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August 6, 2010
Notebook: Griffin fails physical, Jones to grayshirt
TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama coach Nick Saban announced more roster moves after the team went through its second day of workouts Friday.
Junior running back Jeramie Griffin did not pass the physical, and is still having problems with his surgically repaired knee.
"He's being medically evaluated," Saban said. "That's going to be decided very, very quickly."
Griffin missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament at the start of training camp, and has played in two career games with six carries for 29 yards. In his absence Mike Marrow has moved from H-back to working with the running backs.
With Blake Sims on the roster as the final scholarship player, incoming tight end Harrison Jones will grayshirt and enroll in January. Jones has been on campus this summer and got his weight up to 250 pounds.
"He's looking forward to the opportunity, but at the same time stuff like this happens sometimes," said his brother, starting right guard Barrett Jones. "He understands and wants to do what's best for the team. So he'll come back in the spring excited and ready to go."
Finally, safety Kendall Kelly did not practice Friday due to some "heat issues" and will be held out of practice for a day or two.
Another day, another position
Sims, who was deemed eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse on Thursday and spent his first practice at safety was getting a look at a new position Friday, quarterback.
Sims obviously wasn't on campus during the summer while qualifying academically, so this is the first time any Tide coaches can see firsthand what he can do. With Star Jackson having transferred, Alabama is down to three scholarship quarterbacks.
Last fall Sims completed 150 of 254 passes for 2,288 yards and 28 touchdowns, and also ran for 863 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns for 3,736 all-purpose yards and 49 total touchdowns while leading Gainesville to the Georgia AAA state championship game. He threw for 2,785 yards as a junior while rushing for 822 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Ingram to miss Fan Day
Junior running back Mark Ingram left practice early to attend the funeral of his grandfather in Michigan. Art Johnson, 75, died of a heart attack just after Ingram visited last weekend.
The funeral will be Saturday. Ingram won't return to campus until Sunday night, after Fan Day has concluded at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
They said it
Saban on senior defensive end Luther Davis: "Luther has done one of the outstanding jobs of all the players in terms of making me as a coach proud of what he's accomplished, where he's come from, what he's done, how he's worked and how's he developed. He does a fabulous job in school academically. He's a very good leader on the team, sets a great example, has great moral character and integrity as a person. I think he's going to be very, very successful because of that."
Barrett Jones on redshirt freshman right tackle D.J. Fluker: "He's working extremely hard, he's getting a lot better. He's improved a ton from the spring to now. I'm sure you've seen him, he looks great. It's hard to say anyone works harder than D.J., he's working his butt off out there and that's something we really respect him for."
Junior safety Mark Barron on Rod Woodson's departure: "Rod's a good athlete, but at the same time, we have more athletes that can step up and play at any time. He will be missed, but I don't think it'll hurt us as much as some people might think."
Players have been banned from using three words around the football complex: Heat, tired and can't.
According to sophomore linebacker Dont'a Hightower, he'll be working at middle linebacker in the base defense, but when he steps up to be a pass rusher in nickel packages either Jalston Fowler or Jerrell Harris will probably be in the money position with Chris Jordan at middle, while Jordan or Nico Johnson will be in the middle in dime.
Nose guard Josh Chapman was wearing a sweatshirt after Friday's practice because he's trying to get down to 305 pounds. He's currently at 308, already two pounds under his goal of 310.
The offensive line hasn't seen any changes, but the second unit Friday was, from left to right, Tyler Love, Alfred McCullough, David Ross, Antony Steen and John Michael Boswell. True freshman Arie Kouandijo worked on the third unit at right tackle, with Austin Shepherd at right guard. Brandon Lewis continued to line up for individual drills at defensive end.
The temperature was 94 degrees during Alabama's first full-squad practice, with a heat index of 104. Players worked in helmets and shorts. The Tide will practice in shells Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The forecast is for 94 degrees with a heat index of 105, partly cloudy with chance of rain/thunderstorms. All practices are closed to the public except for Sunday's Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Gates open at 1:30 for the 2:30 p.m. practice.