Spring football is upon us as Alabama takes the field on Friday.
Alabama’s spring A-Day game, the 15th and final practice, is scheduled for April 16 at 2 p.m.
We’ve broken down every position group, and our series concludes with a look a special teams.
Departed: Cyrus Jones, punt returner; Kenyan Drake, kick returner; Richard Mullaney, kick returner;
Ready for spring: Adam Griffith, senior; JK Scott, junior; Cole Mazza, senior
Coming in the summer/fall: None
Outlook: Alabama must replace some key elements of its return game from last season, but the Tide returns its starting punter, kicker and long snapper.
Adam Griffith made 23 of his 32 field goal attempts last season. He was perfect on his 62 extra-point tries. Griffith was a perfect 5-of-5 in the Iron Bowl.
JK Scott didn’t have as big of a season in his second year as he did as a freshman, but the Colorado native still showed signs of brilliance with his leg and consistently helped flip the field for the Tide. Scott punted 70 times for an average of 44.20 yards per attempt. Look for him to regain his Ray Guy Award finalist form this season.
Mazza keeps his snaps clean for Griffith and Scott, and occasionally makes takes on the punt unit. He had three tackles last season.
With Cyrus Jones, Kenyan Drake and Richard Mullaney all moving on, Alabama must find new punt and kick returners. Jones had four punt returns go for touchdowns. Drake returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the national championship game. Mullaney was a sure-handed backup, and a key blocker so all three will be missed on special teams.
The Tide has plenty of speed on this team, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find quality players in the return game. ArDarius Stewart Damien Harris got some work on kick returns last season, so they could help fill those roles this season.
Alabama didn’t sign a punter or a kicker to scholarship during this recruiting cycle.