Tide's Darren Lake to miss rest of spring

Anniston StarMarch 31, 2014 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama defensive lineman Darren Lake will miss the remainder of spring practice following surgery on a injured pectoral muscle, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced on Monday.

Saban said Lake will be back by summer conditioning "so it won't be a problem for him."

Saban also said Lake was doing "extremely well" in the offseason program.

Lake was listed as the No. 2 nose tackle behind Brandon Ivory in 2013. He played in all 13 games and totaled 15 tackles.

Lake, a 6-foot-3, 323 pound nose guard from Sumter County, missed Monday's practice and the previous two before spring break. In his absence, junior-college transfer Jarran Reed and Korren Kirven have worked behind Ivory during the media's viewing period.

Lack of kickers

Lost in all of the talk surrounding what Alabama has to replace in the 2014 season is the Tide's lack of specialists. The Tide has just one kicker and zero punters on scholarship right now. Redshirt sophomore Adam Griffith returns to fill the void left by Cade Foster. Barring something unforeseen, Griffith will handle all of the kicking duties. Griffith made one of his three field goal attempts last season.

"Adam Griffith is doing really well," Saban said. "We kicked field goals today, and he did a really good job. He's done a great job of kicking off. I think he kicked nine balls today on kickoffs, and probably five of them were out of the end zone. … I've been really pleased with Adam Griffith. He's done a really good job, but we just don't have a lot to evaluate there right now."

But it's a different story at punter with a surprise player who's seen some practice time at the position.

"We have a few walk-on punters that we're working," Saban said. "We've actually even worked (quarterback) Alec Morris a little bit as a punter, who was a high school punter. We recruited a punter. We won't be able to evaluate him until he gets here in the fall. It's sort of the situation that we started here with Cody when he punted when he was a freshman."

Newcomer JK Scott is the only punter the Tide signed to a scholarship in its 2014 class. Scott can kick and punt, making him very valuable if something were to happen to Griffith.

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