Julio Will Be Able To Work In Spring

Most of Alabama Coach Nick Saban's comments following the Crimson Tide's football recruiting haul on Wednesday were about the latest players to join the Bama football family. And it was an exceptional recruiting class. But there were a few snippets of other football news, including confirmation of surgery on the Tide's top wide receiver.

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban confirmed that upcoming sophomore wide receiver Julio Jones had undergone off-season shoulder surgery. He termed it "minor."

Jones was Alabama's top receiver as a freshman and earned Freshman All-America status despite rumors that he had been playing with an injury during the year.

Saban said Jones was one of "several who have had surgeries," and said an announcement would be made later on the subject.

The Tide coach said none of those who have had operations would be expected to miss spring practice, although he may not have been including tailback Roy Upchurch. Upchurch had a procedure on his neck late in the season and was considered questionable for spring practice.

Saban indicated off-season surgeries might impact to a small degree what players could do in off-season strength and conditioning work, which begins next week.

Spring practice begins March 23, the day after spring break at The University, and concludes with the A-Day Game on April 18. Saban made reference to fan attendance at the spring game in his citations of reasons for recruiting success. Bama had over 92,000 for Saban's first Crimwon-White Game in 2007 and over 78,000 last year.

Four signees are enrolled at Alabama and will participate in off-season work and in spring practice. They are offensive tackle James Carpenter, offensive lineman Chance Warmack, tailback Jermaine Preyear, and defensive lineman Kerry Murphy.

Carpenter is a transfer from junior college, Warmack is a freshman who was an early graduate from high school, Preyear is a "grayshirt" who signed last year but delayed entry as he rehabilitated from surgery, and Murphy signed with Alabama in three consecutive signing classes before gaining eligibility at Hargrave Academy.

There had been some speculation that Murphy, an outstanding defensive lineman at Hoover High School, might shift to offense, where he played at Hargrave. Saban, however, said he would start out on the defensive line.

One other "position change" is Brandon Moore, who was an outstanding offensive line prospect at Carver High School in Montgomery, being listed as a defensive lineman. Moore, 6-5, 320, had said following his official visit to Alabama that Tide coaches had talked to him about being a defensive end.

Such changes are not unusual. William Ming, a 6-3, 260-pound defensive lineman at Athens, may find himself at the jack linebacker position at Alabama. The jack is similar to a defensive end.

Anthony Steen, 6-3, 300, from Lee Academy in Lambert, Mississippi, was listed as an offensive lineman during the recruiting process, but is going to be considered for both the offensive and defensive lines.

Ed Stinson, a 6-4, 240-pound defensive end signee from Homestead, Florida, is expected to get a look at linebacker.

Mike Marrow, a 6-2, 240-pound fullback from Holland, Ohio, will get an opportunity at tailback. Bama has only one other fullback on the roster (upcoming senior Baron Huber), but the Tide doesn't use a fullback very often. Jeramie Griffin, an upcoming sophomore, was previously listed as a fullback but is now a tailback.

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