TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama's A-Day spring game is finally here as the Crimson Tide closes out spring workouts on Saturday.
The Tide's 15th practice of spring will feature a game-like scrimmage between the Crimson team (first-team defense, second-team offense) and the White team (first-team offense, second-team defense) with the winner earning a steak dinner while the loser eats hot dogs and beans.
Saturday also marks the first time fans will get a glimpse of the team since the season ended in January.
"We're sort of excited for the game on Saturday," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "I know the players are excited. I think this has been a tremendous asset to our program, the way A-Day has turned out for us in the past. I know it impresses a lot of people when we have that kind of support and that kind of response. For those that are coming out, we certainly do appreciate it."
Here are five things to watch for as the Tide holds its final workout of spring practice:
During his Thursday news conference, Saban provided an update on the Tide's quarterback situation.
"We don't really have a first-team quarterback," Saban said. "We had to put some guys on both teams. And I think when it comes to that position, we're putting the guys on the teams so that we feel like they can get the most -- how can we them the best reps and how can we play them where they get reps. That's
the No. 1 goal from a quarterback standpoint."
Still, Jake Coker and Alec Morris are listed on the white team roster, which features the first-team offense. David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett are all listed on the crimson team roster, which has the second-team offense. Unless Bateman gets a look at wide receiver, look for all five quarterbacks to get an equal share of reps during A-Day.
Cyrus Jones is out which means Bradley Sylve and Tony Brown will be the first two cornerbacks up. Eddie Jackson and Geno Smith will be the first two safeties with Maurice Smith at star. That's the secondary for the first-team defense on the crimson roster. The white team will likely feature Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett at the cornerback spots. Ronnie Harrison, Jabriel Washington and Jonathan Cook will fill out the safety spots. Laurence "Hootie" Jones is questionable with an ankle injury, leaving the second unit thin.
There's a chance some of the walk-ons could get some serious playing time considering how low the Tide's numbers are.
Reggie Ragland is locked in as a starter at one of the inside linebacker positions, but the other spot is still open. Rising junior Reuben Foster and rising sophomore Shaun Dion Hamilton are the two main competitors looking to fill the role. Foster is listed with the first-team defense on the crimson team roster while Hamilton is on the second-team defense on the white team roster. This is likely so the coaching staff can get both players an equal amount of opportunities. Both players bring different skills to the Tide's defense. Foster is bigger than Hamilton, and is better at stuffing the run at this point. But Hamilton moves better in space. So there's a chance both could see playing time this season depending on the packages.
New wide receivers
This will be the public's first look at a Tide receiver corps that doesn't feature Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White or Christion Jones. So far, Robert Foster, Chris Black and ArDarius Stewart are the first three up.
Foster posted big numbers in the Tide's first two scrimmages, according to statistics provided by Alabama's media relations staff.
While he believes the group has made progress, Saban said there is still "room to grow" for the receivers. Foster, Black and Stewart will work with the first-team offense on the white team roster.
Derek Kief, Raheem Falkins and Parker Barrineau would be the next group with Deionte Thompson still learning the position after switching over from defensive back. While he's not technically a receiver, it will also be interesting to see how O.J. Howard is used. Howard could be one of the X-factors for the Tide's offense this year.
Young players emerging
Saban announced Thursday that as many as nine players could miss A-Day with injuries suffered before or during spring practice. Most of the injured players were projected starters or players in the two-deep. With so many guys out, some of the Tide's younger players will get a chance to see bigger roles on Saturday. For most, this will be the first game experience they receive.
New faces like Ross Pierschbacher, Ronnie Harrison and others will get a chance to show fans and everyone else why they've received praise from Saban and teammates this spring.
-- Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at mburnett @Marq_Burnett.