Tide Seeks Nose Tackle to Anchor Saban Defense

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The nose tackle has emerged as the anchor of new Alabama coach Nick Saban's defensive plan. As spring training winds down, it's still uncertain who will fill that role.

Third-year sophomore Lorenzo Washington, redshirt freshman Brian Motley and sophomore Byron Walton are names currently in the mix for the position, which must clog the middle, a crucial role in Saban's scheme.

But Washington, a 6-foot-5, 285-pounder who attended Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at Alabama, underwent pectoral surgery in January and has not been involved in contact.

Walton, who is 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds, also has been set back by a broken hand.

And Motley, a 6-foot-1, 284-pounder from Autaugaville, is a converted center who was asked to become a defensive tackle just a day before spring drills began.

With the uncertainties of spring, two defensive line signees from Hoover, Kerry Murphy and Josh Chapman, could be factors in August.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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