Zeke Knight Won't Play At Alabama

Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday that senior linebacker Zeke Knight has been medically disqualified and will no longer participate for the Crimson Tide.

There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the football future of Ezekial Knight, an upcoming Alabama senior who was starting strongside linebacker last year. Interest was fueled this week when reports had Knight interested in transferring to another school -- one that would allow him to participate.

The announcement did not indicate whether Knight had asked for a release or whether one had been given. Indeed, it is possible that no release would be necessary since Knight has been disqualified by Bama.

"Zeke Knight has been medically disqualified based on a medical condition that we cannot disclose due to student privacy laws," said Alabama Coach Nick Saban in a written statement. "He has had extensive medical evaluations by numerous physicians, all of which concluded that it was in his best interest to no longer play football."

Knight played in all 13 games last season, starting 11 at outside linebacker. He was sixth on the 2007 team with 64 tackles and also recorded two interceptions, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. Knight's absence in the lineup, combined with the graduation of Darren Mustin and Keith Saunders, leaves sophomore Rolando McClain as the lone returning starter at linebacker in 2008.

"Zeke is a fine young man and we appreciate all that he has done for this program," said Saban. "Zeke did a great job for us as a starter last year and, more importantly, is on track to graduate in August. I would like nothing more than to have him with us for one more season on the football field, but unfortunately that won't be the case after consulting with the doctors and medical staff on numerous occasions. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. Zeke Knight will always be a part of the Crimson Tide family."

Knight, who came to Alabama from Randolph County High School in Wedowee, was a wide receiver his freshman year in 2004, then a tight end in 2005. He was given a medical redshirt in 2006 because of a heart condition. He played four games at defensive end that year, then had surgery following the season. Last year he moved to linebacker.

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