The storm clouds arrived in Tuscaloosa a little earlier than in the rest of the south on Saturday as Alabama football held their first scrimmage of the spring. As you have likely heard by now, sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson sustained a "non-contact" knee injury and will be out for the rest of spring. Despite an ESPN report on Sunday that Jackson tore his ACL, Nick Saban would not elaborate on the injury and expressed that he was "confident" that Eddie will be ready for fall. Below is part of a university statement released to the press:
"Eddie Jackson had an MRI Sunday which confirmed that he had ligament damage in his knee that required surgery. We have a great medical staff here and he will have the full support of everyone in the organization as he goes through the rehab process. We are confident Eddie will make a full recovery and be ready to go this fall."
Freshman cornerback and part time track athlete Tony Brown fell over a hurdle during a track event and reinjured a shoulder. It is a lingering injury that he also hurt in the Under-Armour All-America game in January. Though Brown is wearing a black no-contact jersey, Saban sounded optimistic towards a recovery.
Reuben Foster sustained a neck stinger and should be okay.
The first mention of DeAndrew White arose during Saturday's press conference and Saban spoke of a toe injury similar to what Kevin Norwood sustained a year ago. Saban expects White back 100% for summer workouts and into fall camp.
The scrimmage lasted roughly 125 plays and was just over two hours under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s.
"I was really pleased with the effort and intensity the players had," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "I really like the attitude of this team in terms of how they go about what they try to do, how they work, the effort that they give and the mental and physical toughness that we play with. A lot of guys are trying to be conscientious to do a good job and I think that it shows in the way we play and the way we compete. The togetherness on the team is to me a lot better."
Stats weren't available for redshirt freshman Parker McLeod or true freshman David Cornwell.
Regarding Cornwell, Nick Saban said "we actually feel like our freshman, who's coming off an injury, has a lot of potential. He's just not 100 percent healthy yet. So we're pleased with the progress those guys have made."
The team was back outdoors at the wet Thomas-Drew Practice Facility for practice #9 under cloudy skies and gusty winds. The temperatures were in the 60s.
Foster and Brown were participating in drills. Foster wore a cowboy collar which is a neck pad that extends up from the shoulder pads. Brown wore some sort of brace on his left shoulder.
Former Alabama All-Dre Kirkpatrick was watching practice.and current Cincinnati Bengals cornerback
There were many recruits at Saturday's scrimmage including a trio of outside linebackers. The highlight was 5-star Justin Hilliard out of Cincinnati, OH.
ESPN Jr 300 LB Justin Hilliard on his Alabama visit pic.twitter.com/yt1n5MXZpH— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) April 6, 2014
Also on hand were 4-star OLB Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA), 3-star OLB Keaton Anderson (Florence, AL), Bama commitment offensive guard Lester Cotton, and 4-star Athlete Terry Godwin (Hogansville, GA). Despite Godwin's January commitment to UGA, he shows genuine interest in the Tide and says he will return for the A-Day game. He plays wide receiver, cornerback, and returns kicks scoring multiple touchdowns at each position.
Alabama's next practices are set for Wednesday and Friday with another scrimmage on Saturday. The A-Day game on Saturday, April 19 at 1:00 pm CT will be the 15th and final spring practice.
Footage from practice: