With the first scrimmage of fall camp scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium, two-a-days continued today in Tuscaloosa for the second time in three days. Players were awoken before sunrise by the screams of a clinically insane man wielding industrial strength air horns in both hands. Modern amenities and opulent facilities make it a far cry from Junction, but a pleasant experience it is not.
The morning practice took place in the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility and saw the return of defensive end Undra Billingsley. There is still a mystery surrounding whatever ailment forced him to be temporarily hospitalized and miss nearly a week of practice, but nevertheless his return is a welcomed sign. Unfortunately, while being thankful for his health, Billingsley was already going to be somewhat hard-pressed to find meaningful playing time this season, and his extended absence at the start of fall camp will only make that quest even more difficult.
Dont'a Hightower, as expected, also returned to practice today. The left hand of the junior linebacker was heavily bandaged and looked to be in a hard cast, which covered roughly the area from the knuckles to the midway point between the wrist and the elbow. Hightower, however, was not wearing a black, no-contact jersey, and it's possible that he may see some action in the scrimmage tomorrow. Discretion may prove to be the better part of valor, but Hightower did not seem to be limited during the practice sessions today.
Remaining absent though was true freshman offensive lineman Ryan Kelly. The Ohio product suffered a concussion sometime earlier this week and has apparently still not be cleared by the medical staff to return to the practice fields. Likewise, Duron Carter is still waiting on UA Admissions to clear up his transcript, which in effect meant that both he and Danny Woodson, Jr. were absent again today.
In other quick hitters, Chance Warmack looks even bigger and stronger than before, if that's possible to fathom. Blake Sims went through throwing drills with the quarterbacks in the morning session. Kenny Bell still looks like a stick figure. William Vlachos was absent again today with an unspecified illness, and his availability for tomorrow is unknown. If he is out, expect Kellen Williams and Chad Lindsey to see quite a bit of time at center.
With ten practice sessions in the books, attention turns to the first scrimmage of fall camp tomorrow afternoon. We'll get a revealing look at several newcomers and also get a better idea of how key position battles look to be shaking up. Regardless, with the season-ending injury to Arkansas tailback Knile Davis still on the minds of everyone, they key for tomorrow will be to remain healthy, so hope that the Football Gods smile upon Tuscaloosa tomorrow afternoon.