Alabama started fall camp Friday morning with four players not participating. The Friday evening practice, which is primarly for newcomers, did not include two signees. One player – sophomore conrnerback Eddie Jackson – is going to be limited as he recovers from surgery following a spring knee injury.
Three players are suspended, but Coach Nick Saban said all have the opportunity to return to the team.
“Each guy can return to the team on completion of the requirement of what they have to do relative to their suspension. And I have no date that I can give you that that's going to be completed.
“Our focus is here, we have a lot of good players, a lot of good people, in our program. A lot of guys that really do a lot of good things on and off the field.”
As had earlier been reported, signee offensive lineman Montel McBride did not qualify. Saban said he would be placed in junior college.
Running back/athlete Bo Scarbrough also did not qualify to join the team this fall. Saban said, “We have an appeal in place, because he is very close to qualifying. That will take some time. We will have a plan here at his high school to try to do the things that he needs to do to finish and be able to qualify. And our goal is to get him here in January.” Saban closed out the subject with, “We're certainly focused on those guys that we have here to develop them to be the best players that they can be, because they've demonstrated they're willing to do the things they need to do and football is important enough to them to do the things they need to do to have a chance to be successful.
Saban said offensive lineman “Leon Brown has an injured foot. He probably -- even though he's rehabbing extensively and able to do some things -- will be limited to some degree in practice for at least two more weeks.”
Sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson was working with Saban in the cornerbacks drill, but he is not 100 per cent, the coach said.
“Eddie's doing really, really well,” Saban said. “He's had a very successful rehab during the summer. He's limited in how many reps. We kind of have him on a pitch count as to what he's going to do.
“With these guys, it's always about how much can they do before they start to get sore or before they start to break down relative to where they are. We'd like to just not push the envelope too far that we get to that point. We're going to kind of keep him on a pitch count that will gradually increase and see when he gets back to 100 per cent.
“Eddie took all the tests and passed them, so straight-line running is not the issue. It's cutting, changing direction, doing those kinds of things and see what issues those things create.
“But we're very encouraged with where he's at. We're making no predictions about when he'll be able to get back and play. We're just going to evaluate him one day at a time and try to bring him along so that at some point in time he's going to be able to come back and contribute for us.”
Saban also commented on two players who were limited in the spring, wide receiver DeAndrew White and defensive lineman Darren Lake. Asked if they were 100 per cent, Saban said, “Yes they are. They were 100 per cent all summer long, and they're 100 per cent right now. They were all summer.”