By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama football’s A-Day game can be spectacle in the
spring, as the team gives fans a sneak peek at what is to come for the season.
The crowds are large, the weather is hot (sometimes) and the excitement is
looming. This Saturday, Alabama will hold its 10th spring game since
Nick Saban became the coach in 2007. For Saban, the first spring game left
an impression that has lasted throughout his time at Alabama.

“It [my first A-Day Game] certainly did a lot to make us feel
welcome and at home, and 10 years later we still feel welcome, very at home and
very supported by a lot of people,” Saban said.

A-Day does not only make an impression on the fans, but also
on the recruits visiting, trying to decide what school to attend. Since Alabama’s
spring game is usually a well-attended event, the fan support can sway
potential players. Senior Brandon Greene remembers his first game and the
impact it made on him as a high school athlete.

“I fell in love with Alabama because of A-Day for the simple
fact that Alabama is the place to be.” Greene said.

Along with fans and potential recruits, many former stars
for Alabama come back and support the program during the spring game. Many of
the players in the NFL take advantage of their off season time to come watch
Alabama go through its scrimmage.

The support from past players, according to Saban, is one of
the better aspects of the game.

“It’s really special that players want to come back and be a
part of Alabama’s tradition, program.” he said. “It’s great for us to be able
to express our appreciation to those players when they come back for all they
did to help sort of create the tradition we’ve had here our last 8 years or so.”

Each year, the spring game is not only a chance for the fans to experience Alabama football without the cost, but it also gives the team
the opportunity to see what areas they need to improve on. Spring football can be a
measuring stick, and a time for players to figure out their roles on the team.

Alabama has a lot of players this spring switching positions
as well as a quarterback situation to figure out for the fall. Saban says the
team still has a lot of room for improvement before the season starts in the

“I think we have a long way to go as a team,” he said. “I
think every spring you find out a lot about your team and your team is always
in a developmental stage, it’s a work in progress in terms of getting where you
want to go.”

Many of the players find the game special, because of the competitive
nature behind it. They players get to go up against their teammates, charged
with the task of improving at their specific position. That aspect of A-Day is
one of the things that drew Greene towards the program.

“I feel like if you can come and play against some of the
best players and compete every day, then you must be the best player,” he said.

Alabama’s A-Day game will kick-off at 2 p.m. with a lot of
festivities beforehand. Spring football is the closest thing the fans will get
to the actual season, so many expect a big crowd as usual. The day is set to be
a big day for all aspect of the game, from the players to the coaches to the

“It’s a special day. A lot of special people are going to be
here and I hope there will be a lot of people that turn out to support our
team,” Saban said.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports