Takeaways From Alabama’s Final Scrimmage of Fall Camp

Getty Traeshon Holden #11 celebrates a touchdown catch with temmates.

The 2022 version of the Alabama football team held its final scrimmage of fall camp over the weekend. The scrimmage was reassuring in some areas but left a few question marks in others.

Wide Receivers Were the Stars of the Show

Due to the departure of John Metchie III and Jameson Williams for the NFL, Alabama will have some big shoes to fill at the receiver positions. Williams was drafted 12th overall to the Lions and Metchie III went early in the second round to the Houston Texans.

The Tide are going to have to figure out who’s ready to step up and fill their previous teammates’ roles. Metchie III and Jameson combined for over 2,700 yards and 23 touchdowns in the 2021-22 season. Not exactly a small ask.

Thankfully, in Alabama’s final scrimmage of fall camp, the 2022 receiving corps really showed out. The Tide receivers had been catching a little heat from an unusual number of dropped balls during fall camp, but their scrimmage finally put all that to rest and solidified what looks to be a strong four-man wide receiver unit.

Depending on the particular package, Tide fans should expect to see some combination of Jermaine Burton, Ja’Cory Brooks, Kobe Prentice and Traeshon Holden. Head Coach Nick Saban had some particular words of praise after the scrimmage regarding Holden.

“He had and really good day today. Made a lot of good plays. Had, I don’t know, four or five catches, couple big plays. So he did a nice job today. I’m pleased with his progress.”

The nerves about replacing two superstars like Metchie III and Williams seem to be settling down as the new unit appears to be getting more comfortable in their new roles.

Questions in the Secondary

With all the success the receiving corps had during their scrimmage, the flip side of that coin is that it creates some uncertainty about the status of the Alabama secondary. Cornerback Eli Ricks was unable to take part in the scrimmage due to injuries.

Details of McLaughlin’s situation have not been made public yet. Ricks, however, has been nursing a back injury and even though it has been described as not serious, he isn’t making a mad dash to return to the field. Back injuries tend to be fickle, so it’s no surprise that the Alabama training staff are being cautious with Ricks.

It’s not all bad news for the Crimson Tide secondary unit though. Khyree Jackson was able to participate in most of the scrimmage and Jordan Battle was back on the field, albeit in a black ‘no contact’ jersey. Battle is coming off of an All-American season in 2021, so as long as his health cooperates, his job is clearly not in danger.

Jackson, on the other hand, may have some stiffer competition regarding a starting cornerback spot. Jackson will need to surpass Kool-Aid McKinstry or Terrion Arnold in order to grab one of the starting slots. Also, if Eli Ricks injury does turn out to be minor, he will add another cornerback to the competition for playing time.

If all goes well, Alabama will be looking at a good problem to have with plenty of talented cornerbacks to fill the roles in the secondary this season.