VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. — A final decision hasn’t been made yet, but University of Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t counting on linebacker Keith Holcombe to return for his senior season.
Holcombe has been playing both baseball and football for the Crimson Tide, but has been focussing solely on baseball since the National Championship Game.
“When we had the last conversation he was pretty much set on trying to play baseball,” Saban said Thursday morning, but added that he planned to talk with him again soon.
“I think he could actually come back and play another year of baseball should he choose to do that.”
As a regular starter for the baseball team last season, Holcombe was third on the Crimson Tide in hits with 51. He batted .290 with two home runs and six stolen bases.
Holcombe also played in 14 football games in the fall with three starts. He was credited with 38 tackles including 11 on special teams.
His two-sport production is even more remarkable considering that Holcombe has type 1 diabetes, which requires constant monitoring, and they require him to have very different diets.
He skipped spring football practices with Saban’s blessing. Junior Mack Wilson and sophomore Dylan Moses appear poised to take over the starting jobs, but there are major question marks behind them.
Junior Joshua McMillon and redshirt freshman Markail Benton were second team during the spring. Sophomore VanDarius Cowan was suspended for the start of spring and subsequently worked with the third team.
“I’m not comfortable at any position on our team relative to the depth that we have,” Saban said. “I wish that we had more depth. I wish that we had more players. I wish more guys could contribute. Regardless of that circumstance we will try and develop and create, whatever we have to do to try and develop the depth at any position on our team. If it involves moving players, or trying to enhance the develop of younger players, than that’s what we’re do.”
Saban made the comment before playing in his annual Nick’s Kids Golf Tournament, the fundraiser at Old Overton Golf Club.
Holcombe was not selected in this week Major League Baseball draft. In 2014, he picked in the 37th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks after being a center fielder and pitcher at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa.