TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The University of Alabama freshmen joined the varsity for the first time in 2007 and the Crimson Tide went through its first practice as a full squad under the direction of first-year head coach Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide worked for two hours in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts as it completed its second day of fall camp under hot, humid conditions as the heat index reached the 105-degree mark. On opening day on Friday, the Tide split into two groups for separate practice sessions, with a mix of varsity and freshmen in both practices.
“Early in fall camp, we really don’t have a depth chart and really the emphasis is on player development to give guys opportunities, especially with younger players on the team and especially as we install things the first time around,” Saban said in his press conference prior to Saturday’s practice. “To try to be able to give them an opportunity so that we can make some judgment or assessment on if this is someone who we feel like might be able to help our team. It is the reason that we have a split practice for the first practice, to benefit player development.”
“Mentally, I think that the difficult circumstance, especially yesterday afternoon, was the heat,” Saban said. “I think the heat created a tremendous opportunity for our players to overcome some difficulty, some adversity, where it was challenging for them to stay focused and on the task. Some obviously did it better than others but I think that is something that is a great lesson in perseverance for all of them. The difficulty that (the heat) creates and will continue to create will certainly help the development of our mental toughness as a team.”
Saban also noted that freshman running back Demetrius Goode (LaGrange, Ga.) suffered a knee injury, possibly to his medial collateral ligament (MCL). Goode was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday to confirm the initial diagnosis.
Alabama will go through its annual Media/Fan Day on Sunday, Aug. 5 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. for fans, with practice scheduled to begin at 2:30. Saban, members of his coaching staff and players will be available for autographs from 4:45 until 5:30 p.m.