Johns Has Praise For Grant, Line

Give Jimmy Johns an opportunity to talk about himself, and it seems he talks about everyone but himself. Following Tuesday's practice he talked about tailback Terry Grant and the Crimson Tide offensive line.



Junior Alabama tailback Jimmy Johns has been in the news quite a bit since the beginning of fall practice. For a few weeks it was believed he would be working at fullback this year. But by the time of the opening game Johns was back at tailback, where he has been Bama's number two man for the past two years.

As Alabama prepares for its first Southeastern Conference game of the season this week at Vanderbilt, it appears Johns continues as the number two tailback. Johns is working behind Terry Grant, who was SEC Freshman of the Week for his three-touchdown performance in Alabama's season-opening 52-6 win over Western Carolina.

The defining moment of Bama's opening game came quickly, Grant dashing 47 yards for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the contest.

"I wasn't surprised," Johns said. "I see that every day in practice. I was happy; happy and excited for Terry."

Grant and Johns are both former Mr. Football honorees in Mississippi.

Earlier this week Alabama Coach Nick Saban hinted there might be another move in the works for Johns, who lined up one play at wide receiver last Saturday. "We've got to find a place for Jimmy Johns," he said.

Johns said he had learned the fullback position, but wasn't really working at it. He said, "I want to be the power back that kind of beats up the [opposing] guys so Terry can come in and blow past them."

Johns said he thought Alabama did well "as a team" in the opening game. "We were moving the ball and scoring points. The defense did well and special teams did really well."

Johns said, "It's a matter of playing together. It's like a ballet."

Johns had particular praise for the offensive line. "Our line was terrific," he said. "I think the main reason they are so good is that they are a year older. And they are still young. Justin Britt is the only senior.

"They were unbelievable. Not too many backs get linemen like we have. When they make a hole, our job is to run through it."

Johns expects a tough game from Vanderbilt Saturday. "Every week is tough," he said. "Alabama gets everyone's best game. They are going to play hard, so we have to show up and play hard."

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