Nikita Stover, a 6-1, 215-pound wide receiver from Hartselle, spent the last two years at Itawamba Junior College in Mississippi, but didn't play in 2005 in order to preserve a year of eligibility. As a result, he will be a sophomore when the 2006 season begins.
As for now, Stover is going through spring football practice. "I'm learning," he said after completing the first day of drills Friday. "I haven't been on a football field in 13 months." Alabama Coach Mike Shula said, "I thought for the first day he looked pretty good. He's rusty. He made a couple of good catches going over the middle. You like to see young receivers make those tough catches."
Stover said that fellow wide receiver D.J. Hall "has helped me a lot." But he also said, "Coach Shula has said that every position is available, so I'm trying to grab one."
Stover pointed out that he couldn't work out with the Itawamba team last year when he wasn't playing. "I had to work out on my own," he said. "That didn't work out too good. I've been trying to get in playing shape since I got here."
He said, "So far, the toughest thing is route-running." Asked if he was picking it up by watching the other receivers, he said, "I can't do too much looking. We're rotating in every other play."