Summer Team News Is of Attrition

The summer school term at the University of Alabama started last week, and with it the regularity of daily workouts for the football team and pass skeleton drills conducted by the players. Conspicuously absent has been DJ Hall, who is back in Fort Walton Beach at his parents house.

Sources familiar with the situation have indicated that Hall's return to the team for the fall is questionable, causing the latest round of concern over the squad. Hall and Chris Keys, who was kicked off the team last week, were both suspended for the Cotton Bowl earlier this year for unspecified reasons.

Hall's up-in-the-air status begs even more questions about Alabama's depth at wide receiver. Hall was Alabama's most consistent receiver last year, and he, Keith Brown and Matt Caddell were the only receivers with significant experience returning in 2006.

Tyrone Prothro, who was injured against Florida on October 1st when he broke his leg trying to come down with a pass in the end zone, was still using crutches to move around this weekend. Prothro, who was in the hospital for two weeks following surgery (and infection), has not walked for eight months, making his return for the 2006 season a practical impossibility.

Nikita Stover and Will Oakley, both of whom missed the majority of spring training with injuries, are next in line at receiver. Incoming freshman Mike McCoy is the only listed receiver signee, but Javier Arenas (cornerback) and Earl Alexander (quarterback) would both stand significantly better chances of playing early at receiver than at their respective noted positions (Arenas perhaps more so as a return man than anything else).

Senior Juwan Simpson has an upcoming court date on June 20 over a misdemeanor marijuana and gun charge, and his potential transgressions have caused consternation over the linebacker position. If Simpson were to have to miss more than a couple of games, diminutive Demarcus Waldrop looks to the next in line at weakside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Joe Kines has said he doesn't envision either middle linebackers, Matt Collins or Prince Hall, sliding to one of the outside positions, and Waldrop clearly seems like the best backer after those two and strongside linebacker Terrence Jones.

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula and staff will be out of the office next week – in fact out of the country – as they depart on their third annual Cruising with the Tide aboard the Sovereign of the Season.

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