Aug. 18, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala – The Alabama football team wrapped up its two-week fall camp today with a two-hour practice in full pads at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.
The Crimson Tide completed its 15th practice of the preseason and is set to begin classes on Wednesday. Alabama will practice at 3:30 p.m. each day for the remainder of the preseason and hold one final scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. All practices, including Saturday’s scrimmage, are closed to the public.
“I was very pleased with the way we bounced back (Monday) and had two practices and did well,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said after Tuesday’s practice. “Today was not as good a workout as what we have been having. It’s so important that guys get rest and get into a routine. The academic part of what they do starts tomorrow. To go to class to do what they are supposed to do, and still get rest and take care of themselves and be able to practice and prepare like we need too. This is very important in guys trying to be successful academically and athletically.
“Tomorrow, as far as practice, is a regular school week. We practice a little bit later in the day and working after school. Typically this is going to be something that the players are going to have to focus through. There are a lot more distractions. In camp, basically it’s football and that’s it.”
Saban also commented on an impressive 12 Crimson Tide players that will take the field in 2009 with degrees already in hand, including Eryk Anders, Drew Davis, P.J. Fitzgerald, Mike Johnson, Tyrone King, Greg McElroy, Cory Reamer, Chris Rogers, Ali Sharrief, Travis Sikes, Heath Thomas and Lorenzo Washington. On top of that another 10 players are on track to graduate in December.
“I’m very pleased to say that we have more graduates on our team than any team in the country,” Saban said. “That says a lot about the routines we have been able to establish in the past, relative to guys doing what they are supposed to do.”
In other news on Tuesday, Alabama defensive stalwarts – Javier Arenas, Terrence Cody and Rolando McClain – were named to the 2009 Bronco Nagurski Watch List. The award is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club. The trio was among 62 defensive players named to the initial list, including 16 SEC players.
In addition, senior offensive lineman Mike Johnson and sophomore linebacker Dont’a Hightower joined Cody and McClain on the 2009 Rotary Lombardi Watch List. The award is presented annually to the nation’s best lineman – offense or defense – and linebackers by the Rotary Club of Houston. The SEC had 24 players on the Lombardi preseason watch list.