Bo Scarbrough breaks contain (Photo by Stuart McNair)

Nick Saban likes Alabama ‘problem’ of having a lot of tailbacks

Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough making progress in recovery

There is a reasonable theory that Alabama would have likely won last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Clemson if Crimson Tide tailback Bo Scarbrough had not suffered a broken leg in the contest. Obviously, we’ll never know, and the “if” game means little. Clemson took a 35-31 decision and the crown.

There’s nothing that can be done about Scarbrough’s broken leg insofar as the football game in Tampa, but Alabama Coach Nick Saban had good news regarding the rehabilitation following the Crimson Tide’s first day in full gear Tuesday in spring practice.

Scarbrough had 125 carries for 812 yards (6.5 yards per carry) with 11 touchdowns and a long run of 85 yards last season.

The 6-2, 228-pound junior from Tuscaloosa has a history of injuries, but also has proved to be a quick healer.

“Bo is doing more and more every day,” Saban said. “He did quite a bit [Tuesday] in practice, non-contact stuff, but he’s sort of gaining confidence.

“Our goal for Bo is by the end of spring, he’s fully confident that he can do everything he needs to do. Whether he ever scrimmages or not is really something that we’re not that concerned about.”

Scarbrough is not the only Alabama tailback nursing injuries and/or rehabilitation. He said that Damien Harris, Bama’s leading rusher last year with 146 carries for 1,027 yards, sprained his foot in last Saturday’s work indoors. He didn’t participate Tuesday, but Saban said “He’ll probably be back Thursday.”

Alabama will have its fifth practice of the spring Thursday, then have three practices next week before the first scrimmage of the spring on April 8 (closed to the public). A-Day is April 22.

Also limited in spring work is sophomore B.J. Emmons, recovering from a broken foot suffered last fall.

“We do have a lot of good running backs,” Saban said. “We went from not having very many to having a whole bunch. I think they’ve all done really, really well.

“I think it’s a good problem to have.”

Chadarius Townsend, a 6-0, 190-pound all-around athlete who entered The University this spring, has been listed as a running back, but Saban said “worked a little bit at slot receiver the last two practices.”

Two other true freshmen tailbacks in spring practice are Najee Harris and Brian Robinson, and Saban pronounced both as having “done a nice job.”

Sophomore Josh Jacobs, who rushed 85 times for 567 yards (6.7 per carry) last season is another who got “done a good job” praise from Saban.


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