Hanks Will Return To Tide Saturday
When Alabama began preparation for the season-opener against Kent State, Darius Hanks was with the Bama scout team. That continued through preparation for Penn State.
The reason was that Hanks played in a game in his freshman year, 2007. He did not play in another game that season. In order to have that season relegated to redshirt status, Hanks had to miss the first two games of this year.
As Alabama prepares for the third game of the year against North Texas State in Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday, Hanks is back with the offense.
"Oh, man, I'm ready to get him off the scout team," said Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. "I am so ready to get him off the scout team. The guy goes out there and works his butt off every day. I know he's going to bring something different to the game that we didn't really expose last week, and this week we can expose it."
Alabama Coach Nick Saban is also pleased to get Hanks back with the offense.
"He's been the scout team player of the week two weeks in a row," Saban said. "He has been working against the defense for the scout team periods, but just for the last two weeks. Prior to that he was working completely with the offense, so there should be no transition problems.
"The guy has been playing around here for two or three years and has a lot of experience. He ought to be able to go out there and play well with a lot of confidence and do the things he has been doing for a long time."
Last year Hanks started every game and had 32 receptions for 456 yards and three touchdowns. For his career he has played in 36 games with 58 catches for 822 yards and six touchdowns.
Hanks is a 6-0, 185-pound senior from Norcross, Ga.
Saban said, "It'll be good to have Darius Hanks back. He gives us an explosive receiver on offense with experience."
In addition to Alabama starting the season 2-0 and being ranked second in the nation, Saban could see another benefit. With Hanks out, some other receivers got extra work. "It's been a really good thing for our receiver group., the coach said. "I saw some maturity out of some guys. All those guys played better. Kevin Norwood played better. Kenny Bell played better. DeAndrew White played better. They all played better, from first week to second week. Hopefully this experience that they've all gotten is going to help them continue to gain confidence and be able to improve as we go through the year."
Alabama tailback Trent Richardson said getting Hanks back this week "is going to mean a lot. Darius Hanks plays a big role on this team. I can't wait to have him out there on the practice field. He's been on the scout team. Now he's back with us.
"I'm excited today to go out to practice and see what he's going to bring to the table. He's going to have fresh legs and be ready to roll."
Richardson said that Hanks has kept a positive attitude while waiting for the chance to get back in the lineup.
"He's been very positive," Richardson said. "He's got a very good spirit. He's doing real good with that. That's one of the things that's keeping us up."
Richardson said that Hanks took a part in offensive meetings, asking questions or offering his knowledge to other receivers.
Saban said there is no news yet on another receiver, Duron Carter. Carter had been announced as eligible and had even been expected to play Saturday, but there was late word of a problem, and while Carter is still eligible to practice and is enrolled in The University, Saban said he is still waiting on final information.
Carter, an outstanding prospect at wide receiver two years ago, spent a season at Ohio State, and then played at Coffeyville (Kansas) Junior College in 2010. He signed with Alabama this summer, but was not able to participate in fall camp.