TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama returned to the practice field on Monday to begin preparing for Kentucky. The Crimson Tide hosts the Wildcats on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here’s what you need to know from Monday.
What we saw
- There was no sign of injured running back Damien Harris (ankle). Harris was likely inside getting treatment during the media viewing period. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Harris is still day-to-day.
- Wide receivers ArDarius Stewart (knee) and Robert Foster (knee) worked off to the side with athletic trainer Jeff Allen. Saban said both are day-to-day and “questionable” for the game Saturday.
- Running back Bo Scarbrough (thigh) participated in drills. Scarbrough didn’t play much on Saturday because of a bruised thigh. He showed no signs of being limited on Monday.
- Linebacker Rashaan Evans was back at practice and participating in drills. Evans missed the game on Saturday with an undisclosed injury.
- Defensive back Tony Brown is now wearing No. 2. Freshman defensive back Jared Mayden is now wearing No. 8.
- Freshman Trevon Diggs worked with the wide receivers on Monday. With Tony Brown back from suspension, Diggs may stick at receiver since there is more depth in the secondary now. Diggs caught 3 passes for 23 yards on Saturday.
On Joshua Jacobs
“We were searching last year in recruiting for running backs, because we knew we had a little bit of a depth issue losing the top two guys we had last year, Derrick and Kenyan. We found Josh a little late in recruiting but we were happy that we were able to get him. We were very impressed with him. Typically a guy that shows great maturity and understanding and is very instinctive as a football player, and I think it shows up in his play and how he plays, and it’s certainly showed up in how he’s developed to be able to play. Hopefully he’ll continue to improve and get better and he’ll be able to be productive as we move forward.” — Saban
Our take: Jacobs has developed into a really good player early in his career. Alabama is using him as the No. 2 running back. He rushed for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns against Kent State. The biggest reason Jacobs is playing over Bo Scarbrough and B.J. Emmons is likely his attention to detail and blocking ability. If Harris can’t play on Saturday, Jacobs could make his first career start.
On where Tony Brown fits in with the secondary
“I think right now, Tony’s got to work on — and I told him this — developing trust in his teammates and the coaches. He certainly has the ability to play. He’s been an outstanding special teams player for us. I think that’s the first thing you see, then we’ll work him back into the positions that he’s played in the past _ corner, Star _ and see if he can contribute in any way to make us stronger. I know it’s going to add a little depth at an area where we don’t have a lot of depth. That will definitely be helpful, but I also think it will create some competition with some of the other players that may be helpful as well.” — Saban
Our take: Brown is a special talent who will really help Alabama’s secondary. He’ll like provide depth at the safety spot. There’s the possibility of him playing money (sixth defensive back) when Alabama lines up in its dime package. He could also push for the star position (fifth defensive back) in Alabama’s nickel package. That would allow Alabama to leave Minkah Fitzpatrick at cornerback in nickel. Brown has made his name as a special teams player. His speed makes him a great gunner on the punt team. He can also fly down the field on the kickoff team.
On Jonah Williams
“He’s just technically very sound. He’s very athletic, a very smart guy and just does a really good job of executing. Another one of guys that can take what you, sort of, coach him and bring it to the table and do it on a consistent basis. He’s a fine young man. Football is important to him. He’s got a lot of pride in performance. He’s made a tremendous amount of improvement from the spring to the beginning of the season to now. We certainly needed that at that position and he certainly provided it for us.” — Saban
Our take: Williams has been named a coaching staff player of the week after three of Alabama’s four games this season. He’s been one of the Crimson Tide’s best offensive lineman as a true freshman. Williams is only going to get better as he plays more snaps. That’s scary for defensive players.
On Jalen Hurts and the downfield passing game vs. Kent State
“Jalen did a nice job in the game. I still think it’s a matter of a couple reads here and there that we need to clean up with him. I don’t think there’s anything physically wrong with the way he throws the ball and each week he has gotten progressively better and we’ve had less and less and less of those types of things – which is the progress that we want to see and hopefully will be able to continue to build on. I know it’s very important to him. He works really hard, very conscientious, a really good person, good leader, well respected by his teammates. Nobody wants to get it right more than him and that’s why I think he’ll get it right.” — Saban
Our take: Hurts has all the talent and ability to be a good passer. Things are slowly working themselves out. The more he gets all of the first-team reps with the wide receivers, the better the passing game will be. The game vs. Kentucky on Saturday should give Alabama another opportunity to let Hurts take some shots downfield before the tough games in its SEC schedule.
WATCH: Player interviews
Alabama cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick
Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley
Other news you need to know
- Alabama coach Nick Saban “hated” to see Les Miles fired from LSU
- Three Alabama players are day-to-day with injuries
- Alabama defensive back Tony Brown is now eligible to play
- Alabama’s coaching staff recognized nine players following the win over Kent State
- Alabama’s kickoff situation with Arkansas was announced on Monday
He said what? (quote of the day)
“Tony Brown, he hits like a linebacker. Expect to see some big hits out of him this weekend.” — Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton on defensive back Tony Brown.