Trey DePriest healing, Sims showing promises

Pete Pajor

Just over two weeks remain until Alabama's season opener in Atlanta. CW | Pete Pajor

Kevin Connell

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After injuring his knee on the second day of practice, the Springfield, Ohio, native missed more than a week of ?practice returning to health. Only recently did he return to practice, where he has been sporting a knee brace.

“He played in the scrimmage [on Saturday],” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday evening. “He’s pretty much full-speed now. He was pretty much full-speed on Saturday. We’ve been working with him on the conditioning aspect.

“He’s going to have to play himself in shape. I told him today, I said, ‘You’re going to have to push yourself in ?practice like you never have before, because that’s the only way you’re going to get in shape, because you’re not going to have camp to go back to.’ I think he’ll ?do that.”

DePriest, who led the team with seven tackles (one for a loss) in last Saturday’s scrimmage, is Alabama’s most ?experienced player on defense, having been a starter for the past two seasons.

“When he’s out there, he’s a guy that can fill the holes and you’ll know he’s out there, because he’s out there making calls left ?and right, motions and all that,” defensive back Jarrick Williams said. “So he’s really a loud guy.”

Starting quarterback job still ?up for grabs

Saban hasn’t been keen to answer ?questions about the quarterback situation as of late, but he did offer up his insight during his Tuesday night press conference.

“We’re doing the quarterbacks the same way. Somebody has got to take the job,” Saban said. “One day one guy plays really well and you say, ‘Well, that looks like that might be it.’ And the next day the other guy plays really well.”

“I think the good news is we have two guys that I would feel very ?comfortable playing.”

Saban said on ESPN’s SportsCenter recently that Blake Sims and Jacob Coker have been alternating as the starting ?quarterback for each practice. On ?Tuesday, Sims led the quarterbacks through the drills.

Several teammates have noticed a different Sims at quarterback up to this point in fall camp than in years past.

“He’s definitely improved a lot,” wide receiver Chris Black said. “He’s more focused, being way more vocal, really ?stepping up as a leader, kind of trying to take control of the offense.”

Other Notes:

– Saban said Tuesday that freshman JK Scott is the “best punter we have.”?– Defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson (knee), offensive lineman Dominick Jackson (ankle) and ?linebacker Tim Williams (suspension) all returned to practice Wednesday. It was the first time Williams has practiced with the team this August.