Saban Updates Reporting Roster
Alabama Coach Nick Saban met with media on Wednesday, a day before the Crimson Tide will begin fall camp for the 2009 season.
Following his briefing, a roster was distributed showing two incoming feshmen who had been on the academic bubble as scheduled to participate. The coach warned, "When we give you the 105, there are still, in a couple of cases, guys who have not completed everything they need to complete and you have a 14-day window to complete some of that paperwork to get totally cleared by the NCAA and the Clearinghouse. So there could be potential changes down the road as well."
The two freshmen making the roster perhaps at the final hour are tailback Eddie Lacy of Geismar, La., and defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore of Destrehan, La.
The roster did not include some 2009 signees. Saban said, "We have three potential guys, as we pass out the roster today, that will be pushed back to January in terms of them starting their college careers and all three of those players have been here this summer."
There are, however, four signees who are not accounted for on the roster. They are offensive lineman Darius McKeller of Jonesboro, Ga.; defensive lineman Anthony Orr of Madison; offensive lineman Kellen Williams of Snellville, Ga.; and linebacker Petey Smith of Tampa, Fla.
It is believed that McKeller, Orr and Smith are the grayshirts and that Williams (who has had surgery to repair an ACL injury) will enter school and join the team on the first day of classes (September 19), but will almost certainly be redshirted.
It had previously been reported that defensive lineman signee Quinton Dial of Pinson would attend junior college.
There were no great surprises regarding the 10 players previously on the roster who are no longer a part of the team.
Saban said, "We have four players on our team that violated some type of team rule or policy and were not invited back on our team. I think you know who two of these players are. One left already, Prince Hall. Brandon Fanney will leave. We're hopeful he'll be able to graduate before he leaves. Alonzo Lawrence and Jermaine Preyear, these guys all did something – it doesn't make them bad people – but based on, as I told you before, we have a demanding program. These guys didn't do what they were supposed to, whether it was for academic reasons or whatever, and they're not going to be a part of the program.
Hall, an inside linebacker, had previously been announced as transferring to Central Washington and there has been speculation that Fanney, last year's starting jack linebacker, will go to North Alabama. Lawrence, a defensive back, is reportedly deciding between Southern Miss and Ole Miss, even though Bama's reportedly gave him a release that does not include Southeastern Conference Western Division teams (of which Ole Miss is one). Without a release, Lawrence would have to pay his own way if he decides to play for the Rebels. Preyear, a tailback who has participated only in spring training at Alabama after being a grayshirt last year, has been rumored as possibly transferring to Jacksonville State.
The Tide coach said all linebackers would work at both the two inside positions (middle and weakside) and the two outside positions (strongside and the jack position where Fanney started last year). He noted that Eryk Anders had been at jack in the past and also pointed out that Fanney had not been available during the spring. Many expect Dont'a Hightower, a starter at inside linebacker in 2008 as a freshman, to move to the jack position.
Saban said four former Tiders are giving up the sport because of injury. They are center Evan Cardwell, linebacker Charlie Kirschman, linebacker Jennings Hester, and running back Ivan Matchett. Cardwell and Kirschman have already earned their degrees.
The Bama coach also confirmed previously reported transfers of wide receiver Chris Jackson to Georgia Tech and linebacker Charlie Higgenbotham to South Alabama.
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