TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Spring practice begins a week from Friday for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide is expected to take the field March 11, with A-Day being scheduled for April 16 at 2 p.m.
But before then, we'll break down each position group.
Today, we take a look at the wide receivers and tight ends, two groups that could be a strength for the Tide.
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Departed: Richard Mullaney, Chris Black, Ty Flournoy-Smith, Parker Barrineau, Michael Nysewander
WR ready for spring: Calvin Ridley, sophomore; ArDarius Stewart, junior; Robert Foster, junior; Cam Sims, junior; Derek Kief, sophomore; Daylon Charlot, sophomore; Raheem Falkins, junior; T.J. Simmons, freshman
TE ready for spring: O.J. Howard, senior; Dakota Ball, senior; Hale Hentges, sophomore; Brandon Greene, senior; Miller Forristall, freshman
WR coming in the summer/fall: Trevon Diggs, Gehrig Dieter
TE coming in the summer/fall: Irvin Smith
Outlook: This group could be one of the strengths of the team.
With O.J. Howard returning for his senior year, it put Alabama's receiver group among the best in the country on paper. The Tide also returns Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart. Robert Foster is expected to be healthy after missing much of last season with a shoulder injury.
Howard won offensive MVP honors in the national championship game after catching five passes 208 yards and two touchdowns against Clemson.
Ridley hauled in 89 passes for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns. Stewart posted 700 yards and four touchdowns on 63 receptions. Foster caught two touchdowns in the 2.5 games before his injury.
With those four, Alabama's new quarterback has plenty of explosive and talented options on the field.
Cam Sims, Daylon Charlot, Derek Kief and Raheem Falkins are also expected to compete for snaps. Sims showed a lot of promise before his knee injury last spring.
T.J. Simmons, a January enrollee, will benefit from having spring practice to get a head start on the playbook.
The development of the second group is important because the Tide didn't have much depth at receiver last year beyond Stewart, Ridley and Richard Mullaney with Howard at tight end.
At tight end beyond Howard, Hentges could play a bigger role this season. As a true freshman, Hentges was a solid contributor as a blocker. He played with the first-team offense a good bit. Ball and Greene are back for their senior seasons, and should see time as a blocking tight ends.
Miller Forristall, a January enrollee, will be able to participate in spring practice. He'll need to add some weight before he can be a contributor on the field.
The Tide will receive another boost in the fall when graduate transfer Gehrig Dieter enrolls. Dieter caught 94 passes for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns at Bowling Green last season.
On paper, this could turn out to be one of the best receiver/tight end groups under Nick Saban if the top guys can remain healthy.
-- Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter:@Marq_Burnett.