2008 Alabama Crimson Tide Season
Alabama QB John Parker Wilson
Alabama QB John Parker Wilson
Posted Feb 4, 2009

2008 Alabama Crimson Tide Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Alabama Crimson Tide

Jan. 2
2009 Sugar Bowl
Utah 31 … Alabama 17

Utah came out roaring going 68 yards in five plays and 1:19 with Brian Johnson connecting with Brent Casteel from seven yards out. Matt Asiata ran for a two-yard score, and Bradon Godfrey caught a 18-yard touchdown pass on the way to a 21-0 Ute lead. Alabama appeared ready to rally with a 52-yard Leigh Tiffin field goal and a 73-yard punt return for a score from Javier Arenas to cut the lead to 11 going into the locker room, and after recovering a Johnson fumble, the Tide got a four-yard Glen Coffee touchdown catch to pull within four. But Utah answered on the ensuing drive with David Reed catching a 28-yard touchdown pass. Alabama wouldn't threaten again, mostly because Utah's defensive line dominated with eight sacks, taking advantage of Bama being down to its third string left tackle.
Player of the Game: Utah QB Brian Johnson completed 27-of-41 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 18-30, 177 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 13-36. Receiving: Julio Jones, 7-77
Utah - Passing: Brian Johnson, 27-41, 336 yds, 3 TD
Matt Asiata, 13-29, 1 TD. Receiving: Freddie Brown, 12-125
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the Sugar Bowl Quarter-by-Quarter, Play-by-Play Game Notes … Rushing yards: Alabama 31 – Utah 13 … Fourth quarter time of possession: Utah 11:29 – Bama 3:31 … Sacks: Utah 8-for-53 yards – Bama 2-for-10 yards … Penalties: Utah 10-for 91 – Bama 7-for-67 … Alabama's Marquis Johnson led all players with nine sacks. … Alabama's Bobby Greenwood made five tackles, a sack, two tackles for los and recovered a fumble.

- 2008 Alabama Preview
- 2007 Alabama Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 8-4
2008 Record: 12-

Aug. 30 Clemson W 34-10
Sept. 6 Tulane W 20-6
Sept. 13 West Kentucky W 41-7
Sept. 20 at Arkansas W 49-14
Sept. 27 at Georgia W 41-30
Oct. 4 Kentucky W 17-14
Oct. 18 Ole Miss W 24-20
Oct. 25 at Tennessee W 29-9
Nov. 1 Arkansas State W 35-0
Nov. 8 at LSU W 27-21 OT
Nov. 15 Mississippi St W 32-7
Nov. 22 OPEN DATE 
Nov. 29 Auburn W 36-0
Dec. 6 SEC Championship
Florida L 31-20
Sugar Bowl
Jan. 2 Utah L 31-17

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2007 Record: 7-

Sept. 1 West. Carolina W 52-6
Sept. 8 at Vanderbilt W 24-10
Sept. 15 Arkansas W 41-38
Sept. 22 Georgia L 26-23 OT
Sept. 29
Florida St  L 21-14
Oct. 6 Houston W 30-24
Oct. 13 at Ole Miss W 27-24
Oct. 20 Tennessee W 41-17
Nov. 3
LSU L 41-34
Nov. 10 at Mississippi St L 17-12
Nov. 17 UL Monroe L 21-14
Nov. 24 at Auburn L 17-10
Independence Bowl
Dec. 30 Colorado W 30-24

Dec. 6
2008 SEC Championship
Florida 31 … Alabama 20

Florida came up with 14 fourth quarter points on a Jeffrey Demps run off the option for a touchdown and a five-yard Riley Cooper catch to overcome a 20-17 lead. In a game of long drives and plenty of big plays, Tim Tebow threw three short touchdown passes and led the Percy Harvin-less Gators in rushing, while Alabama got 112 yards and an 18-yard touchdown run from Glen Coffee and a two-yard Mark Ingram run along with Leigh Tiffin field goals from 30 and 27 yards out. The Ingram run capped a 15-play, 91-yard drive in the in the third quarter to tie it at 17, and Tiffin's second field goal gave the Tide its final lead before the Gators owned the fourth.
Player of the game: Florida QB Tim Tebow completed 14-of-22 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran 17 times for 57 yards
Stat Leaders: Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 12-25, 187 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 21-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 5-124
Florida - Passing: Tim Tebow, 14-22, 216 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Tim Tebow, 17-57. Receiving: Louis Murphy, 4-86
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Quarter-by-Quarter Game Notes ... Alabama had everything going its way in the third quarter against Florida, and then the defense couldn't get off the field in the fourth. The Tide offense did what it normally does with a nice, efficient mix of plays, led by a nearly perfect third quarter, but the running game and the offensive line weren't used quite enough to take over late. It was almost as if the offense tried to mix things up just to mix things up, even though the Florida defensive front was starting to wear down in the second half. It was a good game with nothing to hang heads over.

Nov. 28
Alabama 36 … Auburn 0
Glen Coffee ran for a 41 yards score and Mark Ingram ran for scores from one and 14 yards out as Alabama broke its six-game losing streak to Auburn in the easy blowout. Auburn only gained eight first downs and 170 yards of total offense without being close to getting into the end zone. Alabama held on to the ball for 35:37 and came up with 412 yards.
Player of the game: Alabama RB Glen Coffee ran 20 times for 144 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Auburn - Passing: Kodi Burns, 9-23, 113 yds
Rushing: Mario Fannin, 8-28. Receiving: Mario Fannin, 3-44
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 8-16, 134 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 20-144, 1 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 3-36
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... And on to Atlanta to deal with Florida. It was as if Alabama needed to know after a few series that Auburn wasn't going to be any sort of a threat offensively, and after the first quarter it was just a question of not screwing up. There wasn't much of a need to do anything fancy with the passing game with the ground attack cranking out 234 yards and three scores, while the defensive line had no problems whatsoever controlling things on the other side. No, this isn't the sexiest team around, and everyone will be picking Florida to win big, but as long as the running game is working and as long as the defense is solid, the Tide will have a shot.

Nov. 15
Alabama 32 … Mississippi State 7
The Tide jumped out to an early 5-0 lead helped by a blocked punt for a safety, but MSU threw a scare into the No. 1 team with a 31-yard touchdown catch from Jamayel Smith early in the second quarter. The Tide scored 27 unanswered points, but it took a while to put the Bulldogs away as Leigh Tiffin finished with three field goals and John Parker Wilson and Mark Ingram each ran for one-yard scores. Up 12-7, Bama all but put the game out of reach early in the second half on a 80-yard punt return for a score from Javier Arenas. MSU gained 167 yards of total offense with nine first downs.
Player of the game: Alabama S Rolando McClain made 11 tackles with two sacks and a broken up pass
Stat Leaders: Mississippi State - Passing: Tyson Lee, 11-28, 132 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Anthony Dixon, 11-26. Receiving: Anthony Dixon, 4-32
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 10-17, 148 yds
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 13-78, 1 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 3-53
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Tide seems to just be holding serve. The 32-7 final score against Mississippi State was impressive, but it was the defense and special teams that won the game as much as anything the offense was able to do. Against Auburn, the Tide will need to find even more of a consistent deep game to open up the Tiger run defense. However, on the other side of the ball, the suffocating defense should be able to shut down an Auburn attack that's looking a bit like Mississippi State's, except with more running from Auburn QB Kodi Burns. On D alone the Tide should beat Auburn, but John Parker Wilson will have to do more, much more, to get by Florida.

Nov. 8
Alabama 27 … LSU 21
In overtime, Rashad Johnson intercepted his third pass of the game and Bama's offense took advantage with John Parker Wilson barreling in for a one-yard score. The Tide had a shot to win at the end of regulation, but Leigh Tiffin's field goal was blocked. Wilson started off the scoring with a one-yard run, but LSU answered with a 30-yard Demetrius Byrd catch and a 30-yard Charles Scott dash. But LSU QB Jarrett Lee struggled all game long with Johnson taking one of Lee's four interceptions 54 yards for a touchdown. Glen Coffee ran for a three-yard touchdown to give the Tide the lead in the second half, but LSU went on its best march of the day going 74 yards in 14 plays finishing with a one-yard Scott run to tie it up before Bama's ill-fated late march before OT.
Player of the game: Alabama S Rashad Johnson made four tackles and three interceptions taking one for a score
Stat Leaders: LSU - Passing: Jarrett Lee, 13-34, 181 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Charles Scott, 24-92, 2 TD. Receiving: Brandon LaFell, 4-74
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 15-31, 215 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 26-126, 1 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 7-128

