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August 20, 2010
Notebook: Tide finishes prepping for final scrimmage
TUSCALOOSA _ The University of Alabama football team held another practice inside the Hank Crisp Facility on Friday in preparation for the final scrimmage of fall.
The Crimson Tide worked out for two hours in shells while it was 93 steamy degrees outside, with a 103 heat index and dew point of 74.
Although there will be some situational-specific plays during Saturday's scrimmage, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium, it'll be more game-like than last week's.
For many players, especially the newcomers, it'll be a final chance to prove that they can contribute this season.
"We want to let the players play," Coach Nick Saban said. "We want to see who can play at a higher level in terms of taking their knowledge, experience, ability to adjust and adapt and still play hard and winning football. We're still looking for a number of guys at a number of positions to find out who we're going to coach over the season."
The scrimmage and all practices (other than Fan Day) are closed to the public.
The watch list for the Lou Groza Award for kicker of the year was announced and not surprisingly didn't include anyone from Alabama. It's just the fourth watch list (so far) that didn't have any Crimson Tide players.
The Doak Walker watch list for best running back wasn't released as scheduled. Here's the rundown:
Bednarik Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Julio Jones named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 15
Butkus Award (linebacker): Dont'a Hightower and Nico Johnson named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 21 (Rolando McClain reigning winner).
Walter Camp Award (Player of the year): Mark Ingram named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 16.
William Campbell Trophy (scholar-athlete, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy): Semifinalists announced Sept. 30.
Heisman Trophy: Finalists announced Dec. 6 (Mark Ingram reigning winner).
Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Marcell Dareus was named to the watch list. Midseason list to be announced in November.
Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman): Watch list announced Aug. 27.
Lott Trophy (defensive impact player): Mark Barron on watch list. Quarterfinalists expected to be announced in October.
Manning Award (quarterback, includes bowls): Greg McElroy on watch list. Finalists named Nov. 29.
Maxwell Award (outstanding player): Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Bronko Nagurski Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 18.
Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 25.
Outland Trophy (interior lineman): James Carpenter and Barrett Jones on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 22.
Rimington Trophy (center): Watch list announced Aug. 27.
Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Mark Barron on watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 1.
Unitas Golden Arm (senior quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists expected to be announced in November.
Doak Walker Award (running back): Watch list announced Aug. 20. Semifinalists announced Nov. 11.
No one from Alabama on watch list
John Mackey Award (tight end): Semifinalists announced Nov. 15.
Lou Groza Award (kicker): Semifinalists announced Oct. 29.
Ray Guy Award (punter): Semifinalists announced Nov. 12.
Paul Hornung Award (most versatile): Finalists announced in early December.
As expected, sophomore defensive end Undra Billingsley returned to practice after sustaining an ankle injury earlier this week.
In black jerseys and not practicing were freshman all-around player Blake Sims (dislocated toe) and freshman cornerback DeMarcus Milliner (ankle), who will not participate in Saturday's scrimmage.
Freshman safety Kendall Kelly has yet to return to practice after experiencing heat-related issues on the first day of fall camp.
Junior linebacker Chris Jordan appeared to be back in the mix of things with the first unit after not doing much Thursday when reporters were allowed to watch individual drills. However, working alongside sophomore Nico Johnson in the interior was junior Jerrell Harris.
While coaches are hoping a couple of receivers step up into the No. 4 and 5 roles, where junior Brandon Gibson and senior Earl Alexander are the frontrunners, also in the mix are Kevin Norwood, DeAndrew White and Kenny Bell.
The team will be off Sunday and Monday and return to the practice fields Tuesday.