"I love it," linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. "There’s one thing I can say about Alabama: I don’t think you’re going to find any place in the this country that you’re going to find better fans than Alabama fans. They follow you everywhere. There’s probably going to be just as many people in Beaver Stadium when we play Penn State.
"If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. When you have someone depending on you, when you have people adoring you, obsessed with you because you’re doing something they love to watch and love to come watch you play, I love it."
"The only time I felt maybe 100 percent was against Michigan State," Hightower said. Despite ranking second on the team in tackles last year with 69, Hightower concedes he wasn't the same player throughout the season that he had been prior to the injury. He didn't record his first tackle for loss until the eighth game of the season, and struggled at times to make stops in the open field. "Even though, physically I passed all the knee exams, (and) my knee was stronger than the non-surgical knee. But I guess it was just mentally, the back of my mind was just telling me, try and baby it here and there. But, right now I don't see any signs of that," Hightower said.
"It was my best opportunity as far as playing time and financially," Dial said by phone in his final hours in the Mobile area. "It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times. The stress and excitement has been tough. Going to workouts was a little tougher because I wasn't sure I was going to have an opportunity."
"It was pretty amazing," All-American Ashley Sledge said. "This wasn't just a temporary shelter we were helping build, it's an actual home for a family, a place where they can live for a very long time. It was really nice to be a part of that."
Sports blogspot Clay Travis has unearthed new information about a rumored ‘Teapot Dome Scandal’, there are concerns that this could affect Calvin Coolidge’s eligibility.
1. Mark Barron, Alabama, S Mark Barron turned down the NFL this past draft to come back to Alabama, and I think it was a great move, because he should be one of the top safeties in the country. At 6-2, 220 lbs and a frame like a linebacker, Barron can both cover and hit with a vengeance. He will lead this Alabama secondary again this year, a secondary that should be figured in the top three in the country. Barron has all the tools, if he can stay healthy, to be the guy at safety who everyone points to in 2011.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson singled out defensive lineman D.J. Pettway, a freshman from Pensacola. "D.J. Pettway's going to be good," Richardson said. "The freshmen work hard. They have a good class coming in this year."
Eli Gold will continue his role as Alabama football's play-by-play voice through 2017 after signing a four-year contract extension. Gold has called every Crimson Tide football game since 1989, which includes two national championship games (1992, 2009). He also hosts "NASCAR Live," a nationally syndicated radio call-in show.
Saban has won two national championships in nine years at different SEC schools that were struggling before he got there. No one recruits better, so he should win one or two more if he stays at Alabama another four or five years. If Saban is at Alabama entering the 2012 season, it will be his longest stop at one school ever, which more than anything means he will have piles of highly ranked recruiting classes on top of highly ranked recruiting classes like never before in his career. He is coming off a bit of a "down" season, though, going 10-3 and 5-3 in 2010 and blowing a 24-0 lead over Auburn, but no one is better over the last three seasons. Since year two at Bama in 2008, the Tide is 36-5 (.878 winning percentage) and 21-3 (.875) in the SEC. That's Bear numbers.
On last year’s team learning a hard lesson about the difficulties of staying on top: "Well there’s no question about that. And we had kind of anticipated that because we had gone through the same thing at LSU after winning a championship and having high expectations the next season. I just think that when you have the experience and you accomplish things, how are you going to respond to that? Is it going to create a comfort zone for you? Or is it going to create a challenge to a greater standard of excellence? Unfortunately it’s human nature to kind of make it a comfort zone.
"I don't understand how you come to the decisions that you come to," Saban said. Forget that -- the Tide are going to be a heavy favorite to be the overall preseason No. 1 in some poll or another. "It means nothing."
Five University of Alabama students who hail from the Kansas City area organized a 5-kilometer run and walk here to raise money for those in need following the April 27 tornado in Tuscaloosa. Sunday's run attracted about 123 participants and raised more than $10,380.