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alabama has won the SEC West title and is off to the SEC title game, likely against Florida. Beating LSU, especially with all the hoopla surrounding the Nick Saban return to Baton Rouge, was a good focus-win considering the rest of the schedule is a walk in the park, hosting Mississippi State and Auburn. LSU might not be the LSU from last year, but it was a jacked up team looking to make a big statement. Alabama kept its cool all game long, didn't make many major mistakes, and came up tough after the major momentum swing following the blocked kick at the end of regulation. The LSU win showed the emergence of John Parker Wilson as even more of a playmaker. He's not going to win many games on his own, but he made the throws and the plays needed to get the win. He was good, LSU's Jarrett Lee wasn't and now the Tide is 10-0.

Nov. 1
Alabama 35 … Arkansas State 0
Alabama had few problems as Glen Coffee ran for a nine-yard score in the first quarter, Roy Upchurch ran for a 22-yard touchdown in the third, and Mark Ingram scored the final two touchdowns from 5 and 17 yards out. The defense got into the act as well with Rashad Johnson, who led the way with 13 tackles and picked off a pass for a 32-yard touchdown. Arkansas State was held to 158 yards of total offense.
Player of the game: Alabama S Rashad Johnson made 13 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception for a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Arkansas State - Passing: Corey Leonard, 8-17, 67 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Reggie Arnold, 15-72. Receiving: Kevin Jones, 3-16
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 15-28, 152 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 12-113, 2 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 5-62
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Tide was focused on the task at hand and put away Arkansas State without much of a problem. The offensive line dominated, leading the way for 205 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and the defensive line, and safety Rashad Johnson, who was all over the field, never led the ASU offense get anything going on the ground. That shows just how mentally solid this Tide team is to not worry about LSU, and it shows how what Nick Saban is preaching is coming through. Being on an even keel is vital in November.

Oct. 25
Alabama 29 … Tennessee 9
After trading field goals with Tennessee, Alabama got three-yard touchdown run from Glen Coffee on 4th-and-one, coupled with a Vol missed field goal late in the first half to get all the momentum with a 13-3 lead. A 26-point run with long drives leading to short rushing scores from John Parker Wilson and Roy Upchurch helped put the game away, while the defense didn't let Tennessee move the ball until a late Josh Briscoe touchdown catch. Tennessee only finished with 173 yards of total offense.
Player of the game: Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 17-of-24 passes for 188 yards and ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: Tennessee - Passing: Nick Stephens, 16-28, 137 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Arian Foster, 6-21. Receiving: Josh Briscoe, 4-46, 1 TD
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 17-24, 188 yds
Rushing: Roy Upchurch, 14-86, 1 TD. Receiving: Julio Jones, 6-103
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alabama knows it didn't have to be fancy against Tennessee, so it cranked out a good running game, an efficient passing attack, and the defense did the rest. John Parker Wilson was flawless. He didn't make the big mistake to let the Vols back in the game, and he spread the ball around to nine different receivers. The key now is to maintain focus with Arkansas State up next before the showdown at LSU.

Oct. 18
Alabama 24 … Ole Miss 20
It was all Alabama in the first half as John Parker Wilson threw two touchdown passes including a 26-yarder to Marquis Maze and a 30-yarder to Mike McCoy on the way to a 24-3 lead. And then came the second half, and then came Ole Miss. The Rebels dominated after halftime as Jason Cook caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Rob Park on a fake field goal, and Jevan Snead connected with Shay Hodge for a 17-yard touchdown. Down four, Snead had one last shot but the drive stalled around midfield. The two teams combined to convert just 5-of-25 third down chances.
Player of the game: Alabama S Rashad Johnson made nine tackles with a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and an interception
Stat Leaders: Ole Miss - Passing: Jevan Snead, 16-31, 192 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Enrique Davis, 11-70. Receiving: Shay Hodge, 4-64, 1 TD 
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 16-25, 219 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 17-73, 1 TD. Receiving: Nick Walker, 5-65
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Eventually, Alabama will get tagged for not being able to put together a complete game. It's almost as if the program has gotten used to the pattern of dominating in the first half only to take the foot off the gas in the second. Nick Saban tries to keep the team up and motivated, and it works coming out of the locker room, but not after the half. Even so, after holding on against Ole Miss, Bama keeps on surviving and moving on, but with the really big boys up next, focus will be the key.

