Published March 18, 2013 - 9:45am
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Nick Saban is always making moves, strategizing and building for the future and for possible “what if” scenarios that occur throughout the season. Alabama opened spring practice Saturday, and with it, three talented offensive players buried on the depth chart at their respective positions have taken an opportunity to try to contend for the vacant corner job.
Former five-star running back Dee Hart and wide receivers and special teamers Cyrus Jones and Christion Jones opened practice at corner. Hart and Jones stayed with the defensive backs the entire practice, while Christion Jones worked split time with both the offense and defense.
Though the moves aren’t supposed to be permanent, Saban offered them as just ‘an experiment’, and contended it’s more of a ‘what if’ scenario for the future, via AL.com.
“There’s two things that you need from experimenting with a player,” Saban said after Saturday’s practice. “Whether a guy can do something if you need him in the fall and if something bad happens at a position in the fall, you have some basic knowledge of what he would have to do to be able to fill in for you if you need for him to.
“These are not permanent moves, none of them. They’re experiments.
“I don’t even know that we’re looking to make permanent changes,” Saban said. “We’re looking to see if any of those guys can help us, and if this would be a better circumstance for how much they would be able to contribute to our team.”
Christion Jones is mostly an experiment. After all, he made an impact last season at receiver. Jones will be crucial in the receiving corps in 2013.
However, receiver Cyrus Jones and running back Dee Hart are two who are buried on the depth chart at their respective positions, and these moves could turn out to be more of a permanent scenario. Both played defensive back in high school, and both have exceptional athletic ability. And nobody is better at taking raw talent and developing it than Nick Saban, especially at ‘his baby’ in the defensive backfield.
Though you could make the case that Cyrus Jones’ move may not be permanent, Dee Hart’s move could be the tell-tale sign whether he stays at Bama or not. The Tide signed four running backs, and with the uncertainty surrounding Hart’s two knee injuries, coupled with the fact that he’s not an every down running back, the move could be Hart’s last chance to make an impact. Hart has been mentioned to be a transfer candidate, and that could certainly happen should corner not work out this spring.
Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports