Casey Gladney's status
"Casey is doing great this year," said Kemper Amick. "He is having a tremendous year. He has 42 catches for around 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also has four two-point conversions.
"He is averaging 40-yards per punt. He kicked off for us last week. He had two kickoffs go in the end zone. He returns kicks and punts for us. He doesn't get a lot of opportunities there with everyone trying to kick away from him."
Amick discussed the maturity of his star player.
"There has been some misunderstanding among the media," he said. "People say he wasn't making plays until now. He has been making plays for four years. I think the biggest difference with him now is his confidence. He is more athletic if you can be more athletic. He is completely comfortable out there. He has put more work in this year. When you commit to a program like Alabama you better keep working hard."
The talent on the field isn't an issue. Former NFL great Cris Carter raved about Gladney's ability after working the Tide's camp this past summer. The concern for Gladney is his work in the classroom.
"I saw his grades yesterday," Amick said. "He has done really well. The teachers see a tremendous difference in him. That has a lot to do with him making an early commitment. He knows what he has to do.
"It's almost like someone crawled into his skin and starting going to class. He is very focused now. He wants to do well. There is only one class right now he doesn't have an A or B in. He is doing well."
Gladney was a no-brainer selection for the annual Shrine Bowl which features the best players in North and South Carolina.
"They had a news conference for the Shrine Bowl today," Coach Amick said. "That's a big honor for him. It helps solidify him as a top player among the coaches in this state. There wasn't a lot out there about him before going to the Shrine Bowl combine.
"He was only listed as a three-star recruit. He isn't a three-star recruit. He goes to the Shrine Bowl combine and runs a 4.41 40. He catches everything and is blowing by everyone. He also had decent size. I talked to some coaches, and they said Casey and Shaq Roland were no-brainers. You are going to take those guys.
"We had someone from ESPN come by our school recently. They saw film on Casey. They are going to try to do everything they can in getting Casey in the Under Armour All-America game. He is good enough to play in it. I understand it's late, that it will be hard to get him there, but he is definitely deserving of it."
Gladney traveled to Tuscaloosa for the Arkansas game. He will return when the Crimson Tide hosts LSU.
"One of our coaches took him down there," Amick said. "They loved it down there. Our coach was saying when Casey gets there it's going to be like he is already a part of the team. The coaches made him feel good. That's a credit to Alabama and the way they recruit."
Gladney's grades have improved in the classroom. He is arguably the top receiver in the state, but coaches shied away from Gladney prior to his commitmnt to Alabama.
"Coaches are calling me all the time about him now," Amick said. "As long as Alabama wants him he is going to Alabama. There is nothing to worry about."
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