TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Being one of the top-ranked recruiting classes in the nation, each of the Alabama incoming freshmen were easily the top athletes at their high school.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he didn’t see much of that superstar swagger from the rookies during their first college practice Thursday night.
“Some of those guys had so much anxiety, I’ve never ever seen the look on their face that I saw (Thursday) night,” the coach said. “It’s their first practice and they want to do well. They have high expectations for what they want to accomplish. They’re learning a lot. They’re confused about terminology in a new system.”
This group’s willingness to learn stands out to Saban. He said they were very coachable.
“I’m not disappointed in any player that we have out there,” Saban said. “And I think we have some players who will be very, very good players here. It will just be interesting to see how they develop.”
Peek nurses foot
Senior tight end Colin Peek came into the media room Friday wearing a walking boot on his left foot. He still has a broken bone in the foot, but he’s playing through the pain.
The injury is similar to Yao Ming’s fracture that will keep him out of at least this coming NBA season. Peek, who came to Alabama from Georgia Tech, participated in spring practice in spite of the pain after sitting out last season under NCAA transfer rules.
He caught three passes for 32 yards in the A-Day game despite being only “30 to 40 percent healthy.”
“It feels good, but at the same time, the fracture still hasn’t heeled,” Peek said. “But it’s getting close to the season so you’re going to have to kill me to get me off the field.”
Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops traveled to Tuscaloosa recently to talk shop with Saban. It was a reunion of sorts since the two coaches go back several decades to their time in northern Ohio.
Stoops flew into Tuscaloosa July 29 for the one-day rap session with the Alabama coach who got to know his father (Bob Stoops Sr.) when Saban was recruiting as an assistant at Ohio State.
“Each of us always make a list of quality control things that we want to research in the offseason,” Saban said. “We had talked about doing this before and it just never worked out time-wise.”
Saban at Super Six
Saban will be the featured speaker at the Dec. 2 Super Six Kickoff Dinner at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The home of Crimson Tide football will host the AHSAA state football championship games Dec. 3-4.
Former Tide defensive back Alonzo Lawrence is transferring to Southern Mississippi according to a report in the Hattiesburg American.
He also disputed the reason for leaving the Alabama program.
On Thursday, Saban said Lawrence was one of four players kicked off the team for breaking unspecified rules.
“That’s something that isn’t true, but I’m not going to say anything about that,” Lawrence told the Mississippi newspaper.
Lawrence took a redshirt last season as a freshman and will sit out the 2009 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules.
Javier Arenas picked up another preseason honor Saturday.
Already named to the Playboy All-American team, the defensive back and return specialist was selected as a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award.
He was one of 31 defensive backs in the running for the award to be presented following the season.