University of Alabama

Alabama football notes: Ex-Bama running back Glen Coffee's sudden retirement from NFL also surprises Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban

Notable names missing from scrimmage statistics

By Michael Casagrande

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A day after the news of Glen Coffee’s sudden retirement from the NFL broke, Nick Saban said it caught him off guard.

“I really was surprised,” Saban said. “He was such a warrior-type competitor when he was here and a guy that played just fantastic football for us and improved dramatically in the two years that he was on the team. He had a fantastic year two years ago.

“He always seemed to be a guy that really loved the game, but I really don’t know what contributed to this, but it did surprise me a little bit.”

Coffee announced his retirement Friday after just one season and part of a second training camp with the San Francisco 49ers. Coffee told the Sacramento Bee that he would return to school to finish his final six hours for an undergraduate degree and then work on his master’s degree.

“It was a struggle for a long time,” Coffee told the Bee. “Actually, when I look back, I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place. Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me; it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the (49ers’) time.”

Missing names

There were a few notable names missing from the statistics distributed by UA media relations following Saturday’s scrimmage.

Defensive end Marcell Dareus, the defensive MVP of January’s BCS National Championship Game, did not appear among the defensive leaders. On offense, it was 2009’s fifth-leading receiver Darius Hanks who did not make the stats.

Because the numbers were released after Saban’s news conference, he was not asked about either player, although they weren’t listed among the injured.

Special teams stats also went unreported.

Day off

Today will be Alabama’s first day off since reporting for practice Aug. 4 and precedes the final two-a-day of the preseason scheduled for Monday. The NCAA does not allow teams to hold multiple practices on a given day after classes start.

At Alabama, Wednesday is back-to-school day. The team returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its second scrimmage Saturday.