Tim Castille, like most of his Alabama football teammates, has spent the summer in Tuscaloosa, going to class and working out. Unlike most of them, though, Castille is doing more than just getting in shape. He has been rehabilitating. He suffered a knee injury against Tennessee last year, underwent surgery, and has not been in football gear since.
"It has been a good summer," he said. "There's some good work going on. I think they (the strength and conditioning coaches) are going to push us that last little bit, get everything they can out of us, before we start fall camp."
Castille said, "The leg is getting better. It looks good, although I know we're still week-to-week and that the real test will come when we get into two-a-days."
Pre-season camp is no long strictly two-a-days. Alabama's players will officially report on August 8–officially, because virtually every returning player and most newcomers are already on campus–and begin practice August 9. (The newcomers no longer have a couple of extra days to get acclimated before returning varsity players report. Alabama will have 105 players at its opening practice and will continue at no more than 105 until classes begin August 24.
The first four days of practice are one-a-day workouts with no full-speed contact. The fifth day, August 13, is also just one practice, but is the first day of full contact work. Thereafter, there can be two practices on alternate days until classes begin.
While most of the offensive skill position players have taken part in pass skeleton work–quarterbacks passing and receivers and backs running pass routes against linebackers and defensive backs–Castille's summer has been primarily strength and conditioning work. "They don't want me doing pass skel because it's a little risky," Castille said.
"I'm able to do everything, but I need the knee to be stronger to get in and out of my cuts," he said. "Straight-away, I still have the same speed."
Kenneth Darby, who has spent the summer rehabilitating a sports hernia, said he had worked out with Castille in the first semester of summer school when both had early morning workout schedules. In the second half of summer school, Darby continued with morning workouts, but Castille had to shift to afternoon workouts because of his class schedule.
"Tim is looking good," said Darby. "He'll be ready."
Castille started as a true freshman in 2003 and split time as a fullback and short yardage halfback (with LéRon McClain at fullback) last season.