Ingram Will Miss Fan Day Event

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said his team is looking forward to Sunday, when the Crimson Tide will have its annual Fan Day event at Bryant-Denny Stadium. But one of the featured attractions will be absent.

Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner who led Alabama to a 14-0 record and the national championship last year, will be absent from Alabama practices the next two days, including the Fan Day event.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that Ingram left practice early Friday to go to Michigan to attend his grandfather's funeral. He'll return for Monday's practice.

Saban said, "We're looking forward to Sunday, Fan Day. It's always great for the players to go out and practice in front of people who support them and are interested in their progress, and they are also interested in giving back a little bit with autographs and pictures, and the players are looking forward to that."

The event Sunday will be at Bryant-Denny Stadium. An open practice will begin at 2:30 p.m. with the brief autograph session to follow beginning about 4:30 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Bama had its second day of Fall camp Friday and the first day in which all players practiced together. Bama's opening day of camp on Thursday had approximately 50 more experienced players working in the morning, the 50 youngest in the evening.

Saban said the split session enables coaches to spend more time with younger players, coaching them on "not just what to do, but how to do it, and some intangibles, because you really do have to teach your guys how to practice."

He said the team showed more intensity and mental toughness on the second day than the first.

It continues to be very hot, temperatures around 100. Saban said, "We're taking breaks in practice, making sure players are hydrated. Before we started we knew what every player's muscle mass, body fat, hydration, all those things were."

Safety Kendall Kelly didn't practice because of "heat issues." Saban said it was not serious, but that Kelly would be held out a day or two.

Saban said that running back Jeramie Griffin had failed to pass the physical as he continues to deal with an injured knee that required surgery.

Freshman wide receiver/defensive back Blake Sims has completed academic requirements and joined the team for Thursday's first practice. To make room for him on the roster, freshman tight end Harrison Jones will delay entry into The University until January.

Bama will continue Fall camp with a Saturday practice prior to the Sunday Fan Day event.

Saban said a key to Alabama sucess this season is being learned now. He said, "The intensity, the focus, the perseverance it takes to stay focused and finish and keep getting repetitions and not making mental errors towards the end of practice, which happened a little more yesterday than it did today, which tells me that our mental energy, our intensity, our ability to sustain, our mental toughness was better today than it was yesterday.

"We have to continue to improve so that we can improve as a team, because a player is going to get better or get worse; he's not going to stay the same. And if he doesn't have the right mental energy to start, the right intensity, the right sense of urgency, or he loses it at some point because of circumstances, whether it's the heat, the team he's playing on, who he's playing against, whatever external factor it is, that particular player is not going to continue to improve and we're not going to continue to improve as a team."

A number of questions of Saban and of players this Fall camp have been on whether Alabama football now has the Saban personality. Defensive end Luther Davis described the Tide team as made up of "mini-Sabans."

After joking that he wouldn't want the media voting on that, Saban said, "I think the most important thing is we are trying to teach our players to be successful in every endeavor that is important to them in their lives. How are they going to develop the habits that will help them be successful as people, what it takes for them to be successful academically, what it takes for them to be successful as football players, and the kind of image we would like for them to have. All these things are going to contribute to them being more successful in life if they learn these things well."

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