Tag Archives: Chris Black

Chris Black ready for bigger role

Alabama wide receiver Chris Black (5) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama wide receiver Chris Black (5) works through drills during NCAA college spring football practice on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

First off, check out my story on the Alabama football team in Thursday’s editions of the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily. It’s on the wide receivers.

Here are some leftover quotes from sophomore Chris Black, who was interviewed for the story.

What makes you different than other receivers?

“Being versatile. I can be in the slot or outside. I’ve really made a lot of progress playing outside this spring with DeAndrew White being out; taking more reps outside than I’ve done in the past.”

Where did you have to get better?

“Just more the feel of the game playing outside. I’ve played a lot of slot in my two years here. It’s just a different feel when you go outside.”

What differences?

“You see a lot of different covers; a lot of DBs play different. Slot is more reading a lot of things, where the outside is just you and a DB.”

What have you worked on in the offseason?

“I feel I was a lot more focused. I didn’t worry too much about making mistakes as much. Just focused on my game and focused on the good things I can do.”

How has offense done vs. first defense?

“Pretty good. We’ve built a lot of chemistry. To me it looks good. We’ve still got a lot to improve on, but I think we’’ve done a pretty good job this spring.”

Black seems to be one of those Internet all-Americans. Fans really like him and think he should be the guy.

He was rated higher than Amari Cooper, but a shoulder injury derailed him his first year. Expect Black to be more an impact this season.

“He’s something awful to cover, too,” safety Jarrick Williams said. “He’s pretty good. Quick. He’s a shift to slack guy. He can do it all.”

Connection with Blake Sims

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) throws during an NCAA college spring football scrimmage on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Quarterback Blake Sims has come out in first place in the Alabama football team’s quarterback competition headed into Saturday’s spring game.

That’s significant since the competition continues in August once Florida State transfer Jacob Coker joins the team.

Coker will have a tall task to take over against Sims. He still has to learn the offense and develop a connection with the receivers that Sims already possess.

“(We) developed a lot of chemistry with Blake; of course, we had a lot of chemistry last year,” receiver Chris Black said. “Me, him, and all the rest of the receivers, we’ve done a pretty good job this spring.”

What do you see from Sims?

“Blake has made a big step up from last year to right now, especially with taking on the role of starting quarterback,” Black said. “I’m proud of him with that.”

How is he with the deep ball?

“He’s done a really good job,” Black said. “The first scrimmage he threw two to (Amari Cooper) they connected, and one for a touchdown. He’s pretty accurate.”

A-Day 2013: Final Stats

Passing

AJ McCarron (White): 19-30, 223, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions.
Alec Morris (Crimson): 10-18, 141 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Blake Sims (Crimson): 5-10, 52 yards, no TDs, 2 INTs
Luke Del Rio (Crimson): 2-3, 38 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Parker McLeod (White): 1-2, 19 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Phillip Ely (White): 2-4, 8 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Cooper Bateman (Crimson): 1-3, 3 yards, no TDs, 2 INTs

Rushing

T.J. Yeldon (White): 15 carries, 69 yards, 1 touchdown
Kenyan Drake (Crimson): 8 carries, 33 yards
Trey Roberts (White/Crimson): 6 carries, 23 yards
Blake Sims: 3 carries, 7 yards
AJ McCarron: 2 carries, 3 yards
Cooper Bateman: 1 carry, 2 yards
Dee Hart: 2 carries, -1 yard

Receiving

Kenny Bell: 3 catches, 71 yards, 1 touchdown
DeAndrew White: 3 catches, 62 yards
T.J. Yeldon: 7 catches, 60 yards
Christion Jones: 3 catches, 55 yards
Chris Black: 3 catches, 51 yards
Raheem Falkins: 3 catches, 43 yards
Trey Roberts: 1 catch, 31 yards
Brian Vogler: 4 catches, 24 yards
O.J. Howard: 3 catches, 22 yards
Amari Cooper: 4 catches, 21 yards
Kenyan Drake: 4 catches, 18 yards

