TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama returned to the practice field on Wednesday to continue its preparation for Kent State. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon ET on the SEC Network.
What we saw
- There was no sign of wide receiver Robert Foster. Foster has caught 3 passes for 13 yards this season.
- Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (knee) wore a black, non-contact jersey. Stewart worked off to the side with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen.
“From an injury standpoint, you guys know ArDarius Stewart is questionable for the game. He’s certainly questionable for the game. Robert Foster tweaked his knee yesterday in practice and he’s also questionable for the game. So those are the two guys that are questionable for the game.” — Saban
- Freshman Trevon Diggs continued to work with the receivers. Diggs is one of the players who should see more reps on Saturday if Stewart can’t play.
- Scouts from the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons watched practice.
- Defensive back Tony Brown was spotted working in the second defensive group when Alabama lined up in its nickel and dime packages. Brown is still serving his NCAA suspension, but is expected to be eligible for Alabama’s homecoming game vs. Kentucky.
“We do know. I’m not sure that we’re allowed to announce it. I’m being honest with you. I’m not trying to keep anything from you. I was told not to announce it.. Let me just put it this way: Everything has been done that needs to be done for him and Johnny Dwight both. So that’s all I can say about it.” — Saban
On how freshman running back Joshua Jacobs is developing
“He’s done a good job. He’s making progress. I thought he did a good job in the game. He’s a good special teams player for us and did a good job in that part of the game as well. He and Bo (Scarbrough), both are guys we need to continue to grow and develop and have a role on the team at running back. He’s certainly done a really good job.” — Saban
Our take: Damien Harris is the starter, but Alabama needs a reliable person to spell him. That person was Scarbrough in the first game of the season. Jacobs was the first running back off the bench to replace Harris Saturday at Ole Miss. Jacobs is a talented young player. He seems to be developing in pass protection which is a big deal to Saban. Scarbrough had a late fumble at Ole Miss that likely docked him a few points in the coaches eyes. He’ll need to protect the ball better going forward.
On winning a conference championship at Kent State in 1972
“I don’t think that you ever don’t remember how special it is to be a part of a championship team. I think you’ve heard me say this before, there’s a sign up in Monongah, West Virginia — which I’m not encouraging anybody to get on Travelocity and try to visit there — it says 1968 state champs. That still means a lot to me. The players who played on that team, the work that they did, togetherness we had, it was special. It certainly was something special at Kent State. It was something they hadn’t done very often and it was a long time coming. We actually, being a part of Don James’ program, those guys did a great job of coming together and winning a championship. That’s not something that you ever really forget how special it is to be a part of that. Each one that we’ve been a part of since, because of the great group of people, the coaches and players, the togetherness, the team chemistry, all those things are what you always work for and I was always proud to be a part of that. So, it really means a lot. I know when I watch film and I see that little banner they have in the end zone that says ‘1972 Tangerine Bowl,’ it reminds me of something that… the players that did the work to do it, and the coaches, and Coach James and the great leadership he had as coach.” — Saban
Our take: This is a special week for Saban as Alabama hosts his alma mater. Saban is by no means a person who gets sappy in public, but you could see the memories coming back to him as he answered the question. Saban has accomplished a lot in his career since leaving Kent State, but the school and the people there still hold a special place in his heart years later.
On how Damien Harris has matured since last year
“Well, it’s kind of what we were hoping for in terms of the kind of ability that Damien had. I think that all freshmen have to go through development in a lot of ways. Personal, academic and athletic in terms of knowing what it takes to be sort of a productive player at this level relative to playing in high school. I think all players, all go through that. The unique guys can do it when they’re freshmen. A lot of other guys, it takes a little time. Damien has always been a hard worker. I think he’s been serious about it. I think after the little bit of experience he got last year and the success he’s had this year, all the way back to the spring game, all those things helped him develop the confidence and maturity he needs to be kind of a bell cow guy for us at that position.” — Saban
Our take: Harris has developed into a feature running back for Alabama. Through three games, Harris’ 9.08 yards per carry leads the SEC. He is fifth in the SEC with an average of 109 yards per game. Not many people expected Harris to be the guy in Alabama’s backfield, but he has proved pretty much everyone wrong. As the season progresses, Harris should get even more carries and become an even bigger part of Alabama’s offense.
He said what? (quote of the day)
“Ryan is a well-liked guy on the team. I think a lot of people respect him as a player and I think he’s got a great personality. I know he does a great job in terms of setting a good example in terms of leadership and work ethic and doing the right things on the field. I think he effects other people in a positive way. But I also think it’s done in a way that everybody appreciates his sense of humor and his personality. I think those are all positive qualities for him to have.” — Alabama coach Nick Saban on Ryan Anderson’s personality