June 23, 2007
SEC Position Rankings: Tide QBs check in
Projected starter: Andre' Woodson
Next up: Mike Hartline; Will Fidler.
Best of the bunch: Woodson picked up second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press after throwing for 3,515 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2006.
Biggest loss: Quarterback/wide receiver Curtis Pulley will tend to academic issues while redshirting in 2007. Pulley completed eight-of-14 passes for 72 yards a season ago.
Biggest concern: With Pulley out of the mix, neither Hartline nor Fidler nailed down the backup job in the spring.
Biggest reason for optimism: If the Cats' revamped offensive line gives Woodson time, he and his top three returning targets -- wide receivers Keenan Burton and Dicky Lyons Jr. and tight end Jacob Tamme -- might surpass their league-leading numbers from a season ago.
Projected starter: John Parker Wilson
Next up: Greg McElroy; Nick Fanuzzi.
Best of the bunch: In his first season as the starter, Wilson set UA marks for passing yards (2,707), attempts (379), completions (216) and touchdown passes (17). Given his background in a spread offense at the high school level, Wilson would seem to be the perfect fit for new offensive coordinator Major Applewhite's three-wide receiver attack.
Biggest loss: Jimmy Barnes, Wilson's top backup over the second half of the 2006 season, recently announced his intention to transfer to a I-AA school. While he actually appeared in two contests, Barnes' career stat line (6-of-11 for 45 yards and one touchdown) was limited to a relief appearance against Florida International in 2006.
Biggest concern: Like just about every other team in the league, the Crimson Tide heads into the 2007 season with an unproven backup. Fortunately for UA fans, McElroy showed confidence and poise while directing the offense in the spring.
Biggest reason for optimism: All the pieces are in place for the Tide to rack up yards and points through the air. Not only is Wilson a year better, his blindside will be protected by one of college football's top left tackles in Andre Smith. Wilson will also welcome back his top five wide receivers from a season ago.
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