TUSCALOOSA — Five days into preseason camp, Alabama tight end Nick Walker can barely contain his excitement.
“You’ll probably see us catch a whole lot of balls this year,” Walker said.
All indications are that Walker is correct. The Crimson Tide’s tight ends figure to play a featured role in coordinator Jim McElwain’s offense, both because of coaching preference and available personnel. Few positions on Alabama’s offense — and the entire team, for that matter — are blessed with more experience.
Walker and Travis McCall lead the way as seniors who have each played in every game since arriving on campus before the 2005 season. At 260 pounds, McCall is the power blocker to the 6-foot-5 Walker’s ability as a passing target.
“We use two tight ends a lot,” said Tide coach Nick Saban, hinting that both McCall and Walker will often play together in the absence of a traditional fullback in McElwain’s offense. They will also be difficult to locate.