends," the Tide's demanding head coach told reporters on Thursday. "And camp really doesn’t end to me until school starts. And school doesn’t really start to where they’ve got school stuff until next week. So we’ll continue with our meetings and all the things that we do and kind of go from there."

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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. 11 Tana Patrick
Senior linebacker

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Coming into spring practice, the linebacking corps was thought to be a strength for Alabama. Three of four starters were back for another year on campus and a handful of reserves were poised to develop as most underclassmen do. In general, the outlook was positive.

Fast-forward to the final week of camp and the unit has changed dramatically: C.J. Mosley is stuck in a black no-contact jersey, Trey DePriest is out with a fractured foot and Xzavier Dickson is a question mark after missing Saturday's scrimmage with an injury resembling a bruised knee, according to Bama coach Nick Saban.

None of the injuries threaten to linger on into the fall, supposedly, but it does dramatically change what fans will see come A-Day on Saturday afternoon. Instead of seeing the usual inside linebackers, the annual scrimmage in Bryant-Denny Stadium will spotlight some names people haven't become accustomed to hearing, names such as Tana Patrick, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson and Dillion Lee. The four combined for 25 tackles and zero starts last season.

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Forecasting the Tide: Linebacker 

December, 27, 2012
Editor’s note: Every Tuesday and Thursday between now and national signing day, TideNation will review each position and look at who figures to start, who could rise up the depth chart and who might be on the way. Today we’ll look at the linebackers.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama didn't lack for options at linebacker this season. What the Crimson Tide lost in experience from a year ago, it made up for with depth. Their best and most productive linebacker wasn't even a starter technically.

C.J. Mosley, the junior inside linebacker who leads the team with 99 tackles, wasn't the clear-cut No. 1 at his position. Instead, he shared time with either Nico Johnson or Trey DePriest depending on the formation and down and distance. Next season he won't have to. It's part of the reason why he put the NFL on hold and announced last week that he would return for his senior season.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama made a statement with its 41-14 thrashing of Michigan on Saturday.

Nick Saban
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesNick Saban is keeping his players focused on the task at hand with Western Kentucky up next.
Those that predicted a championship hangover for the Crimson Tide were shown otherwise as UA dominated all phases of the game, turning back Big Blue's hopes of an upset before the third commercial break.

The chorus of praise rung out from Arlington, Texas, to both coasts -- and Tuesday, Alabama claimed the top spot in the AP poll. With 45 first-place votes this week, the Crimson Tide's gain of 17 first-place votes since the preseason poll eclipsed the week's combined total for USC (11) and SEC rival LSU (four).

Too bad the Dixie hymn hadn't made it to Nick Saban's ears. The gruff coach had stepped to the podium on Monday ready to rebuke all claims that Alabama is back on top of college football.

"Everyone thought we were too young, too inexperienced, couldn't handle success," Saban said. "Everybody was saying those things about our team. Now, people are saying something different.

"But my question is, what's different? Nothing."

The Crimson Tide's celebratory parade apparently never made it home to Tuscaloosa. It likely never made it to the home locker room in Cowboys Stadium.

"We're still inexperienced, we still have things to work on," Saban said. "It's going to be all about the maturity the team has to be able to focus on what they need to do to correct the deficits we have."

The stat line will tell one story about Alabama's win over Michigan, the coach's analysis quite another. Had Denard Robinson executed better, the score might not have been so lopsided. Missed opportunities plagued the Wolverines, chances Saban would rather not see occur in the first place.

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Alabama's depth chart revealed

August, 28, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The picture of the Crimson Tide, circa 2012, is coming into full view. On Tuesday afternoon, Alabama released its depth chart.

There were a couple surprises on the list, including Jalston Fowler and T.J. Yeldon sharing duties as the No. 2 tailback and Ed Stinson winning the second defensive end spot. True freshmen Denzel Devall and Geno Smith also won coveted backup roles at Jack and cornerback, respectively.

AJ McCarron, Jr.
Phillip Ely, RS Fr.

Running back
Eddie Lacy, Jr.
Jalston Folwer, Jr. -- OR -- T.J. Yeldon Fr.
Dee Hart, RS Fr.

Tight end/H
Michael Williams, RS Sr.
Brian Vogler, Soph.

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Practice report: Aug. 21 

August, 21, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama returned to the practice fields on Tuesday after the first back-to-back off days since the start of preseason camp.

But the 48 hours off weren't enough to heal up some players.

Here are a few notes and observations from the media viewing period of practice, including one key receiver wearing a black no-contact jersey:

  • Amari Cooper did not practice Tuesday. The true freshman receiver expected to play significant snaps this season was wearing a black no-contact jersey while riding the stationary bike.
  • Eddie Lacy, who sprained his ankle and knee during Saturday's scrimmage, was dressed out but did not take any snaps with the rest of the running backs. His left ankle was heavily wrapped. He did not wear a black jersey.

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Countdown to kickoff: 18

August, 14, 2012
From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 18 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

Since Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the University of Alabama has had an argument for often overused moniker of "Linebacker U." Just a few months ago, the Crimson Tide had two linebackers taken in the first 35 picks of the draft. Between the likes of Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Rolando McClain, DeMeco Ryans and Dwayne Rudd, UA has had more than two dozen first-team All-American linebackers in its history.

So when Reggie Ragland signed with the Tide in 2012, he immediately joined a prestigious class of linebackers. The No. 2 inside linebacker in the country put on No. 18 at Alabama and followed in the path of some of the game's greats.

But Ragland isn't the only high-profile linebacker to sign with Alabama out of high school. The depth chart is littered with four- and five-star recruits. Here's a breakdown of all the linebackers to sign with Alabama since 2008 and how they've ranked.

Reggie Ragland -- No. 2 ILB
Dillion Lee -- No. 6 OLB
Ryan Anderson -- No. 7 OLB
Tyler Hayes -- No. 10 OLB
Denzel Devall -- No. 22 DE

Trey DePriest -- No. 2 OLB
Xzavier Dickson -- No. 4 DE
Shannon Brown -- No. 13 ILB
Vinnie Sunseri -- No. 18 OLB
Brent Calloway -- No. 23 ATH

C.J. Mosley -- No. 7 OLB
Jalston Fowler -- N/A OLB
Petey Smith -- N/A ILB

Nico Johnson -- No. 2 ILB
Petey Smith -- No. 5 ILB
Tana Patrick -- No. 9 OLB
Jonathan Atchinson -- No. 14 OLB

Courtney Upshaw -- No. 4 DE
Jerrell Harris -- No. 8 OLB
Chris Jordan -- No. 20 OLB
Dont'a Hightower -- No. 26 DE


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