Oct. 4
Alabama 17 ... Kentucky 14
Alabama looked like it was going to cruise to an easy win as Glen Coffee ran for a 78-yard touchdown less than five minutes into the game, and Rolando McClain picked up a Mike Hartline fumble, the ball slipped out of his hands on a pass, for an easy four-yard score. But the Tide offense struggled the rest of the way and Kentucky mounted a late second half comeback with a 26-yard Dicky Lyons touchdown catch and a 48-yard scoring grab from DeMoreo Ford with 40 seconds to play. But a 24-yard field goal from a struggling Leigh Tiffin with 2:12 to play proved to be the difference. Tiffin missed field goal attempts from 34 and 41 yards.
Player of the game: Alabama RB Glen Coffee ran 25 times for 219 yards and a touchdown, and caught a pass for 15 yards
Stat Leaders: Kentucky - Passing: Mike Hartline, 20-42, 241 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Derrick Locke, 6-28  Receiving: Derrick Locke, 8-81
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 7-17, 106 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 25-218, 1 TD  Receiving: Julio Jones, 3-52
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, Alabama beat Kentucky, but it was as shaky a performance as the coaching staff feared. The great offensive line had way too many holding penalties, the running game was way too inconsistent, and John Parker Wilson struggled to get the passing game going. The defense did a decent job, it held UK to 276 yards, but it got ripped up late to let the Wildcats make it interesting. And then there's Leigh Tiffin. After missing two field goals and getting a reprieve on a missed extra point, he got a second chance thanks to a UK penalty, he can't be counted on for a big kick of any distance at the moment. He'll need as many confidence-boosting moments as possible over the next few weeks.

Sept. 27
Alabama 41 ... Georgia 30
Alabama stunned Georgia with a 31-0 lead at halftime on three short touchdown runs and a 22-yard touchdown catch from Julio Jones. Georgia came out of the locker room roaring scoring 17 straight points helped by a two-yard Knowshon Moreno touchdown run and highlighted by a 92-yard Prince Miller punt return for a score. But Alabama had an answer with a solid eight play, 51-yard drive finishing with a 32-yard Leigh Tiffin field goal. Glen Coffee added a 12-yard touchdown run just over five minutes later and it was over. Matthew Stafford threw two late touchdown passes. Alabama outgained Georgia just 334 yards to 324.
Player of the game:
Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 13-of-16 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Georgia - Passing: Matthew Stafford, 24-42, 274 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Knowshon Moreno, 9-34, 1 TD  Receiving: A.J. Green, 6-88, 1 TD
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 13-16, 205 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 23-86, 2 TD  Receiving: Julio Jones, 5-94, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Once again, the lines dominated. The Bama front four was getting a constant push into the Georgia backfield, while the offensive front paved the way to the big early lead. John Parker Wilson got time to throw, the running backs were able to run downhill behind the blocks, and the defense was able to take the Georgia running game out of the equation. Much will be made out of the 31-0 halftime start, but the second half answer might have been just as impressive. Georgia started to roll and the momentum was changing, and then the offense marched on two good scoring drives and it was all over.

Sept. 20
Alabama 49 ... Arkansas 14
Alabama got up 21-0 in the first half beginning with a one-yard Mark Ingram run, and then came the home runs. Glen Coffee ripped off an 87-yard touchdown dash and Javier Arenas took a Casey Dick pass 63 yards for a pick six to all but end the fun before the second quarter. The Hogs got a 12-yard touchdown catch from Andrew Davie early in the second, but Julio Jones answered for Alabama with a 25-yard scoring grab. The defense got back in the act with a 74-yard Justin Woodall interception return for a score. The Bama big plays kept on coming in the second half with a 31-yard Glen Coffee touchdown run in the third and a 62-yard Roy Upchurch dash in the fourth. Bama outgained the Hogs 328 yards to 92.
Player of the game:  Alabama RB Glen Coffee ran ten times for 162 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Arkansas - Passing: Casey Dick, 20-39, 190 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Michael Smith, 19-91 Receiving: Michael Smith, 6-67, 1 TD
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 6-14, 74 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 10-162, 2 TD. Receiving: Earl Alexander, 2-38
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The lines are killing everyone. The defensive line only came up with two sacks against Arkansas, but it held tough against the run and generated pressure all game long. The offensive line sprung the holes, and Glen Coffee and Roy Upchurch blew through them. The passing game wasn't anything special considering the running game was working so well, but John Parker Wilson didn't make any big mistakes and he came up with a few key passes. Overall, this was a great performance going into the showdown at Georgia.

