With the first game only 10 days away, the coaching staff of the Alabama Crimson Tide is still moving players around the field to see the best combinations and fits.
At Tuesday’s practice, there were a few more moves in the offensive line. Sophomore offensive lineman Barrett Jones played first team right guard, while junior offensive lineman Alfred McCullough also got his turn at that position.
“It’s important to be able to get your best five guys out there in the offensive line,” head coach Nick Saban said. “Most of the time you don’t have 10 guys to every position that are really quality players… We do have a little bit more depth in the offensive line than we’ve had in the past. We are still experimenting with our first five. It’s just how we do things.”
Saban also recognized junior defensive back Mark Barron as the perfect example of a player who can play in any position in the secondary.
“He’s played star, he’s played safety, he’s played money,” Saban said. “So now he can play any of those positions, so he’s the one guy that if we try to get the best guys on the field in the secondary, he can play multiple spots. He’s had a lot of experience, and he’s played multiple different roles…
“Those two areas are the toughest to me to be able to do that—offensive line and defensive back—we’re fortunate to have guys that have developed nicely.”
New College Football Hall of Fame inductee
Former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings will be honored with a National Football Foundation Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute Oct. 2 when Alabama hosts Florida. The University of Alabama announced today in Dallas that it will be honoring Stallings as its newest inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
“From his years as a young assistant coach under Coach Bryant through his head coaching days here at Alabama, Coach Stallings produced a career that is richly deserving of this recognition,” University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. “Coach Stallings was more than just a head coach at Alabama – his manner of doing things, his leadership and his passion took our entire program to another level.”
Stallings will return to Tuscaloosa for his On-Campus Salute, a special on-field event where a commemorative plaque is presented to the University for permanent display. Stallings, who coached the Tide to its 12th National Championship back in 1992 and a 28-game winning streak, will be among one of two coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame class of 2010.
“The very bottom line is that I hope every player that ever played for me feels like they had a little something to do with me getting in there,” Stallings said at the time of the May announcement.
Freshman defensive back DeMarcus Milliner continues to wear a black jersey during practice from his sprained right ankle injury. Although he’s still not cleared for contact, during practice he was running laps and working on pass skeleton drills with the team. Blake Sims, who played at running back in practice, ran but did limited practice.
Senior tight end Preston Dial is also out with an injury and has been limited during practice.
Saban said he expects to have both Dial and Sims back by the end of the week. Saban also commented on freshman wide receiver Kendall Kelly, who has been out since training camp with a heat related illness.
“He still has some health issues and the medical staff is doing the best they can to try to get him back, but until they clear him he’s not going to be available, and I really don’t know when that’s going to be,” Saban said. “With all the practices he’s missed right now, it would probably take him two or three weeks to get back to where he needs to be to be able to contribute.”