Nick Saban is not concerned about future injuries but is concerned about a possible early signing date

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CW / Sam MacDonald

Elliott Propes

Last Wednesday the story broke that Alabama’s backup quarterback, Blake Barnett, would transfer. Coach Nick Saban said he has confidence in Cooper Bateman as a backup, but he doesn’t plan on starter Jalen Hurts, getting injured.

“I think one of Jalen’s great assets as a player is that he can make plays with his feet and I don’t think we can totally inhibit him from doing that. I guess if he gets injured doing it, then it’ll my fault,” Saban said. “I guess if he gets injured by sitting in the pocket throwing a pass, then it’s OK. (It’s) football. I don’t worry about guys getting hurt. We’re going to do what we have to do to try to give ourselves the best chance to be successful and give him the best chance to be successful.”

While Saban said that he doesn’t want Hurts to shy away from running the ball, he said he still thinks he should work on the passing game. The true freshman ranks third among SEC quarterbacks in rushing yards, but falls to seventh in passing yards. Saban emphasized that improvements will come in the weeks of practice.

“He’s a very bright guy, I think he gets it. He just needs turns so that he can get the kind of experience to feel comfortable and confident in doing this, sort of that same old over and over and over and over thing,” Saban said. “Everyone thinks that you practice something to get it right. You really practice it until you can’t get it wrong.”

Hurts will be working to continue Alabama’s win streak on Saturday as the undefeated Crimson Tide will travel to No. 16 Arkansas. For Hurts it will be his third matchup against a ranked opponent

Additional quotes:

Saban on the NCAA DI council’s recommendation for the 10th assistant coach.

“If you do the player-coach ration in any sport, football is the least. I mean, we have the most players but ratio-wise, we have the least number of coaches,” Saban said. “Special teams has become a really important part of the game and for a guy to try and coach a position and be a special teams coach is really, really difficult. So I’ve been an advocate so that we could have a special teams coach.”

Saban also talked about an early signing day proposal:

“I am absolutely, positively against any kind of early signing date, especially a June signing date, before a guy plays his senior year. If we want to have an early signing date after the season, then, I would be more for that,” Saban said. “But we moved the recruiting calendar forward, which creates lots of issues and problems when it comes to not only evaluation of a guy as a player, but more important is the evaluation of his character – what kind of person he is, what’s his academic status, does he have his academic requirements up to his junior year, what’s his test score.”

Question asked: If that existed would you have a player like Joshua Jacobs on the roster this season?

“Probably not, because we would probably be full, and that’s what I’m talking about. We would probably make some academic, character and maybe evaluation mistakes, because you aren’t even seeing a guy play during his senior season,” Saban said. “The other thing from a high school coaches’ standpoint, I mean what is really the guy’s motivation to play, and really work hard to get better to play for his team in his senior year.”