TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama offensive lineman Matt Womack has found himself in an unfamiliar spot this spring.
It isn’t because the redshirt sophomore is participating at right tackle during practice. At 6-foot-7, 326 pounds he appears born to play the position. In fact, Womack is not even a stranger to the field at Alabama. Backing up at both tackle positions last season, he saw playing time in nine games during his freshman year.
What’s different for Womack this spring is now he’s finally beginning to get noticed.
Despite having at least an inch over most of his Crimson Tide teammates, Womack has failed to generate the same hype and praise as other members of Alabama’s offensive line. Coming to the Tide as a three-star tackle from Magnolia Heights High School in Hernando, Miss., he is the only lineman in Alabama’s first three units with a rating lower than four stars.
Although, it would be hard to tell that from spring camp.
Womack has secured a spot on the Tide’s first-team offensive line during practice, filling the hole left behind at right tackle by Jonah Williams, who switched to left tackle to replace departing Cam Robinson. So far, the former three-star recruit hasn’t missed a beat, battling amongst his fellow four-and five-star behemoths.
“I thought he had a really good offseason,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “His body is starting to develop, starting to show a lot of maturity, balance and body control, better conditioning, better ability to sustain more mental toughness, better idea of what he’s supposed to do. Grasp of the offense, which allows him to play with more confidence. So, been really pleased with him.”
Womack has put on 10 pounds from last season, helping him fill out his towering frame. The added weight has certainly helped his case as he fights for one of the two open slots on Alabama’s starting offensive line. However, what has really set Womack apart has been a growth in experience.
“I think he's really matured,” Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said. “I think he kind of knows that this is his time to step up, and really prove to the coaches that he's the guy. I think he's really taken that to heart. You can see him — he's in here getting treatment and getting extra film work which is nice to see. He's really taken it to heart and knows that this is his time to step up. It's been nice to see out of him.”
Womack will have another chance to prove he belongs on the Tide’s starting offensive line on Saturday as Alabama holds its first scrimmage of spring camp. If practice is any indication, the sophomore should get the nod at right tackle to start things off.
In order to maintain that position heading into the fall, Womack will need to continue his strong start as he looks to fend off five-star early enrollee Alex Leatherwood, who has garnered plenty of attention early on.
As of now, Womack has shown he's pretty capable of handling his own.
“We've seen flashes, but I think it's more consistency and him being more dialed in,” Pierschbacher said. “We know that he has it in, but I think it's really just taking that step to open up his eyes and knowing that it's his time and he's got to make the most out of it. He's been doing a good job for us.”