RB Situation Looking Better

With Kenneth Darby's six encouraging carries in Monday's scrimmage and Tim Castille's return to a full practice routine eminent, Alabama's situation at halfback and fullback is looking better and better.

Castille has been added to "compete" drills and had limited work in team periods in the past few days, and is expected to get added repetitions in the coming days if he continues to feel good.

Darby gained 40 yards on the six carries Monday, but more importantly is that he was tackled for the first time in over eight months on Monday. On one short run Darby twisted and fought for extra yards just like days of old, drawing applause from the smattering of fans in the stands of the scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

His ability to bounce back after Monday's scrimmage will be an important measurement of his progress since surgery.

Glen Coffee had an impressive performance at halfback Monday also, with 10 carries for 53 yards. Coffee had only a 15-yard long, making the 5.3 yards per carry meaningful.

"Coffee had a good day for his first scrimmage," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said.

The ability to protect the football has given Coffee a slight edge over fellow true freshman Roy Upchurch in the early stages of fall camp.

"It's an easy evaluation," running backs coach Sparky Woods said. "You drop the ball and you move down. You hold onto it and you move up."

"Roy's tough and he has a great big heart about it," Woods said. "He's strong and he can burst through there. He's got to realize the game is faster than they're used to when they come out of high school. High school seems like those old cowboy movies. One guy gets there and the next guy comes. Here they all get there at the same time."

"Coffee looks like a really bright kid. He's doing good," Woods said. "I thought Roy did good,too. I wish he'd hold onto the ball, he put it on the ground a couple of times."

In addition to Le'Ron McClain, who the coaches say had one of the best off-seasons of all the players and is having a great camp, sixth-year senior Vic Horn and Kyle Bennett have both had solid camps and continue to inspire confidence in them as back-ups.


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