TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Colin Peek, apparently, can keep a secret.
A night before that it leaked onto the internet, a friend with inside information called the Alabama tight end with the news that his picture would grace the Dec. 14 cover of Sports Illustrated.
He kept quiet until the image hit the web the following day as Peek became the second Alabama player to appear on the cover in three weeks. Mark Ingram held the honor two weeks earlier, but Peek’s over-the-shoulder touchdown catch in the SEC Championship marked more of a landmark.
“It was so surreal,” Peek said of the honor. “I never imagined that, but I’m just so thankful for the opportunity.”
While excited about the cover, Peek is hardly the most wound up member of his family.
“My dad just loves printing off copies and having me sign them,” Peek said. “I’m like ‘Dad, nobody wants this,’ … I think it gives him something to do more than me.”
Pre-BCS practice Phase I ends Wednesday morning for Alabama with one final workout before taking three days off for Christmas.
Just what kind of practice it will be was still to be determined when Tide coach Nick Saban met with reporters Monday evening. Having the five-week layoff between the SEC Championship and the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship creates the debate over holding live scrimmages.
If the team were to hold one, Saban identified Wednesday’s practice as the best time. Safety is the main concern when weighing pros and cons.
“That’s not something that I have done in prior years and certainly at this point you would not want to scrimmage and lose players because you’re creating a game-like situation which could create that,” Saban said. “What we have discussed is trying to create as game-like a situation as we can in the spirit of safety for our players and having one situation probably the last practice before we go home, that simulates a lot of the situations and game-like stuff.”
The Tide will practice again in Tuscaloosa from Dec. 27-31 before leaving for Pasadena on Jan. 1.
Per usual, Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody is a popular topic of discussion when reporters meet with Crimson Tide opponents. It’s not different this week in Texas.
Longhorn offensive lineman Charlie Tanner took one Monday in Austin.
“They call him Mount Cody,” he said. Mount Cody is for a reason. He’s a guy that’s 375. He plays like he’s 450 pounds. He can move like he’s (Texas’ defensive end) Lamarr (Houston) or Sergio Kindle. I’m going to have to get in the weight room, I guess.”
Tanner was a little off on his opponent’s weight, though. Cody said he’s closer to 354 pounds after coming to Alabama before last season weighing more than 400.
When Longhorn coach Mack Brown got the question, he talked about the balance of the Alabama defensive line while comparing them to Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh who got 4 1/2 sacks against Texas in the Big 12 championship.
“Well, coaches are dealing with Alabama,” Brown said. “We’re not able to sleep. They’ve got three Suh’s up front. That’s the problem. Everywhere you look, they’ve been knocking people down. We’ve been afraid to show it to our kids. We’ll try to limit how much film we show them. Cut some plays out and go real slow with them. We’re not going to feed them all of it at once.”