University of Alabama

Alabama football notes: Jalston Fowler goes from linebacker/running back to almost exclusively running back

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The slash between the two positions listed next to Jalston Fowler’s name on the Alabama football roster is gone for now.

After working with the linebackers, the true freshman is now working with the running backs almost exclusively.

The 6-foot-1, 236-pounder from Mobile is perfect for short-yardage situations, coach Nick Saban said. With reserve Demetrius Goode’s history of injuries and the knee issue Mark Ingram had early in the season, Saban wanted more options in the backfield.

“Really (Fowler) wasn’t in the mix at linebacker, even though he’d played on special teams,” Saban said. “I’m not sure it’s a permanent move, but it’s probably something we’ll do for the rest of the year unless something happens at another position.”

Playing mop-up duty late in Saturday’s 62-13 win at Duke, Fowler ran six times for 48 yards in his only running back action of the season.

As a special-teamer, he has two solo tackles.

Linebackers on move

Saban put it lightly, but his message was clear.

“We have not been really sort of totally satisfied with how we’ve been able to get this group to come along,” he said about the Tide linebackers.

So there will be more movement Saturday at Arkansas.

Nico Johnson, a starter last season who was coming off the bench this year, likely will play more often against the Razorbacks. Jerrell Harris has moved from inside to outside linebacker several times and still isn’t set.

“We’ll probably make a decision tomorrow on how we go with those guys in the game,” Saban said. “But we’ve used more guys at those positions and sort of established roles for them, and I think we’ll continue to try to do that so we’ll get the best guys on the field and the best situations for them to be successful.”