University of Alabama

Alabama hosts Fan Day

TUSCALOOSA, Ga. — As a walk-on, Rob Ezell isn’t typically seen as the star of Alabama football program.

But Sunday afternoon, the Athens (Ala.) product had his own camera crew following him around “Fan Day” at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The personable wide receiver was roaming the field doing impromptu interviews with fans and teammates as part of ESPNU’s “Alabama All-Access” project. From lineman Luther Davis to defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and running backs coach Burton Burns, no one was mighty enough to blow off an Ezell interview.

Receivers coach Curt Cignetti made sure the camera crew knew Ezell was the star quarterback at Athens High School.

“He threw for more yards than Phillip Rivers,” Cignetti said in reference to another former Golden Eagle quarterback who’s enjoyed a successful career in the NFL. Ezell threw for 3,356 yards as a junior while Rivers’ senior year netted just 2,023.

Also known for his spot-on impression of coach Nick Saban, Ezell said he pulled a few of his favorite impersonations out for the ESPN cameras.

And Saban is fully aware.

“If you really want a good interview, get Ezell some time,” Saban said Friday. “He can talk just like me, give speeches just like I give them, talks in the locker room. Everyone kind of has fun with all that.”

Excerpts of the show will begin airing at 6 p.m. today on ESPNU with the full hour-long special debuting Aug. 18.

Heat issues for Kelly

Kendall Kelly was not on the practice field again Sunday and Saban can’t say for sure when he’ll return.

The redshirt freshman suffered what Saban called “a heat issue” at Thursday night’s practice in which he experienced dizziness.

“Until we make sure we can identify what the issue is, we’re probably not going to let him practice again for a while,” Saban said. “That’s one that you don’t need to be asking me about on a daily basis. He’s here. He’s allowed to get medical attention, but he just can’t go to practice and meetings. He’s not in the hospital or anything; we just want to monitor him for right now.”

Entering preseason practice, Kelly was identified by Saban as a player who could help with the lack of depth in the secondary. The Gadsden product split time at safety and at his natural wide receiver position in spring practice and Saban said Wednesday that he expected Kelly to work more with the defensive backs this fall.”

Kicking woes

One of the loudest ovations heard from the estimated crowd of 5,000 came during kickoff drills part way through the open practice.

A Jeremy Shelley boot that sailed a few yards into the end zone drew what could be called a Bronx cheer considering the kicking from A-Day. Replacing the dependable right foot of Leigh Tiffin was considered a top priority in the off season with Shelley and true freshman Cade Foster sharing duties in April.

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