FLORENCE — There will be a real game-like atmosphere at Braly Stadium on Saturday morning as North Alabama holds its annual Purple-White Spring Football Game.
A year ago the Lions barely had enough offensive linemen to hold a decent scrimmage. But coach Bobby Wallace and his staff restocked the roster with an outstanding freshman class last season and more players have joined the team for the spring. With plenty of numbers on both sides of the ball today’s contest will be an actual game.
Wallace divided the seniors up into two teams and had them pick the rest of the roster for today’s game, which begins at 10 a.m. Admission is free.
“The players are really excited to be playing a game,” Wallace said. “It’s not practice or a scrimmage. It will be a game where we expect to see guys going full speed and playing hard.”
Because of some injuries Wallace said the game will probably be shorted to 12-minute quarters instead of 15. Some of the kicking will not be live, but everything else should be just like an actual game.
Wallace has been pleased with the progress of the team during the spring. Still, he said there are some areas where the Lions need depth, and today’s game should give some young players another chance to catch the coaches’ eyes.
“Wide receiver is still one position where we’re searching for depth,” Wallace said. “Jason Smith and Lee Mayhall are outstanding wide receivers, but we need some other guys to step up.”
Today’s game will give UNA a chance to showcase its depth at quarterback. Luke Wingo remains the No. 1 quarterback, but Wallace said Chris Alexander, Jacob Tucker and Jacob Thomas have all played well this spring.
Wallace said several other players have emerged this spring, including running back Will Minor, offensive linemen Keith Jones, Rod Winston and Stephen Evans, along with defensive tackle Jeremiah Booth.
“We’ve had a good spring and we just want to see them compete in the spring game,” Wallace said.
“We’re looking forward to having a little fun and a lot of competition.”
Jeff McIntyre can be reached at 256-740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@TimesDaily.com.