The 2022 team is “locked down”

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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – After the first week of summer practices, Alabama Athletic Performance Director David Ballou shared a promising update on Crimson Tide’s state of mind.

“Week 1 of Summer Prep complete,” Ballou tweeted. “These guys are locked up.”

Veteran Alabama players who were at Hillcrest (Alabama) High School Monday for the inaugural Nike Football Skills Camp agreed with their strength and conditioning coach’s observation.

“I see it,” linebacker Jaylen Moody told BamaOnLine. “Everyone comes in with their own mindset: ‘Okay, what can I do to improve today as a team? What can we all do to improve each other? “With this mindset, it’s hard to stop this. We have to keep going and keep improving every day. Whatever corrections we can make, we will too.”

Tight end Cameron Latu explained how the team approached their off-season training.

“We have sheets in the weight room for different lifts and different numbers to hit — it’s like a top 10 or whatever for every lift — and we’re all just trying to be first, second, third, trying to be competitive to be No . 1,” Latu said. “I just think the attitude and effort in the weight room has been awesome. Even in the runs, overall, everything. Everyone is just focused.

Alabama is once again hosting a veteran team that will be projected by most outlets, just as Athlon Sports did recently, to lift the national championship trophy after the 2022 season. The Tide has the defending winner from the Heisman Trophy at quarterback to Bryce Young, the best defensive player in the nation at linebacker Will Anderson and a healthy mix of returning contributors, key transfers and up-and-coming young talent all now on campus for summer drills .

With a new season fast approaching, the end of the 2021 campaign for Alabama still hangs heavy on the minds of some veteran players. The Crimson Tide (13-2) lost to Georgia in the national championship game, 33-18, after beating the Bulldogs in the SEC title game a month earlier. Failing to achieve his ultimate goal has been fueling players since January.

As head coach Nick Saban has said in the past, this team doesn’t want to waste a failure.

“I think the whole team is just taking a different approach and just trying to do whatever they can to prevent what happened last year from happening again,” offensive lineman Emil said. Ekiyor at BamaOnLine. “If it’s just doing a little extra work after practices, then that’s what it’s gotta be. Or the quarterbacks and receivers get extra routes so they don’t mess up the timing of the championship game.

“It’s those little precautions that we didn’t take before everyone made sure to go through and make every little thing and every little detail feel effortless.”

Added defensive lineman Byron Young, “I think we had some things that we didn’t do right last year. We had little things that we didn’t pay attention to. But this year we’re making sure everything is as it should be, going back to what we did the year we won the national championship.

So I think everybody’s locked in, everybody’s focused on the right thing. We don’t look too far ahead, we don’t look back to what happened last year. We are just, every day, we are where our feet are. We are improving every day. »

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Contact Charlie Potter by personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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