Finally! Colin Peek In Football Mix

Fantastic. The adjective lingered even as the air seemed to go out of the room. Alabama Coach Nick Saban was discussing a player who had not played for the Crimson Tide and would not play for Bama in 2008.

"Colin Peek is a fantastic athlete," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said.

Peek was a tight end at Georgia Tech under coach Chan Gailey. Gailey was replaced by Paul Johnson from Navy following Peek's sophomore season.

"I didn't know Paul Johnson," Peek said. "It was almost like being recruited again. I sat down and talked to him and learned that he had never used a tight end and that he ran a triple option offense. It was going to force me to change positions. Anyone who has dreams of playing in the NFL wants to play at his best position.

"I made the decision that Georgia Tech was not going to be the place for me."

Peek transferred to Alabama and expected to have his loss of year transfer waived. It wasn't to be. He had to sit out last season, his junior year. He had already been redshirted at Georgia Tech in 2006 after playing as a true freshman in 2005. He ws the starting tight end for the Yellow Jackets in his sophomore season and was Tech's third-leading receiver with 25 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown.

Peek, 6-6, 247, said he did all he could last fall as a member of the scout team to help Alabama reach a BCS bowl game. "That was a way in which I could be a part of the team," he said.

His transfer year ended with the completion of the fall semester and he was eligible to play in the Sugar Bowl. But in preparation for that game, Peek suffered a stress fracture in his foot.

"It just wasn't my time," he said, adding it was "super frustrating" to not be able to play in New Orleans.

Peek had surgery on the foot with two screws inserted into the fracture. He was unable to run for four months and is still having to get back in shape. Additionally, he has to be careful to not do too much.

That doesn't mean Peek has been idle. His teammates describe him as a hard worker in the weight room and on the football field. And he took advantage of his sit-out fall to learn the Saban system.

He called being in Alabama's spring practice "definitely rewarding," and said he was "super excited to be back."

Alabama had its third day of spring football practice Wednesday. The team was in full gear for the first day.

Peek thinks that his experience playing at Georgia Tech will help him in his final year of college at Alabama. "I've been lucky to have been able to play college football, and I think that experience will help," he said. "I've been in the heat. I understand that sometimes things change in the game."

Peek thinks the tight ends at Alabama this year will be versatile. "I think we're going to use a lot of tight ends," he said. "Hopefully, I'll be the blocking tight end who can also be a receiving tight end. The biggest thing is that we not have a predominant blocking tight end and a predominant receiving tight end. You don't want to let them set their defense. It makes it frustrating for a defensive coordinator on the other side if you have a versatile tight end. "

That sounds fantastic.

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