University of Alabama

Alabama football notes: Darius Hanks eligible for extra year

Jeramie Griffin’s career finished

By MICHAEL CASAGRANDE

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tide wide receiver Darius Hanks received the good news about a month ago, but it wasn’t revealed until Thursday:

The NCAA granted him another year of eligibility after playing just one game as a true freshman in 2007. So instead of preparing for his final season in Tuscaloosa, Hanks will be a junior again, sort of.

“Initially, they weren’t going to let me do it,” Hanks said. “Coach Saban fought it and they gave me my year back.”

Hanks was Alabama’s fifth-leading receiver in 2009 (17 catches).

Career finished

The Alabama career officially is finished for junior running back Jeramie Griffin who still hasn’t fully recovered from a torn knee ligament suffered last August.

“He cannot function effectively on his knee,” Saban said. “Those things happen on occasion. He tried to go through the summer conditioning, and he struggled. It’s always a mutual decision when we make that decision with the players, as to what he wants to do with his future.”

Griffin will get a medical scholarship to finish his studies at Alabama, where he still has an opportunity to contribute to the football program. Saban said he already approached him about being a student coach.

Griffin’s injury came early in the preseason last summer during a non-contact drill inside Alabama’s indoor facility.

As a redshirt freshman, Griffin compiled his only stats of his Crimson Tide career with six carries for 29 yards and one reception for 9 yards.

Trying span

The most trying span of Alabama’s preseason football practice schedule continued Thursday with the second two-a-day of the week.

A 10:30 a.m. workout was followed by another at 8:30 p.m., the same schedule as Tuesday. The team was outdoors again Thursday after getting some relief from the heat Wednesday by practicing indoors.

“Yeah, it helped yesterday, but then everybody had the poor-mes today when they go outside cause it’s hot again,” coach Nick Saban said after the morning practice. “There’s give and take in everything that you do. But I watch our players, and I usually watch the players that I know are in really good condition, that really finish plays and give effort, and when those guys start to run out of gas, it’s time to do something to help your team a little bit.”

Junior safety Mark Barron said the team appeared to respond well Thursday morning.

“We still practiced hard, but I think he wanted to do it just so we could kind of recover a little bit,” Barron said. “Come out here and practice today. I don’t feel like it (heat) brought anybody down. I feel like we had a pretty good practice today. I don’t think it had too much of an effect on us.”

A 3:30 p.m. workout today precedes Saturday’s first scrimmage of the season. Sunday brings the first day off for the team since practice began Aug. 5.

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