End of the Beginning
John Parker Wilson

Posted Aug 22, 2006


Tuesday afternoon marked the end of the beginning for the Alabama football team, as the squad went through a shortened scrimmage at Thomas-Drew field in the final day of fall camp.

Fall classes begin Wednesday on the University of Alabama campus, which means Head Coach Mike Shula will expand the original 105-man roster, implementing a scout team for practice work against season-opening opponent Hawaii.

Running back Kenneth Darby did not participate in the scrimmage, but Shula said he could have played had it been a game situation.

"We just held him out," he said. "It's just a bruised knee. We didn't want to risk him getting hurt and scrimmage him when he's not 100 per cent. It doesn't make any sense. He should be back ready to go tomorrow."

Quarterback John Parker Wilson was on fire in the first series of Tuesday's scrimmage, which featured the first-string offense against second-team defense, and vice versa.

Wilson completed his first four pass attempts to four different receivers for 86 yards. The long was a 38 yarder to Nick Walker, which set up a one yard touchdown run by Tim Castille.

Wilson only attempted three more passes after that, and none of them were completed.

"We worked a lot of people in different combinations," Shula said. "Marc Guillon worked some with the first team, and he's had a good week. We wanted to get him in there to give him a chance to make plays with the first team."

Guillon was 5 of 13 for 39 yards and one interception. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass.

The day was a confidence builder for both first team units. Simeon Castille intercepted a Guillon pass on the first play for the second-team offense. Wallace Gilberry was all over the field again Tuesday, with two tackles for loss, including a sack.

Shula's list of stand-out players included defensive end Bobby Greenwood, cornerback Simeon Castille, linebacker Prince Hall, safeties Marcus Carter and Jeffrey Dukes, center Evan Cardwell, Wilson and true freshman cornerback Marquis Johnson.

"We're going to look at him and see if we can get him on the field this year or not," Shula said.

Linemen B.J. Stabler, J.P. Adams and Marlon Davis were all in orange injured jerseys again on Tuesday, none with serious injuries. Shula said the coaching staff is trying to manage Stabler's knee soreness.

"Right now it's kind of in that mode a little bit (of resting him)," Shula said. "We don't want him thinking like that. He's got to get himself ready because not many guys can come out and play without practicing.

"This was a week where if we felt like he was sore we needed to get him some rest and try to get himself ready when we start, either tomorrow or if he needs another day. The playing time from last year obviously helps, and he'll use it to his advantage if he needs to take some time off."

Scrimmage Stats:
Passing (comp-att-yds): John Parker Wilson (4-7-86); Marc Guillon (5-13-39, INT); Jimmy Barnes (1-3-9); Greg McElroy (2-3-34).

Rushing (att-yds):Ali Sharrief (6-35); Jimmy Johns (5-26); Terry Grant (7-16); Roy Upchurch (5-11); Tim Castille (3-6, TD); Le'Ron McClain (1-2).

Receiving (rec-yds): DJ Hall (2-34); Baron Huber (2-22); Will Oakley (1-38); Nick Walker (1-24); Nikita Stover (1-17); Terry Grant (1-9); Le'Ron McClain (1-8); Tim Castille (1-8); Keith Brown (1-5); Roy Upchurch (1-3).

Kicking: Leigh Tiffin, Made FGs from 33, 37 and 46.
Andrew Friedman, missed FG from 46.



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