Three Key Storylines for Alabama’s 2023 A-Day Game

2023 Alabama A-Day

The Alabama Crimson Tide is set to conclude a busy spring football with the annual Red vs. White A-Day Game on Saturday. The Tide is coming off a 2022 season where they missed the College Football Playoff for the second time in program history. Fans are getting antsy for one more comeback before head coach Nick Saban retires. There are, however, several obstacles in the way that could derail the Tide’s goals this upcoming season. Nick Saban and his staff will get a chance to fix up the concerns facing their roster on Saturday. This Saturday’s A-Day Game will be the first real look at the 2023 Alabama football team and the journey towards its first national title since the 2020 season. While there are many storylines to look at throughout the field, there are three main storylines to watch on Saturday.

Three Key Storylines for Alabama’s 2023 A-Day Game

How Well Have the Quarterbacks Progressed As Passers?

Anytime a team loses a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and a potential first-overall pick in Bryce Young, fans are going to want a quality passer to replicate that same impact. Alabama fans know that Jalen Milroe, a dual-threat playmaker, and Ty Simpson, a pro-style passer, will battle throughout the off-season. This A-Day Game will be fans’ and media outlets’ first look at the two quarterbacks battling for the starting quarterback position. Milroe has playing experience but has often underperformed as a passer. Simpson has potential but is young and inexperienced. The goal for either quarterback is to get the favor of the fans and media outlets by passing the ball down the field consistently and making the big plays. Looking great on A-Day won’t settle the starting quarterback position, but it is a serious start.

Who Can Separate Themselves At Running Back?

In last year’s A-Day game, fans and the media first saw the potential of former dynamic running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs was the game MVP after a tremendous display of athleticism and explosiveness that he could bring to the offense. This year’s game is set to feature a couple of experienced running backs like Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams. The offense has also seen the emergence of true freshman Justice Haynes come into the fold for the Tide. Seven running backs have been named as the A-Day MVP since 2010. This is the biggest chance for either of these backs or a dark horse candidate to separate themselves on Saturday.

Big Debuts For Freshmen and Former Transfers

This A-Day Game is the first look at the new players like true freshmen and former transfers. Among the most recognizable transfers is former Maryland Terps tight end C.J. Dippre. Fans are going take to the first look at the new replacement to Cameron Latu and what he could bring to the Tide’s dynamic offense. There should be plenty of expectations for Dippre as he played for former offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.Locksley is currently the head coach of the Terps. He caught 30 receptions for 314 yards and three touchdowns while providing solid run-block support.

In terms of seeing what freshmen can make an immediate contribution on the offense, Haynes is going to be a player that will look to break out early for the Tide. Former five-star offensive tackle true freshman Kadyn Proctor looks to continue the long line of day one starter at the offensive line. Proctor continues to battle at right tackle against redshirt freshman Elijah Pritchett.

On the defensive side of the ball, there is going to be a serious position battle at safety involving true freshmen. Former five-star prospect Caleb Downs is currently projected to start at the free safety position. If Downs dominates in the A-Day Game just as he has in the spring practices, he may lock down the position through the rest of the offseason.

Main Image courtesy Sports Illustrated