Alabama freshmen tackles have 'shown a lot of potential'

'We think both of those guys have potential to help us.'

It's nearing the point -- as Nick Saban said Saturday -- when Alabama coaches have to decide which players are most capable of helping the Crimson Tide this year and who they're going to spend the most time trying to develop for this season.

Freshmen offensive tackles Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood, Saban said, are "most certainly two guys that at this point you would say that's probably going to be the case."

Leatherwood has worked as the second-team right tackle during media viewing periods dating back to the spring. And while redshirt sophomore Matt Womack continues to look like the favorite to start at right tackle, it's possible that one of these two freshmen could win the job.

"We think both of those guys have potential to help us," Saban said.

The 6-foot-6, 322-pound Leatherwood, a five-star prospect, was the top offensive tackle and No. 4 overall prospect in this year's recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Wills, an upper-tier four-star recruit who enrolled in May, was the No. 34 overall prospect in this year's class, according to the 247 Composite.

Both, Saban said, have "done well in practice" since Alabama started fall camp Aug. 3.

Saban, though, wasn't ready to assess their play during the Tide's scrimmage on Saturday when he spoke immediately following the scrimmage.

"I would like to see how they did under fire today, what kind of poise they have (and) how did they execute with any kind of consistency," Saban said Saturday. "We had a couple young guys today that went completely rat trap. Couldn't even get lined up. That's all part of it. Now, maybe they'll do better next time. But those two guys are both guys that have shown a lot of potential. ... I think both those guys are certainly guys we want to invest a lot of time in this week and get to the point where we see if they can help us this year."

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