Sept. 13
Alabama 41 … Western Kentucky 7
Alabama cranked out 557 yards of total offense, and QB John Parker Wilson became the school's all-time leader in total offense, in the easy wins. The Tide scored the first 24 points of the game on two Mark Ingram touchdown runs and an eight-yard Terry Grant scoring dash before WKU got its only score on a 30-yard Tristan Jones catch. Wilson connected with Nick Walker for a two-yard touchdown and hit Julio Jones for a 12-yard scoring pass in the second half. The Tide held on to the ball for 37:21.
Player of the game:
Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 17-of-27 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
Stat Leaders: Alabama
- Passing: John Parker Wilson, 17-27, 215 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 11-97. Receiving: Julio Jones, 5-66, 1 TD
Western Kentucky - Passing: David Wolke, 14-25, 116 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bobby Rainey, 4-11. Receiving: Derrius Brooks, 6-40
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After a sluggish game against Tulane, Alabama needed to stretch its offensive legs a bit. Western Kentucky didn't pose much of a challenge on either side of the ball, and the Tide took advantage with near-perfect balance offensively while keeping the chains moving. The Hilltoppers couldn't get the Tide off the field as John Parker Wilson helped the offense convert 9-of-14 third down chances with 30 first downs to WKU's nine. Now everyone can breathe a little easier, but now the Tide has to be consistent and has to keep it all going against the SEC big boys.

Sept. 6
Alabama 20 ... Tulane 6
Alabama's offense stunk, gaining just 172 yards, but Javier Arenas returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown and Chris Rogers returned a blocked punt 17 yards for a score. Mark Ingram added a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter on the one good Bama drive of the game, and the defense did the rest. The Green Wave moved the ball, gaining 318 yards, but only managed two Ross Thevenot field goals.
Player of the game: Alabama LB Rolando McClain made 15 tackles and two tackles for loss with a broken up pass
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Kevin Moore, 28-49, 225 yds
Rushing: Andre Anderson, 13-32. Receiving: Brian King, 6-51
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 11-23, 3 yds
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 11-63, 1 TD,. Receiving: Marquis Maze, 4-22
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yuck. Bama came up with the big special teams plays to get by Tulane, but the 172 yards of total offense and no passing game has to be a glaring concern. Sure there was a letdown after the Clemson win, but this team isn't experienced enough to not bring the A game effort every week. That inconsistency is what led to the nightmare over the second half of last year, and with all the youth and all the new players being entered into the mix, QB John Parker Wilson has to be far, far better.

Aug. 30
Alabama 34 ... Clemson 10
Alabama stunned Clemson holding the high-powered Tigers to no net yards rushing and tearing off 239 yards on the ground in the surprisingly easy blowout. The Tide held on to the ball for 41:13 as John Parker Wilson was in total command of the offense running for a one yard score and connecting with Nick Walker and Julio Jones for short touchdowns. Clemson managed a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter and got a kickoff return for a touchdown from C.J. Spiller to start the second half, but that was it. Leigh Tiffin nailed four field goals for the Tide.
Player of the game: Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 20-34, 188 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 6-13. Receiving: Tyler Grisham, 6-42
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 22-30, 180 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 17-96,. Receiving: Nick Walker, 7-67, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... All of a sudden, Alabama goes from being a year or two away to being a real, live powerhouse now. The lines destroyed the Clemson lines, but most importantly, the energy level and the crispness was there. The Tide was sharp with John Parker Wilson playing like the quarterback the program has been waiting for. It's still early, and consistency will have to be a key from game to game, but this was a dominant performance that should lead the way to a 4-0 start before facing Georgia.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Julio Jones WR  6-4  210  Foley, Ala. (Foley) 
Parade All-American … USA Today All-American … SuperPrep's No. 1 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 prospect overall … ESPN.com Top 150 … The Mobile Press-Register's Super 120 Team (No. 1) … "Mr. Football" in the state of Alabama … five-star wide receiver by Scout.com … rated as No. 1 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com Scout.com All-American selection … No. 2 player on the Scout.com Southeast 150 list … SuperPrep/Scout.com Top 30 Alabama selection (No. 1) �� capped off high school career with six catches for 97 yards in the game … two-time Birmingham News and Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State selection … named to 2007 Birmingham News Super All-State Team … named to 2007 ASWA Super 12 All-State team … had 194 career catches for 3,287 yards and 42 touchdowns … also added three rushing touchdowns, two kick return touchdowns, two punt returns and two fumble returns for scores … scored 52 touchdowns in his prep career … set Foley school record for career receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns … holds the top three single-season receiving records at Foley with 75 receptions (2006), 68 receptions (2007) and 51 catches (2005) … also holds single-season record with 1,306 yards in 2006 … as senior, tallied 68 catches for 1,181 yards and 16 TDs … finished the year with 18 total TDs … led the Lions to a 12-1 record and a Region 2 title before losing to Prattville in state quarterfinals … hauled in a career-high 75 passes for 1,306 yards and 16 TDs as a junior … concluded the season with career-high 20 TDs … recorded 51 receptions for 805 yards and 12 TDs as sophomore in 2005 … an outstanding track and field athlete … named 2006-07 Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year (Alabama)

Potential Instant Impact Players

Terrance Cody  DL  6-5  380  Perkinston, Miss. (Gulf Coast C.C.) 
Massive defensive line prospect with good agility … a Scout.com four-star recruit … the No. 45 junior college player in the nation according to SuperPrep Magazine … starred at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and recorded 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks in helping lead his team to an 11-0 regular season record last year.

Kerry Murphy  DL  6-4  315  Hoover, Ala. (Hoover/Hargrave) 
Spent the 2007 season at Hargrave Military Academy after originally signing with Alabama in 2007 … a Parade All-American as a senior at Hoover in 2006… The Birmingham News All-Metro Team … rated as the top prospect on The Birmingham News Super Senior list … one of 11 defensive tackles on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Super Southern 100 … rated No. 3 by The Mobile Press-Register's Elite 18 players in the state of Alabama … rated as the 15th-best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com … rated No. 68 by The Mobile Press-Register's Super Southeast 120 … selected to play in the 2006 Alabama North-South All-Star Game … a dominant force in the middle, Murphy made 142 tackles and 16 sacks in junior and senior seasons … as a senior, had 77 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and eight sacks … added 77 tackles and recorded eight sacks as a junior while leading Hoover to its second straight Class 6A State Championship.

Rest of the Class

Mark Barron  DB  6-2  215  Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul's) 
Undra Billingsley  DL  6-3  275  Birmingham, Ala. (Woodlawn) 
Devonta Bolton  TE/WR  6-4  220  Norcross, Ga. (Norcross) 
John Michael Boswell  OL  6-5  300  Northport, Ala. (Tuscaloosa County) 
Marcel Dareus  DL  6-3  280  Huffman, Ala. (Huffman) 
Robby Green  DB  6-0  180  River Ridge, La. (John Curtis) 
Glenn Harbin  DL  6-6  245  Mobile, Ala. (McGill Toolen) 
Jerrell Harris LB  6-3  215  Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS)
Don'ta Hightower  LB  6-4  250  Lewisburg, Tenn. (Marshall County) 
Destin Hood  WR  6-1  200  Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul's) 
Mark Ingram  RB  5-10  215  Flint, Mich. (Southeastern Academy) 
Chris Jackson WR 6-1 180 McDonough, Ga. (Henry County)
Star Jackson  QB  6-3  195  Lake Worth, Fla. (Lake Worth) 
Barrett Jones  OL  6-5  280  Memphis, Tenn. (Evangelical Christian) 
Chris Jordan  RB  6-2  220  Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy) 
Alonzo Lawrence  DB  6-1  190  Lucedale, Miss. (George County) 
Robert Lester  DB  6-2  210  Foley, Ala. (Foley) 
Brandon Lewis  DL  6-3  275  Pleasant Grove, Ala. (Pleasant Grove) 
Tyler Love  OL  6-7  290  Mountain Brook, Ala. (Mountain Brook) 
Ivan Matchett  RB  5-10  215  Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul's) 
Wesley Neighbors  DB  6-1 200  Huntsville, Ala. (Huntsville) 
Jermaine Preyear  RB  5-11  205  Mobile, Ala. (Davidson) 
Melvin Ray WR 6-3 195 Tallahassee, Fla. (North Florida Christian)
B.J. Scott  WR  6-0  195  Prichard, Ala. (Vigor) 
Brad Smelley  ATH  6-3  218  Tuscaloosa, Ala. (American Christian) 
Corey Smith  K/P  6-0  195  Bunker Hill, W.V. (Musselman) 
Damion Square  DL  6-2  290  Houston, Texas (Yates) 
Courtney Upshaw  LB  6-2  230  Eufaula, Ala. (Eufaula) 
Michael Williams  DE  6-6  270  Reform, Ala. (Pickens County) 

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: Second half collapse aside, Nick Saban set the foundation in a decent first season, and now the pieces are in place for a huge year with nine starters returning on offense and six on defense including building blocks Andre Smith on the O line and Rashad Johnson in the secondary. If the Tide can get past Clemson in the season opener in Atlanta, the chance is there for a big first half of the year playing Tulane, Western Kentucky, at Arkansas, Kentucky and Ole Miss, along with a rough trip to Georgia, before the end of October.
Why to be grouchy: Yeah, the schedule isn't bad early, but it gets rough late going to Tennessee and LSU along with the date against Auburn. The passing game was explosive at times, but it was rarely consistent. John Parker Wilson has the potential to be a quarterback to win big things with, but he'll have to do it without top targets D.J. Hall, Keith Brown and Matt Caddell.
The number one thing to work on is: Scoring. The attack was able to put points up on the board against Tennessee, LSU, and Arkansas, and then things fell off the map scoring 12 against Mississippi State, 14 against UL Monroe and ten against Auburn. The 30-24 win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl gives hope, but there were problems in the second half showing how the scoring has to come on a consistent basis. It starts with Wilson. If he's not efficient on a regular basis, the offense is going to struggle.
Biggest offensive loss: WR D.J. Hall
Biggest defensive loss: CB Simeon Castille
Best returning offensive player: OT Andre Smith, Jr.
Best returning defensive player:
FS Rashad Johnson, Sr.

2007 Recap
Recap: The Tide ended the year with a convincing Independence Bowl win over Colorado, but at mid-season, it looked as if it could be playing for a whole lot more.  At 6-2, new head coach Nick Saban had quickly raised expectations in Tuscaloosa, guiding ‘Bama into the Top 25 with a rout of Tennessee.  However, a lack of depth and consistency, especially at quarterback, brought the program back to Earth with a thud that was attributed to a four-game losing streak to close out the regular season.

Offensive Player of the Year:
WR D.J. Hall

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Wallace Gilberry

Biggest Surprise: It wasn't so much that Alabama beat No. 20 Tennessee on Oct. 20, but how easily it did it.  The Tide stormed past the unsuspecting Vols, 41-17, getting a career day from unpredictable QB John Parker Wilson and 13 receptions and a pair of touchdowns from Hall.      

Biggest Disappointment: The low point of the Tide's four-game losing streak came in a stunning home loss to Louisiana-Monroe, an also-ran in the Sun Belt Conference.  Making ULM look like LSU, Alabama lost the turnover battle 4-0 and the game 21-14, failing to score a point in the second half.    

Looking Ahead: With Year One of the Saban era in the books, there should be a greater sense of normalcy around the program in 2008.  The coach will have plenty to work with in 2008, including a bunch of returning regulars on both sides of the ball and a recruiting class that's shaping up as one of the best in the country.


Related Stories
National Signing Day Show
 -by ScoutFootball.com  Feb 4, 2009
Recruiting in Florida: Alabama
 -by ScoutFootball.com  Feb 4, 2009
Alabama Signs Coach Away From Auburn
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jan 21, 2009

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