TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For the second straight week, Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough had a strong showing in the Crimson Tide’s scrimmage.
According to statistics provided by Alabama’s media relations staff, Scarbrough rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Alabama’s other sophomore running back, Damien Harris, carried the ball eight times for 56 yards. Much has been said and written about Scarbrough, and rightfully so.
But it was Harris who had the bigger role among the two last seasons even after Scarbrough finished his suspension and recovered from his knee injury.
“Well, Damien did a good job today. He had eight carries for 56 yards, which is really, really good,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Harris. “We wanted him and Bo to sort of get eight to 10 carries. That was kind of the plan for today. Bo actually got 12, and he got eight. He’s done a nice job, showing some maturity. He’s able to compete in practices better. He’s got a better understanding and more confidence in what’s expected of him. I’ve been really encouraged by him and the spring he’s had, including today.”
Saban was also asked about the depth behind Scarbrough and Harris.
In the season before their first year as the starter, Mark Ingram (143 carries), Trent Richardson (112), T.J. Yeldon (175) and Derrick Henry (172) all carried the ball 100 or more times while Eddie Lacy ran 95 times the year before he became the starter.
Alabama’s top two returners — Scarbrough and Harris — rushed a combined 64 times last season.
For the first time in Saban’s tenure, Alabama is both thin and inexperienced at running back with Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake moving on.
“I think this is definitely an area where we’ve never ever lost our two bell cow guys in the same year,” Saban said. “You can go all the way back to the beginning: Mark/Trent, Trent/Eddie, Eddie/T.J., T.J./Derrick. Derrick and Kenyan just happened to be a little closer together so … I think there’s going to be an opportunity for some young players there. Certainly the guys we have here got lots of opportunites here today, and they definitely need to get better. But we’ve had freshmen running backs do well for us in the past, so it’s not a position they can’t play and contribute.”
2016 signees B.J. Emmons (6-0, 220) and Joshua Jacobs (5-10, 200) are expected to join the fold this summer.
Emmons was considered the top running back in the 2016 cycle by Rivals.com and ESPN.com. Jacobs could end up being the steal of this recruiting class.