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Alabama Football 2015 Spring Practice News & Updates: Practice #5

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The fifth Alabama spring practice began under a cloud of news that senior safety Geno Smith was arrested Saturday morning and charged with driving under the influence by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

This is the second such offense for Smith as he was also arrested and charged with DUI in 2013. In that instance, the Atlanta native was suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech in 2013. Bama fans may not see him again for quite awhile, if ever at all.

The defensive back was fifth on the team in tackles last season with 31 solo and 25 assists.


Already thin at the safety position, this latest incident has put the Tide secondary in a bit of a predicament. The departures of Landon Collins and Nick Perry to the NFL have left a deep chasm at both safety positions. Smith looked to be the replacement for Perry at one starting safety spot. The Crimson Tide may be forced to use young inexperienced players or perhaps a position change for someone.

Coincidentally, Anthony Averett was moved back to defensive back after spending Wednesday with the wideouts.

True sophomore Hootie Jones is thought to be a prime candidate. However at Saturday's practice, junior Maurice Smith was seen working ahead of Jones at strong safety during the portion of practice open to the media. Senior Jabriel Washington was first-team free safety with true freshman Ronnie Harrison behind him.

True sophomore Tony Brown and redshirt freshman Marlon Humphrey saw extensive work at cornerback.


Despite the distraction, the Crimson Tide soldiered on in a two-hour practice session at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.

Obviously, Smith was not there nor was running back Tyren Jones (suspended) and offensive tackle Grant Hill who will be out indefinitely. Sophomore left tackle Cam Robinson (ankle) returned after a day on the sidelines. Cyrus Jones remains out recovering from offseason hip surgery. Jones and linebacker Denzel Devall (left foot in a cast) wore black no-contact jerseys, working with strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran on the sideline.


Nick Saban held his annual coaches clinic this week with over one thousand high school coaches from around the country in attendance.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, former NFL offensive coordinator Tom Moore, Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman, and New England Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge were among the speakers at the three day clinic.

Most of the coaches took in Friday's and Saturday's full pads practice.


Also in attendance were two former Alabama standouts in current Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley and Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick.


The Crimson Tide returns to the practice field on Monday at 3:30 p.m. with the first scrimmage of the spring slated for Friday, April 3.