Knight Debuts in Crimson Tide's Second Practice

Physical conditioning in the first non-air-conditioned practice and mental retention on the second day of fall football camp caused head coach Mike Shula to deem Wednesday's two-hour and 15 minute practice not as good day one.

"We threw more at them and they were more tired," Shula said. "We're going to put in a bunch of new stuff tomorrow and in their minds it's going to get tougher." Shula also said that there were still too many dropped balls and mistakes on offense. He said that the veteran defense players "have done a really nice job both days."

As expected, Randolph County standout Zeke Knight was on hand at practice for the first time today. Shula said that Knight looked, "Pretty good. He was literally just getting his uniform right before he went out to practice. He has some natural athleticism and I like the way he catches the ball in his hands."

Zeke Knight in action for the first time

"Rough. Tired. Cramps," Knight said describing his feeling after his first practice. "I thought I was in shape but I'm not. I feel like I'm behind a little bit but I can learn quickly."

Knight dropped some passes early in the day but improved as practice went along. "I was just nervous in the beginning of practice," he said. "I will probably catch better tomorrow."

Shula was asked about the possibility of moving Knight to the defensive side of the ball. Shula said "Who told you to ask me that, Joe Kines?" He added that moving Knight might be something to look at in the future, but he nixed the idea of any move in the near future.

"He wanted to be a wide receiver and we think he can be an SEC wide receiver," Shula said. "We don't ever close the door on any of those guys." He added that Knight would work at wide receiver in the squad's first scrimmage next Monday.

Alabama first-string right tackle Kyle Tatum left the field early Wednesday, saying after practice that he had suffered severe spasms in a muscle in his back.

"It was kind of a freaky thing," Tatum said. "It kind of just struck me and I knew something was wrong. I couldn't breathe right. I should be fine tomorrow. They iced it down and gave me some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medication."

Shula said the Brodie Croyle was getting 50 per cent of the repetitions in practice, and that Marc Guillon and Spencer Pennington were splitting the other half.

In addition to Tatum's back spasms, the bumps and bruises most football squads have began in earnest today as Keith Brown limped off the field favoring his groin area. Marcel Stamps practiced today with two fingers on his right hand taped after jamming them in practice Tuesday. Several of the players were being treated for apparent cramping during the conditioning exercises at the end of practice. None of the injuries appeared to be severe.

Anthony Bryant wore the orange "injury" jersey again today, but Shula said Bryant participated more than he had expected. Greg McLain, Antonio Carter, Freddie Roach, David Cavan and DeMarcus Waldrop all donned the burnt orange jersey today. Shula said that Waldrop, the only new member of that group, was suffering from a pulled hamstring. Shula again said that there was no new information on Antonio Carter, and that he would not do anything besides rehabilitation work this week.

C.J. Rhody, a highly touted placekicker from Jupiter, Florida, was on hand at practice today. Rhody was not a part of the 105-man roster because he had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle a week ago, on August 4th. Rhody was using crutches and wearing a protective boot on his left foot. Rhody is a right-footed kicker, and the injury was to his left foot.

Rhody has been at the first two days of practice observing, and said he hopes to join the squad and resume kicking in about a month. Drew Davis and John Parker Wilson were on hand for the first two days of practice as well.

Shula said today that there was going to be some "good competition between Brian Bostick, Jamie Christensen and Mike McLaughlin," for placekicking duties.

Along with Rhody, the Tide coaching staff also expects wide receiver Damien Jones to rejoin the squad when the roster expands later in August.

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