TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday that he is open to cornerback Kendall Sheffield returning to the team if he chooses to.
Sheffield, a 5-star member of Alabama’s 2015 recruiting class, has missed the last three practices.
“I don’t really know what his status is so there’s no need to ask me,” Saban said. “We’re happy to have him back. He’s a fine young man. He’s worked hard. He’s made a lot of improvement here. We enjoy having him be a part of the team. If that’s what he chooses, we’ll continue to work with him in a positive way to help him develop personally, academically and athletically.”
Sheffield, now a redshirt freshman, was competing for a spot in Alabama’s secondary rotation. Sheffield spent some time with the first-team defense, but freshman Jared Mayden and junior Anthony Averett were also pushing for reps.
Saban said there is no cutoff for Sheffield to rejoin the team. The University of Alabama begins classes on Wednesday.
“We want what’s best for the people on our team,” Saban said. “If there’s something that we can do to help resolve this from their family standpoint, we’re certainly available to do that. There’s no pressure from our standpoint. School starts tomorrow. It’s really important that our players develop the right habits, have success in school. That’s what they’re here for.
“Hopefully he’ll make a decision so he doesn’t get behind from that standpoint.”
This offseason, Alabama has had five players transfer — Maurice Smith, Shawn Burgess-Becker, Adonis Thomas, Christian Bell and Daylon Charlot. Smith was allowed to transfer to Georgia after receiving a waiver from the SEC. Bell landed at Wisconsin, Thomas elected to go to a junior college, Burgess-Becker picked UCF while Charlot decided to transfer to Kansas.
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisK_AJC) August 16, 2016