August 29 is the first day of classes at UAB, but it will also be a huge day for UAB Football. That morning their will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new football facilities that got approved by the Board Of Trustees earlier this summer. Then later that day, fans will get the first look at the 2016 UAB football team with the Green and Gold scrimmage.
As we know, the Blazers will not play in 2016, but that isn’t stopping them from preparing just like any other team in the country. UAB has had a successful fall camp and were back on the practice field last week preparing for the scrimmage.
With the new football facility beginning construction. and three planned scrimmages throughout the fall, fans will have plenty to look forward until 2017 rolls around.
Here are five things to expect from the Green and Gold Scrimmage.
1. Quarterbacks Should Shine.
AJ Ederly and Tyler Johnston have had a great fall camp and look to be the ones getting the most reps with the ones. AJ may be the leader in the clubhouse since Tyler is coming off surgery, but they should have plenty of time to battle for the starting job.
In Saturday’s scrimmage, which the offense was “more impressive,” Ederly and Wide Receiver Collin Lisa were the bright spots.
The Blazers will try to run up-tempo and get as many plays as possible. Johnston has also looked impressive in fall camp making some nice throws in Saturdays scrimmage.
Look for both quarterbacks to get reps with the first team. Both QB’s should be ready to go in the scrimmage, and both should look impressive.
2. The Debut Of DJ Law on the Southside?
Many of you that have seen the Netflix original “Last Chance U” know that the talented DJ Law commits to UAB at the end of the show (spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this article and start it immediately).
Since fall camp started, Law has not been on the roster or seen on campus and Coach Clark has repeatedly told the media that “it’s a wait and see” kind of situation.
Law apparently had to finish a couple of classes at Eastern Mississippi College this summer to become eligible. EMCC started their fall semester last week, while UAB is set to start Monday the 29 – the same day as the scrimmage.
Could this be the first time the Blazer faithful sees Law suited up in green and gold?
The whole situation has been odd as it seems as if we aren’t getting told everything that is going on. If Law is eligible and is in pads on Monday, that would be well worth the price of admission.
3. Heavily Attended
Expect the Blazer faithful to be in full force. This is a huge step in #TheReturn and should be heavily attended.
Starting at 5 there will be a FanFest in the parking lot across the street from the soccer fields. Gang Green and many other student organizations will have tailgates with music, food, and games to play before the scrimmage.
Admission for UAB students is free and prices for tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children.
The alumni society will also have a tailgate. The only downfall is that it is on a Monday night and that could keep the casual fan away. The die hard UAB fans and students should be well represented as this is a monumental step in #theReturn.
4. Offense or Defense: Take Your Pick
Which unit will look better?
With the defense being led by linebacker Shaq Jones and defensive lineman Garrett Marino, they should be able to keep the offense in check.
If Saturday’s scrimmage is any indication, the offense may be turning the corner and starting to click. They only turned the ball over once, and like I stated previously, appeared to have the better day as a unit.
Running back Kalin Heath is an explosive play maker and has stepped up since fall camp began.
The receiving core is led by Collin Lisa and Quincy Perdue. Just last week the Blazers added two skill players to their roster – Will Ulmer at receiver and AJ Brooks at running back.
These guys should have an instant impact and will be looking to make some plays in the scrimmage.
Depth on defense, especially the defensive line, will be something to really to keep an eye out for. UAB recruited heavily in the trenches and have some absolute monsters on the defensive line.
So honestly, it seems like a coin toss on which unit will play/look better. One thing is for sure, both sides will come out ready to play.
5. First Look at the Marching Blazers
Not only will it be the first time fans get to the see the Blazer football team take the field, fans will get to see the Marching Blazers for the first time in 2016.
With their show entitled “Hollywood”, fans will be taken on a cinematic journey with music from films such as Back to the Future, James Bond, The Avengers, and Star Trek to name a few.
The scrimmage will start a busy schedule for the Marching Blazers as they have multiple competitions in the fall and will also travel to Georgia where they will play pregame at an Atlanta Falcons game.
The Marching Blazers have also been invited to play in the World Peace Parade in Rome, Italy for the New Year’s Day celebration.
Earlier this summer the band created a fundraiser to raise money for new uniforms and shoes in time for the 2017 season. So far they have raised $33,000 of their $70,000 goal.
Fundraiser Link: https://crowdfund.uab.edu/project/2572