Carter Probably Won't Play In 2011

Nick Saban had good things to say about his football team following Wednesday's practice, but the big news was about a man who has not yet played and apparently will not play for the Crimson Tide this year.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has been saying for weeks that there was no new information on the status of junior college transfer Duron Carter. Carter, who played for Ohio State in 2009, then went to junior college, signed with Alabama in the summer. He was late reporting for what were called academic reasons, but entered The University and has been practicing.

Carter had not played in a game because of what Saban said was a missing piece of information. On Wednesday he said that information had not been provided and it appears Carter will not be able to play this year. He will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2012.

Saban said, "On the Duron Carter situation: There was one piece of information we did not receive, have not ever received, and may not ever receive. So as of right now he has to be here a year of residence before he is eligible. He would still have two years to play after that. But as of now it looks like he will not be eligible."

Alabama is preparing for an important Southeastern Conference football game Saturday. The Crimson Tide hosts the Arkansas Razorbacks at 2:30 p.m. CDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Both teams are 3-0 with Bama ranked second in the nation, Arkansas 12th. CBS will televise the game.

"We've had a couple of good work days," Saban said. "it's a difficult preparation. It's an important challenge for our team to start conference play against a very good team. Challenging in a good team we're playing and challenging preparation. I like the attention to detail our players have and I like the way they have worked for two or three days this week trying to get ready for this game. Now we'll have a lot of mental practice trying to get ready.

"Everything we've done to this point --spring practice, off-season program, first three games of the season, summer conditioning--all these things are leading up to the opportunity to play in the conference and we're really looking forward to the opportunity to do that."

The coach confirmed that cornerback Dee Milliner, who missed Monday's work with illness, had been back for Tuesday and Wednesday practices with no problems.

Saban said after three games "This team has had a pretty good sort of moral character about it in terms of the way they go about things, the work thy have done, the way they have prepared for the season, and I think the way they have competed pretty consistently for the first three games. We weren't up and down. We played hard, we played physical, we played tough.

"We didn't always execute perfectly and there are certainly a lot of things we need to continue to work on and improve on. But the intangibles part of this team has been good to this point, but what we need to do a better job of is have more consistency in execution, more faith, trust, and confidence in doing things the right way, and that will help you have success. I think that comes with knowledge and experience at some positions. I think other players just need to be more focused on what they need to do to be successful and understand the importance of doing things the right way.

"You do it right, you get pretty good consequences, you don't do it right and you don't. That's the thing players have to focus on so they can improve individually and we will improve collectively as a team."

Saban said, "I think it will be all three phases of the game that settle the game. From my perspective, playing well on special teams, controlling vertical field position, playing well on offense and not turning the ball over, scoring points, taking what the defense gives, doing a good job on third down and in the red zone, same thing on defense. All those things are going to be critical factors in the game."

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