Defensive

C.J. Mosley (Crimson): 9 tackles, 0.5 for a loss, 1 fumble recovery
Tana Patrick (Crimson): 8 tackles, 1 forced fumble
HaHa Clinton-Dix (Crimson): 6 tackles, 1 pass break-up, 1 fumble recovery returned for 55 yards
Landon Collins (White): 5 tackles, 1 interception returned for 28 yards
Ed Stinson (Crimson): 5 tackles
OTHER NOTABLES
Dillon Lee (White): 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 pass break-ups
Deion Belue (Crimson): 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 pass break-ups
Nick Perry (White): 3 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 interceptions returned for 42 yards, 1 pass break-up
Vinnie Sunseri (Crimson): 3 tackles, 0.5 for a loss, 1 interception returned for 86 yards and a touchdown
Dalvin Tomlinson (White): 2 tackles, 1 sack/tackle for loss

Kicking

Cade Foster
– Field Goal: 1-1, 29 yards
– Extra Points: 2-2
– Kickoffs: 4 for 260 yards (65 yards per kick), 1 touchback

Adam Griffith
– Field Goal: 0-0
– Extra Points: 2-2
– Kickoffs: 2 for 130 yards (65 yards per kick), 1 touchback

Punting

Cody Mandell: 7 punts, 236 yards (33.7 per punt), long of 62, 3 inside the 20
Worth Gregory: 1 punt for 26 yards

Scoring Plays

12:05, 1st Quarter, White Team: AJ McCarron to Kenny Bell for 40 yards. 7-0 White.
7:09, 1st Quarter, White Team: Cade Foster 29 yard field goal. 10-0 White.
0:00, 2nd Quarter, Crimson Team: Vinnie Sunseri returns an interception for 86 yards and a touchdown. 10-7, White.
2:01, 4th Quarter, Crimson Team: HaHa Clinton-Dix returned a recovered fumble for 55 yards and a touchdown. 14-10 Crimson.
1:04, 4th Quarter, White Team: T.J. Yeldon runs for 7 yards. 17-14 White.

Stats from second spring football scrimmage

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper catches a pass in the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper catches a pass in the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Here are the statistical leaders from the second spring scrimmage for the Alabama football team, the last one before the open A-Day scrimmage. You can click here to see video from the open warm-up period and here for a photo gallery from the event.

Passing

A.J. McCarron – 23 for 28, 319 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
Blake Sims – 10 for 15, 183 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Rushing

T.J. Yeldon – 14 rushes, 101 yards, 2 TD
Derrick Henry – 17 rushes, 79 yards
Kenyan Drake – 12 rushes, 71 yards

Receiving
Chris Black – 10 catches, 113 yards
Amari Cooper – 6 catches, 108 yards, 4 TD
Christion Jones – 5 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD

Defense
HaSean “HaHa” Clinton-Dix – 6 tackles
Denzel Devall – 6 tackles, 1 sack
Ryan Anderson – 6 tackles
Deion Belue – 5 tackles, 1 sack
Vinnie Sunseri – 4 tackles, 1 PBU

Other notes

McCarron’s touchdown passes: 36 yards, 55, 18, 3 and 12.
Sims’ touchdown passes: 22 yards, 63 yards.
Alec Morris had one touchdown pass of 10 yards.
Parker McLeod had one touchdown pass of 23 yards.

Yeldon’s rushing touchdowns: 65 yards, 7.

