TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — I’ll get my first chance to see some of the Alabama freshmen up close Wednesday morning during the first part of practice. The early returns are that Julio Jones and Co. are the real deal. It’s also been a good start to camp for quarterback John Parker Wilson, who’s clearly more comfortable in Jim McElwain’s offense.
Still, it’s the freshmen class that has this state buzzing. If these guys can play half as well as the smoked yellow fin tuna dip at Chuck’s Fish in downtown Tuscaloosa tastes, Tide fans are in for one rip-roaring ride the next couple of years.
Here are some of the other story lines from around the conference:
* The Gators lose their fifth player to an ACL tear, and they’re not even two weeks into preseason practice. The latest to go down was backup middle linebacker Brendan Beal.
* Andy Staples of SI.com takes a closer look at what Florida coach Urban Meyer might have been thinking when he allowed troubled Ronnie Wilson to re-join the team as a walk-on. Wilson fired an AK-47 up into the air in a parking lot last April following an altercation with a man in a nightclub.
* LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee suffered a minor injury to his leg, and even though Les Miles says otherwise, likely takes a step back in the Tigers’ quarterback race. With Lee briefly sidelined, true freshman Jordan Jefferson sees his reps increase.
* Sounds like the Alabama running backs will be busy this season under a new offensive coordinator. Look for them to play a larger role in the passing game.