Coach Nick Saban held his press conference to kick off fall camp today. The biggest news is the departure of sophomore safety Rod Woodson. Woodson and Saban "mutually agreed" that he was better off elsewhere. Saban did not seem heartbroken:
We can't make decisions about the future of players who aren't accountable for what they're supposed to do and not responsible as a member of this team. Regardless of what the issue is - behavioral, academic, football oriented - it doesn't matter
We have a lot of good players on the team I would rather move someone from another position to play where we don't have enough players than to allow someone not to do the right things and be involved. I don't think it does anyone any good if we do that.
OK. Keep your nose clean, boys. I know I'm going to be on my best behavior.
The most repeated internet rumor (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SOME BITS OF TRUTH) is that Woodson was the ringleader of a group that thought it would be hilarious to shoot fireworks in the dorm. This was allegedly the last straw.
More news after the jump.
The final member of the senior class is a linebacker who showed promise as a true freshman in 2007. He followed that up by recording a sack in the the Tide's 2008 opener against Clemson. And then he promptly disappeared for the next 27 games.
Chavis Williams - #55 - 6-4 - 223 lbs. - Dora, AL - Dora High School
After a brief time off, it's back to the player profiles for the 2010 Alabama football team. And your reward for waiting? A backup offensive lineman. Exciting, huh? In all honesty, this part of the game that I admittedly know the least about is probably one of the most important parts of the game. You always hear about coaches wanting to build depth, but nowhere is that more important than on the line of scrimmage. It only takes one injury to a front line player to expose your entire offense, so having a quality group of guys ready to step in along the line is vital to having a championship team. This next senior actually took the vast majority of the starting reps at center this spring due to an injury to the starter William Vlachos. And in reality, he could be the backup at more than one position along the line.
David Ross - #74 - 6-3 - 299 lbs - Homewood, AL - Homewood
The Coach Nick Saban quote machine struck again today at SEC Media Days day one. When asked about the Marcel Dareus agent/South Beach party situation, Saban compared agents to, well, pimps.
“How are they better than a pimp?” Saban asked reporters on the subject of agents who, like their street counterparts take advantage of "young people at a difficult time in their life."
And, yeah, I see your point coach. The University is cooperating with the NCAA investigation. Stay tuned...no comments
For a random Tuesday in July, this was a huge newsday for the Tide. Some news good, some news bad.
Certainly, the coolest news was the release of the media guide covers. There are four, and my favorite is on the right. See the rest at the Tuscaloosa News site.
There was, however, some bad news to go with the good. Marcell Dareus may be mixed up with some NCAA trouble. Fortunately, the UA compliance staff seems to be all over it. Assuming it was in the offseason, we should expect that Marcell would be back for the trip to Arkansas. If not... start praying now.
More good news, after the jump.
There are a number of players on the Crimson Tide roster who have seen their careers altered by injury. For most, the injury sets them back to the extent that they either never recover, or they leave everyone wondering "what if?" For our next member of the senior class, the injury facilitated a position move that might actually result in him finding his natural position.
Brian Motley - #66 - 6-3 - 289 lbs. - Autaugaville, AL - Autaugaville High School
There is no position on any football team, at any level, anywhere, that receives as much scrutiny as the quarterback. While there are a ton of factors that ultimately determine the success or failure of a quarterback - many of which are out of his control - they receive the lion's share of both the credit and the blame from the majority of fans. Play the position well, and you're a hero. Play it poorly, and folks will never forgive you. That's a lot to put onto the shoulders of a college kid, but we all do it every year. Thankfully, for Alabama fans, we have a guy who is capable of dealing with it.
Greg McElroy - #12 - 6-3 - 220 lbs. - Southlake, TX - Carrol High School
In a move that should have come as no surprise the University of Alabama announced that its November football match-up with fledling program Georgia State has been moved to Thursday night, the 18th. While no one is wild about a Thursday night game, this move was made due to the fact that the Alabama vs. Auburn game is being played on the 26th.
As everyone knows, Alabama faces six teams this season who are coming off of a bye week. Auburn is one of those teams. With the game being played on a Friday, Auburn would have 12 days prepare, while Bama would have had just five. By moving the Georgia State game to Thursday, Bama will now have seven days to prepare. If you watched the first half of last year's game against Auburn, you would see exactly why this move was made.
The downside is that this gives Bama just four days to prepare for Georgia State. That program is in its first year of existence, however, and Bama should be able to win the game on short preparation considerably easier than a game against an SEC opponent.no comments
Darius Hanks - #15 - 6-0 - 184 lbs. - Norcross, GA - Norcross High School
At this point last season, the tight end spot was a big question mark for the Tide. Both Nick Walker and Travis McCall had moved on, and while Colin Peek was the obvious choice to replace Walker, Bama seemingly had no one set to replace McCall. It wasn't that McCall was a big pass catcher. In fact, he was more like a Howard Cross style road grading "extra lineman". The guys behind him on the depth chart lacked the size and tenacity that McCall had, and it looked like Bama might have to adjust their offensive scheme. It took until the second week of the season, but our next senior took a firm grasp of the role, and heads into the 2010 season as a strength on the team.
Preston Dial - #85 - 6-3 - 233 - Mobile, AL - UMS-Wright