Alexander Wants To Be Ready

Throughout fall camp, Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban has stressed the need for Alabama to find a complement to Julio Jones at wide receiver. Alabama uses two, three and even four wide receivers, but Jones—the upcoming sophomore and pre-season All-America—draws the attention from opposing defenses.

Although final decisions may not have been made on Alabama's wide receiver rotation, the auditions have been completed. The Crimson Tide had its second and final scrimmage last Saturday, took Sunday and Monday off, and then spent Tuesday and Wednesday working on the basics.

On Thursday, Alabama begins working on its game plan for the season-opening game. Bama will meet Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on September 5. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. central time) with national television coverage by ABC.

Saban usually mentions a handful of receivers as being in contention for playing time for the Alabama offense this year. One of them is Earl Alexander, a 6-4, 212-pound junior.

Alexander has been something of a journeyman in his first two years. He has played in 25 games, but has only 12 career receptions for 161 yards. He missed two games last year, and had eight catches for 121 yards.

Alexander, a Phenix City native, had shoulder surgery following the 2008 season and was a non-contact participant in the spring.

"I had a couple of issues with my health, but I'm good now," he said following Wednesday's practice. "I'm out there every day working hard. I'm feeling great. I'm looking forward to the Virginia Tech game. We're all out there working hard"

He said the last two days of practice leading up to work on the game plan were necessary. "We went out there and worked on us," he said. "We have worked on the fundamentals of football and gotten back to the basics, trying to become a better football team and preparing for the game. You have to get that down before you can begin preparation for the game."

Alexander said "everyone is excited about getting the season started. The young guys have come in and learned the system and competed. They come in every day and work hard. There has been great competition."

Alexander has confidence in new quarterback Greg McElroy. "Greg is a good guy and a great leader," Alexander said. "He has always been a leader."

Alexander said that "When my name is called and I get an opportunity to make a play, I want to be there to make it."

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