During Alabama’s 2015 Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State, color commentator Todd Blackledge called punter JK Scott a tall drink of water, referring to the then 6-foot-4 inch punter’s tall stature.
But Scott didn’t stop growing just because he arrived on a college campus.
Scott, who now stands 6-foot 6-inches, said the growth he’s experienced since arriving in Tuscaloosa has made him slightly alter his technique.
“In high school, I grew so much, and every time you grow you really have to do a lot to maintain your coordination and your body,” Scott said. “[You have to] maintain flexibility, keep your coordination, and a lot of stuff like that.”
Scott said he doesn’t feel like the added height has forced him to drastically alter his style, but that it just causes him to make slight adjustments in his kicking. Scott averaged 44.2 yards per punt in his sophomore season after a freshman year where he led the nation with 48.0 yards per punt, but he feels confident about the upcoming season.
“I had a really good offseason, I feel like I’ve progressed really well and my leg feels really good right now,” Scott said. “A good offseason is, for me, definitely just following my training regime, which is a lot of things outside of punting, as well cross-training and stuff, which helps me build strength, really just getting enough reps in punting and working on the right things.”
For a lot of players, the optimism of fall camp may be somewhat dampened by the knowledge that grueling practices in the sweltering Alabama heat are coming. The punter said he lives for the work.
“I love the process and I love training,” Scott said. “Even in the offseason, after we won the national championship, I wasn’t like ‘What do we do now?’ I was really excited to get back training, so I love training, I love the work that goes into it. That’s just our mindset as a team, just focusing on one day at a time, one practice at a time, and the game will come.”
Linebacker Rashaan Evans had a somewhat different offseason than his teammate. Evans is moving from an outside linebacker position to an inside linebacker position. He said he feels the transition is going well.
“Oh, it’s been great man,” Evans said. “Coach Saban put me in a position to kinda try out and basically, I’m still there for right now. Wherever he puts me, that’s what I have to do.”
As an outside linebacker, Evans mainly focused on rushing the passer. With the position change, there are more things that he has to focus on, like dropping back into pass coverage and covering more of the field. Evans acknowledged that the transition has brought some challenges.
“From outside linebacker to inside linebacker, you have a little more keys — more things you have to look at. That’s probably one of the biggest things I had to work on,” Evans said. “I’m so used to outside linebacker rushing. So I just have to get used to dropping back and doing coverages and stuff like that.”
Evans credited his teammates Reuben Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton as being very helpful during his change.
“[They’ve been] great, to be honest with you. They’re great mentors to me,” Evans said. “With them having experience at the position, it’s helped me a lot transition from outside linebacker to inside linebacker.”
Evans echoed what teammates have said since camp started yesterday: the team is committed to fall camp.
“We had a great practice, good team chemistry and everybody came out to work [Thursday],” Evans said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports