Countdown to Kickoff
Coach Fran Says Tide Shows Improvement in Thursday Practice


Thursday, April 04, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- With over 180 football coaches in town for Alabama's high school coaches' clinic watching Thursday's practice, Tide coach Dennis Franchione put his players through their 11th spring practice.   Over 500 high school coaches are expected to be on campus this week for the clinic and to watch Saturday's 2 p.m. scrimmage.

"It was much better today," Franchione said, "I think the players made a commitment to being physical.  I'm glad they took a step in the right direction."

Franchione did mention that Atlas Herrion, who moved from offensive tackle to defensive tackle prior to Tuesday's practice "had made encouraging improvement.  After just three practices, I'm encouraged.   I'm not sure this will be a permanent move, but at least we have had the opportunity to see him in that position."

With the A-Day game scheduled for April 13, Franchione said that he would select  game captains who would then draft players for their respective teams.

"I have done this in the past," Franchione said, "and the players have really enjoyed that process.  I'll be the commissioner and we'll conduct the draft next Wednesday.  By 6 p.m. that night, it will be done, but I'll have the final say.  There could be some last minute trades."

Admission to the A-Day game is free and will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. from Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be preceded by the annual "Fan Day" at Coleman Coliseum from 9-11 am.  The 1992 National Championship team will be on the Quad from noon-1:30.

Gates to Bryant-Denny will open at 1 pm and the first 1,000 children through the gates will receive a free "Big Al" bobble-head doll.

On Friday night, April 12, the George Teague Charity Basketball Tournament will be held at Tuscaloosa County High School at 7 p.m. and on the strip, also at 7 p.m. there will be a free concert featuring The Atlanta Rhythm Section and Bad Company.

Here is the complete A-Day weekend schedule:

7 p.m. - George Teague Charity Basketball Tournament at Tuscaloosa County High
7 p.m. - Concert "On the Strip" featuring the Atlanta Rhythm Section and Bad Company

9-11 a.m. - Fan Day at Coleman Coliseum
Noon-1:30 p.m. - 1992 Team Reunion on the Quad
1 p.m. - Gates open on West Side Bryant-Denny Stadium.  First 1,000 children receive free "Big Al" Bobble-Head Doll
2:15 p.m. - Walk-of-Fame at Bryant-Denny
2:30 p.m. - A-Day Kickoff