Saban: Suspended players have to earn everything back
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ Even though University of Alabama defensive lineman Brandon Ivory and Jarran Reed have been fully reinstated and gone through a five-day re-acclimation period, they still have a ways to go in reacquiring their former roles on the team.
For the past two days the players have been working in the rear of the defensive linemen during individual drills when reporters are allowed to observe. Both were working on the first unit with sophomore A’Shawn Robinson during the spring.
“They’re on the third team so they’ve got to work their way up,” Nick Saban said Tuesday evening. “I don’t think it’s real fair to the guys that have been out there for 14 days practicing on the first and second team.
“They’ve got to beat them out. They’re not entitled to anything. They’re working hard. They’re doing a good job. They’re getting plenty of work, so they certainly have to improve as football players. But from a behavioral standpoint they have done a really good job and I’m pleased with them.”
Both players along with sophomore linebacker Tim Williams, who has yet to rejoin the team, were suspended at the start of training camp. Per team policy Saban didn’t disclose their transgressions although Reed was arrested last month for driving while under the influence.
Wednesday morning, as Alabama opened its final two-a-day of training camp, Reed ran drills behind sophomore Dalvin Tomlinson, junior D.J. Pettway and senior Anthony Orr, while Ivory followed junior Darren Lake, sophomore Korren Kirven and true freshman Joshua Frazier.
Ivory has played in 29 games, with 13 starts, and was credited with 24 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, a hurry, and a pass broken up last season, while Reed was a junior-college transfer in the spring.
With Robinson, who is expected to be out at least another week due to a sprained knee, all three players are 6-foot-4, 310 pounds or bigger.
“He was having a really good start of camp,” Saban said about Robinson. “I guess he practiced for four or five days before he got hurt. Had a really good spring. But for a freshman he was very, very productive for us a year ago and really played well. We have really high expectations for what he can do this year, and we’re looking forward to getting him back so that he can get the kind of turns that he needs that he can go out there and play with confidence and be in the kind of condition that he needs to be in to be the player that he wants to be.”
Meanwhile, junior running back Kenyan Drake appears to be completely out of Saban’s doghouse after he was arrested over the summer for crossing a police line to get to his car following a shooting. Not only did he have the most rushing yards during last week’s scrimmage, 88 on six carries and a touchdown, but tied for the team lead in receptions with four for 65 yards.
The Crimson Tide will hold it second and final scrimmage of training camp on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and open he season Aug. 30 against West Virginia in Atlanta.