Bama Squad Back at Practice

The Alabama football team practiced for the first time in nearly a month Friday afternoon, working for approximately an hour and a half in sweatpants and shoulder pads.

"It feels good to be back on the field with our own guys, with our own family," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said. "All of our coaches have been on the road, working hard on the recruiting trail. We spent most of the day, pretty much Alabama vs. Alabama, so to speak."

"Overall today, it was good," he said, "obviously, a little rusty at times. We got a good dose of conditioning in afterwards. We need to get focused in on getting ourselves better and is we get closer, we will focus more and more on Minnesota."

"The one thing that stood out today, in my mind was they have worked hard over the last few weeks to stay in shape," Shula said. "Our younger guys need to watch some of the older guys on how they work and everything they do this week. We had more younger guys take turns today than we probably have since training camp."

Shula said Kenneth Darby and David Cavan were still not 100 per cent, but that their practice went "okay" Friday. Shula said that the injury status of Wesley Britt and Marc Guillon were both improved, but he said that none of the questionable players were certain to suit up.

Tim Castille,who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Tennessee, was at practice in street clothes walking without crutches on Friday, and Brodie Croyle was also in attendance, jogging on the side. Clint Johnston did not practice today, and Shula said Johnston was doubtful for the Music City Bowl.

The team will work twice on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m as bowl practice continues on campus through Dec. 23.

Three expected new additions to the Alabama squad were at practice Friday, but are not allowed to practice until the University's semester officially ends.

John Parker Wilson, Drew Davis and Lionel Mitchell all attended the practice, however. Wilson and Davis were grayshirts in the class of 2004, meaning they signed with the Tide, but delayed their entry into the University. Mitchell committed to Alabama from Hargrave Academy last week and will enroll at Alabama in January. Mitchell is also expected to practice Saturday.

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