Alabama Football: Nick Saban talks Billingsley and gives injury updates

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] /

On the first SEC teleconference of the 2021 season, Alabama Football coach, Nick Saban provided some important information. The Alabama Crimson Tide injury situation is looking up. According to the Tide’s head coach, both LaBryan Ray and Kendall Randolph will play in the Miami game.

Whether they will start is not known. A starting role does not matter as much for LaBryan Ray. Frequent defensive line rotation is expected this season. Randolph, however, needs a start at right tackle to prove he can deliver at the position. The time he missed due to an ankle injury has given others, especially freshman, J.C. Latham a shot at winning the job.

Speaking about the Miami game, Nick Saban said,

"This is an opportunity to create an identity as a team."

One player apparently still struggling with making the most of his Alabama Crimson Tide opportunities is Jahleel Billingsley. The talented tight end/receiver missed some practices due to a suspension. When that happened, Saban said Billingsley would have to work his way back up the depth chart. So far, the young man has not made much progress. Speaking about Billingsley, Saban said,

"We’re just trying to get Jahleel to be a very responsible, disciplined person as well as a responsible, disciplined player. … How that happens is sort of up to him and his choice."

It sounds like Saban’s message to the young man has so far not worked. Hopefully, that will soon change. What will not change is Nick Saban’s expectations and demands for every Crimson Tide player. Billingsley is an extremely talented player, but as Saban told Julio Jones during his recruitment, “we’re going to win with you or without you.”

Billingsley would do well to heed some valuable past words from Nick Saban.

"Discipline is a mindset of who you are. It’s how you live your life — It’s how you do everything that you do."

The only negative injury news for the Crimson Tide is about safety, DeMarcco Hellams. Hellams also incurred an ankle injury during fall camp. While he has reportedly been running some this week, he is officially questionable for the season opener. Unofficially, it is clear Hellams will not play on Saturday. In his place, joining Jordan Battle at safety will be sophomore Brian Branch.

Next. Five bold predictions for the Miami game. dark

A storm-displaced Tulane team used the Alabama Football practice facilities this week. It was nice to see the Crimson Tide program help out a long-ago SEC member.