When it comes to the outlook in respect to Alabama’s kicking game for 2014, fans of the Crimson Tide probably need a blindfold.
With the departure of inconsistent placekicker Cade Foster, and standout punter Cody Mandell, Alabama will have to rely on redshirt sophomore placekicker Adam Griffith, and freshman punter JK Scott, to get the job done.
While no “sane” college football fan should ever blatantly write off the ability of any player, speaking objectively, Alabama does indeed reside on shaky ground when it comes to the special teams department. The Crimson Tide simply lack experienced personnel in respect to the kicking game, which is obviously a cause for concern. To dispute this point would be quite foolhardy.
Playing in such a competitive conference, where so many games can be won or lost courtesy of a field goal or punt, it would seem only natural that Crimson Tide fans would be quite anxious to see what Alabama has to offer this season when it comes to kicking the football.
JK Scott, the aforementioned true freshman, who won’t participate in his first official practice session until August, was regarded as one of the best specialists in the nation during his senior season of high school. While Scott could quickly prove to be the “real deal” when it comes to the kicking game, one can’t help but be concerned about having a starting punter with no prior collegiate resume. If Scott has an inconsistent preseason camp, most everyone involved with the ‘Bama program will likely partake in some serious hand-wringing.
In respect to Griffith, the same scenario could very well be applied. Cue the uncertainty. Most noted for missing a lengthy field goal against Auburn, which led to a 108-yard return for the game-winning touchdown, Griffith will likely be the starting placekicker for the Crimson Tide in 2014. Although Scott is expected to challenge for this role as well, Griffith would appear to have the inside track. Seeing limited action in 2013, as the backup to Cade Foster, Griffith has more experience than Scott, but that’s not exactly a comforting fact.
Time will eventually reveal where UA stands when it comes to the kicking game, but until then, fans of the Crimson Tide will have to live with nervous anticipation.
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