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Dawg Preview: Kalen DeBoer to Make Alabama A-Day Game Debut

Kalen DeBoer prepares Alabama for A-Day
© Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

For the first time in 17 years, someone other than Nick Saban will be at the helm of Alabama’s final scrimmage of the spring dubbed “A-Day."

This Saturday officially kicks off the Kalen DeBoer era at Alabama with fans and media alike getting their first look at the team under the new coach. With many questions surrounding the program after the retirement of a legend like Saban, Saturday’s scrimmage will provide some answers as to how this team will look moving forward.

Alabama A-Day: When and Where

  • Date: Saturday, April 13

  • Time: 4 p.m. EST

  • Location: Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

  • TV Broadcast: ESPN with Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Molly McGrath

For those attending the game, all gates open at 1 p.m. EST and admission is free with the first 5,000 fans receiving a free poster courtesy of Golden Flake.

Alabama A-Day: What to Watch For

After replacing nearly the whole coaching staff and player turnover, everything will be worth watching, but these key areas will be especially important.

New schemes and philosophy

How have the players adjusted to a new playbook on both sides of the ball and have they bought into the new coaching staff’s style and philosophy? Keep an eye on execution and enthusiasm. Missed routes and blown coverages could be signs of playbook confusion but if the energy and excitement is there, it’s a good sign the players have bought into the new coaching staff’s philosophy.

Offensive line

Alabama is replacing both starting tackles and center from a year ago on their offensive line. Keep an eye on Wilkin Formby at right tackle and Elijah Pritchett at left tackle as they have taken most of the first-team reps this spring. Parker Brailsford, the center transfer from Washington, has missed most of spring practice due to personal issues and in his place redshirt junior James Brockermeyer has, by all reports, played very well and will be one to watch. With injuries to Jaeden Roberts and Miles McVay, depth could be an issue on Saturday. It will be intriguing to see how well this line can play together as a unit in both run and pass protection.


Due to multiple factors including injury and the transfer portal Alabama is down to four scholarship cornerbacks after an injury to Zavier Mincy this past Tuesday. Domani Jackson, a transfer from USC, has earned a starting spot this spring and will definitely be a player to watch on Saturday. Jahlil Hurley and freshman Jaylen Mbakwe have been splitting reps at the other cornerback position and should be major contributors during A-Day. With next to zero depth don't be surprised to see a walk-on or two playing at corner on Saturday.


While Jalen Milroe is the presumed starter, according to reports, Ty Simpson has had a very good spring. It will be interesting to see how the quarterbacks play in DeBoer’s system and what improvements they have made since last year. Has Milroe improved his intermediate passing game and read progressions? Has Simpson improved enough to cause a quarterback controversy? This Saturday’s game should give us the answers to these questions plus a look at 6-foot-6, 226 pound Austin Mack in action.

Live Coverage and Recap

Come back for highlights and a full recap of Alabama’s A-Day game. Stay tuned for more Alabama football news as well as other college football stories here at


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