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TRips: Milliner, Mandell & Johnson

Milliner: UA's next first-round corner?

Breaking down the 2012 Crimson Tide roster three players at a time. Up next, cornerback Dee Milliner, punter Cody Mandell and tight end Kelly Johnson.

28 CB Dee Milliner (Jr.)
2011 season: Played in all 13 games, making six starts. Led the team in interceptions (three) and passes defended (12).
2012 spring practice: Starter at left corner and also worked at the star position in the nickel and dime packages. Bobby Johns Defensive Back Award recipient.
What he brings to the table: Milliner has played in every game he's dressed for at Alabama. After learning some hard lessons as a true freshman in 2010, he responded with an excellent season as the third corner a year ago. As physically gifted as either of UA's first-round corners -- Kareem Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick -- in the Nick Saban era.

29 P Cody Mandell (Jr.)
2011 season: Punted 39 times for a 39.3 yard average, with a net of 36.5.
2012 spring practice: Averaged 42 yards or more in each of the three scrimmages. For his efforts, Mandell was one of four players to receive the Bart Starr Most Improved Player Award at the close of spring drills.
What he brings to the table: Leg strength has never been an issue for Mandell. Consistency, on the other hand, has been somewhat slow in coming. Based on his performance in the spring, it appears as if Mandell has cleaned up some of the technical miscues that plagued him in his first two seasons on the job. After pinning the White team at its own 1 yard line, the junior deserved an assist on C.J. Mosley's safety in the spring game. If he's able to carry over his performance from A-Day to the fall, a talented defense will be even more difficult to handle.

31 TE/ST Kelly Johnson (Sr.)
2011 season: Played in nine games as a special teamer, making five tackles, including two solo stops against Georgia Southern. Selected as a special teams player of the week for his play in the GSU game.
2012 spring practice: In seeing action as a reserve tight end, Johnson caught one pass for two yards in the A-Day game.
What he brings to the table: At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Johnson can contribute across the board on special teams. And like some of the walk-ons before him, he's not afraid to throw his body around on kickoff coverage.

Up next: 32 LB C.J. Mosley; 33 LB Trey DePriest; 35 LB Nico Johnson.

Also see:
1 Hart, 2 White and 2 Patrick
3 Sunseri, 4 Yeldon and 5 Black
6 Clinton-Dix, 6 Sims and 7 Anderson
7 Bell, 8 Pagan and 9 Dixon
10 McCarron, 10 Fulton and 12 Ely
13 Belue, 16 Sylve and 19 Atchison
20 Ja. Williams, 21 Calloway and 22 C. Jones
23 Washington, 25 Lee and 27 Perry

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