Saban Discusses Spring Personnel
Beginning Friday, Alabama will have 15 days of practice, including three scrimmage days, in March and April. The third and final scrimmage will be the public A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Friday is the day before the start of spring break. The second practice will be the day after spring break, Monday, March 19. The A-Day Game will begin at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday, April 14, and will be televised by CSS.
Nick Saban announced that two players have elected to complete their degrees and not return to the football team. They are offensive tackle Tyler Love and defensive end Undra Billingsley. Punter Jay Williams, who would have been a third year sophomore, has decided to give up football and pursue an athletics career in baseball.
Last fall wide receivers freshman Ronald Carswell and junior Michael Bowman were suspended. Prior to the BCS National Championship Game, wide receiver junior Duron Carter was absent from the practice field for what was characterized Tuesday as a suspension. Saban said the three continue to be suspended.
Junior tailback Eddie Lacy, expected to advance from top back-up to Doak Walker Award winner Trent Richardson on last year's national championship team, will miss spring practice following off-season surgery for a turf toe. Sophomore offensive tackle Arie Kouandjio, who had surgery for kneecap injuries, will also miss. He said, "It was not a surprise" that the two would not be ready to practice in the spring.
All others who had off-season procedures, including linebacker C.J. Mosley, who suffered a dislocated hip in the Crimson Tide's 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, have been cleared to practice. All of those who will participate in practice have been involved in the off-season workouts, which have been going on for a month.
Saban said that redshirt freshman Brent Calloway, who practiced on the scout team as a tailback last year, would begin practice at weakside (inside) linebacker. As he has in the past, Saban emphasized that a player moving to a new position is nothing but an experiment, not necessarily a permanent move. He said that he has seen Calloway at tailback and now wants to see him at linebacker.
He said Barrett Jones, a starter at right guard in 2009-10 and at left tackle last year, would open spring training working at center. Jones has seen some playing time at center and this move had been anticipated.
Saban said he had been pleased with the off-season program. He noted that Alabama playing a late bowl game meant that players were in better condition when the off-season program started. He has pointed out that the intangibles developed in the Fourth Quarter Program are important to team success. He named "work ethic, conditioning, the ability to sustain and give effort, the mental and physical toughness necessary to play this game, the ability to stay focused and finish so that you can do the job and sustain it.
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