Alabama returned to the practice field this morning for the first of two practices on Wednesday back in full pads.
ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and an ESPN film crew were at practice for a story on AJ McCarron.
Injured safety Vinnie Sunseri showed up at practice and watched his teammates practicing. He also worked with trainers to the side as he continues rehab on his knee.
Freshman Grant Hill and Alphonse Taylor split reps at right guard in place of Anthony Steen. They and Kellen Williams will battle for the starting spot at the Sugar Bowl.
Senior cornerback Deion Belue still has his left hamstring heavily taped but is moving well.
The second practice today will be completely closed.
Both HaHa Clinton-Dix and CJ Mosley were selected to the first team Football Writers Association’s All America team today. That means that HaHa is now a consensus All American and CJ Mosley is a unanimous All American.
To be a “consensus” selection a player must be selected to at least 4 of the 5 “official” All America teams (AP, Sporting News, AFCA, FWAA, and Walter Camp) while a “unanimous” selection must be selected by all 5 “official” All America teams. HaHa was left off the Walter Camp All America team and on the second team of the AP All Americans, but was a first team All American on the other three. Mosley was a first team All American on all 5 “official” teams and was an All American on all released All America teams so far this post season except for the Sports Illustrated All America team (not an “official” All America team) in which Mosley was not one of the four All American linebackers selected.
In recruiting news, Alabama signed two Junior College transfers this morning, and both will begin school in January and be at spring camp. Nose tackle Jarran Reed, who committed to Alabama last month signed his letter of intent this morning. This season for the East Mississippi Community College Lions he recorded 66 tackles and 3.5 sacks as EMCC won the NJCAA Championship.
In more of a surprising move, former Alabama defensive end DJ Pettway also signed a letter of intent with Alabama to return to the Crimson Tide. Pettway was kicked off the team back in February along with Eddie Williams, Brent Calloway, and Tyler Hayes for their role in a robbery on campus. Pettway was teammates with Reed at EMCC and was a JUCO All American in 2013 recording 47 tackles and 11.5 sacks in 2013. Pettway won’t count against Alabama’s signing limit for the 2014 class either because he is a re-signing player. Pettway is the 15th ranked JUCO prospect in the country according to ESPN. Pettway will look for a fresh start as he gets a second chance to make things right at Alabama.
Saban has obviously been working extremely hard at stacking the Tide’s defensive line as Alabama already has commitments from top prospects like Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, VA), Joshua Frazier (Springdale, AR), OJ Smith (Bossier City, LA), and Johnny Dwight (Rochelle, GA) along with Pettway and Reed now. Alabama also has a slew of extremely young defensive linemen currently on the roster like SEC All Freshman A’Shawn Robinson, Jonathan Allen, Dakota Ball, Korren Kirven, Darren Lake, Dee Liner, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Tim Williams. Alabama will be losing Ed Stinson from this year’s line and there is a real chance Jeoffrey Pagan could jump to the NFL as well.
In bad recruiting news, one of the top rated safeties in the country, Hootie Jones, officially de-committed from Alabama today, just two weeks after committing to the Tide.