ALABAMA FOOTBALL//Offensive line departures not surprising

Before the start of spring drills, there were whispers that a few backup offensive linemen were considering transferring. One of those, Dallas Warmack, has since announced his departure. Now it’s been reported that the other player, Brandon Kennedy, is planning to transfer.

Warmack, who redshirted last season, previously had seen action as a backup at guard. Kennedy, who would have been a redshirt sophomore this season, had worked at guard and center. Kennedy finished spring with the second unit at center.

Why transfer?

Playing time. Both Warmack and Kennedy are looking for opportunities to start. It’s not that they didn’t get an opportunity at Alabama, because they certainly did. They simply had other very talented players ahead of them on the depth chart.

Interior backups

At end of spring, the first unit interior OL consisted of Ross Pierschbacher (at three-year starter at left guard) at center, with senior Lester Cotton at left guard and sophomore Jedrick Wills at right guard. As for backups…

Early in the spring, senior Josh Casher ran with the ones at left guard. He ended with the second group. Casher has also worked at center. He’ll probably be the top inside backup in August camp.

Junior Richie Petitbon has worked primarily at guard in his career, but he got some reps at center in spring.

Sophomore Chris Owens finished spring at tackle. But Owens is probably a natural inside player. He has gotten reps at center and guard. He has flashed potential.

Another option at guard is sophomore Deonte Brown. The 350+ pound Brown certainly has the ability to be a player. The issue to this point has been his weight and conditioning. If he is in shape, Brown could legitimately factor in the two-deep.

Other possibilities

Sophomore Alex Leatherwood was a star off the bench in the national title game at left tackle. With starting right tackle Matt Womack (foot) out of spring, Leatherwood spent most of the spring with the ones at right tackle. Leatherwood could slide inside to guard if needed.

Jedrick Wills worked with the ones at right tackle and right guard this spring. He finished at right guard. He has the versatility to play any spot up front. He could get some reps at center in August.

There has also been plenty of speculation that starting right tackle Jonah Williams could get some reps inside at guard and center.

There is a lot of excitement about the potential of incoming freshman Emil Ekiyor. The Indianapolis native is expected to get looks at center and guard in August camp.

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