Peprah Finds Plenty of Motivation for 2004

Charlie Peprah isn't turning cartwheels because Alabama can go to a bowl game this year. After all, Peprah didn't do anything to bring about Alabama's bowl ban. For the record, neither did any of his current teammates or coaches, and neither did the coaches before that, or the coaches before that.

"Just because we're bowl eligible, we're not super-motivated now," Charlie Peprah said Thursday at SEC media days. "Going 4-9, that alone is kind of a motivational factor. If we come and have a great season it's going to feel good to be rewarded, as opposed to going 10-3 in 2002 and not being able to go anywhere.

"That kind of stunk a little bit, just sitting home watching all the bowl games, and we're supposed to be in the SEC Championship game and we're supposed to be in a big-time bowl, a BCS bowl, and we can't do anything about it but go home. That aspect of it is going to feel good."

Peprah said this year's Alabama team is more talented than last season's squad, but that it won't matter if the talent isn't able to work as a team.

Peprah has been working this summer on keeping up with the cornerback position as well as strong safety, because there is a chance he could be back there if newly signed Jeffrey Dukes (or someone else) works into the mix at safety.

"Playing safety I think gives me an opportunity to make more plays, so I don't have a problem with it," Peprah said. "Any way I can help in the secondary I'm going to do that."

"I don't know what the plan is," Peprah said in regards to a possible move back to corner. " I just met (Dukes) for the first time not too long ago. He's a great kid. I heard he can help us right away and we need all the help we can get in the secondary. We need depth and hopefully he can provide it."

A move back to corner wouldn't be like moving back home for Peprah, however, because he would most likely move to the right-side corner, leaving Ramzee Robinson in place on the left side. Peprah said playing on the right side in pass skel drills this summer is "weird" after having started the past two seasons on the left side.

Peprah moved to safety for the final week of spring practice and will be basically new at that spot when fall camp begins on August 10. Safety is easier to learn than most positions on a football team, though, and Peprah has some experience at safety in high school to fall back on.

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