Alabama football welcomes 2 new players as playoff practices continue
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama football team welcomed two new players to their first official practice Saturday afternoon, as the Crimson Tide continued preparations to face Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 (8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Incoming linebacker Jarez Parks and junior-college transfer Saivion Smith, a cornerback who first played at LSU, began their acclimation period with the team while attending their first practice.
Smith sported No. 23, while Parks, who grayshirted after initially being in the recruiting Class of 2017, wore No. 35 with the outside linebackers.
Also of note from the viewing period at the Hank Crisp Facility, shortly after the school’s final graduation ceremony for the fall semester ended:
• Junior running back Damien Harris appeared to be limited, but was dressed for practice and still on hand during drills.
• Sophomore safety Deionte Thompson was in Hootie Jones’ usual spot for nickel-package drills at safety. The two inside linebackers were Rashaan Evans and Dylan Moses.
• Freshman defensive back Nigel Knott (knee/leg) joined the group of players coming off injuries who rode exercise bikes on the sideline. The others included freshman defensive end LaBryan Ray (foot), sophomore tight Miller Forristall (knee) and sophomore offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy (ankle).
• With starting left guard Ross Pieschbacher (ankle) and reserve center/guard J.C. Hassenauer back in the fold, the first-team offensive line has been intact, with the second team from left to right Alex Leatherwood, Joshua Carter, Hassenauer, Richie Petibon and Jedrick Wills Jr.
• As expected, outgoing defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was absent. The new Tennessee head coach will rejoin the team on Sunday for the College Football Playoff preparations. “Intern” Wes Neighbors worked the interior linebackers through drills, with injured senior linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton helping out.
• Players will have the day off Sunday and return to practice on Monday. Installation of the game plan begins on Tuesday.