Photo Gallery: Saturday’s football scrimmage

Wide receiver Chris Black (5, right) receiving a pass from quarterback Luke Del Rio (14, black jersey) while warming up for Saturday's scrimmage. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Wide receiver Chris Black (5, right) receiving a pass from quarterback Luke Del Rio (14, black jersey) while warming up for Saturday’s scrimmage. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban observing the open period of the spring scrimmage on Saturday. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban observing the open period of the spring scrimmage on Saturday. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama running back Kenyan Drake strikes the Heisman pose while carrying the ball in the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama running back Kenyan Drake strikes the Heisman pose while carrying the ball in the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Linebacker Denzel Devall (left), defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan (middle) and defensive lineman Brandon ivory (right) at the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Linebacker Denzel Devall (left), defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan (middle) and defensive lineman Brandon ivory (right) at the second spring scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) drops back to pass behind the protection of Anthony Steen with head coach Nick Saban looking on. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) drops back to pass behind the protection of Anthony Steen with head coach Nick Saban looking on. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Photo Gallery from Wednesday football practice

The University of Alabama Athletics Department sent out a few photos from their staff photographer, Kent Gidley, from the indoor practice on Wednesday.

The pictures are posted below, but before you view them, click here to read the practice report, which includes another photo and video.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban coaching the defensive backs.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban coaching the defensive backs.

Wide receiver Chris Black running a route in the throw-and-catch drills on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Chris Black running a route in the throw-and-catch drills on Wednesday.

New secondary coach Greg Brown in his first spring with Crimson Tide. Brown is replacing Jeremy Pruitt, who left Alabama to be the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

New secondary coach Greg Brown in his first spring with Crimson Tide. Brown is replacing Jeremy Pruitt, who left Alabama to be the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron working with wide receivers and tight ends in Wednesday's practice.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron working with wide receivers and tight ends in Wednesday’s practice.

Football Practice Report: April 3, 2013

image

Wide receiver DeAndrew White (left, black jersey) waits for his turn in drills after Kenny Bell (right). Copyright photo by Brett Hudson.

A late afternoon rain shower forced the Crimson Tide inside the Hank Crisp Practice Facility next door to the brand new weight room for its Wednesday practice. Here is the news:

- Amari Cooper is leading the wide receiver in drills. He is followed up by DeAndrew White who seems to be running fine after tearing his ACL last season. Chris Black is third coming back from his shoulder injury, while Kenny Bell is fourth and true freshman Raheem Falkins is fifth, before the scout team comes in from there.

Alabama does have Eddie Jackson and Robert Foster coming in for the fall as true freshmen.

- The drills also revealed some depth chart decisions made the the tight end and H-Back positions. Brian Vogler as the starting tight end alongside Harrison Jones as the first H-Back. Tight end Malcolm Faciane practiced with H-Back O.J. Howard as the second team and on the third team was tight end Kurt Freitag alongside H-Back Corey McCarron.

- Contact seems to be picking up in preparation for the first spring scrimmage, as we saw the outside linebackers go to battle with the tight ends and H-Backs in some rough blocking drills today.

- Cornerback John Fulton was off the exercise bike and doing some light running drills in his first practice activity after injuring his toe against Texas A&M last season. He was not doing much, but he was moving. You can see video of that below.

Kevin Norwood, also trying to come back from a toe injury, is still out of practice.

- The wide receivers were doing a jump ball drill today, which I have never seen them do before. That could be something new wide recivers coach Billy Napier brought from Florida State. You can also see that drill in the video below.

Countdown to Spring Football: Wide receivers Breakdown

Amari Cooper's big-play potential, including this one that was the go-ahead score in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, makes him the easy No. 1 option heading into the spring. (ap photo)

Amari Cooper’s big-play potential, including this one that was the go-ahead score in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, makes him the easy No. 1 option heading into the spring. (ap photo)

Daily Bama Blog correspondent Brett Hudson, like he did for the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, will count you down to the beginning of spring practice with another series. Each day, Brett will break down a different position group going into spring practice until the beginning of practice on March 16. Here is the schedule.
Today: Quarterbacks (click here to read it)
Tomorrow: Running backs (click here to read it)
Saturday: Wide receivers
Sunday: Tight ends/H-Backs
Monday: Offensive Line
Tuesday: Defensive Line
Wednesday: Linebackers/Pro Day
March 14: Cornerbacks
March 15: Safeties
March 16: Opening day of spring practice

For the third position group in-a-row, there is no shadow of a doubt who the No. 1 man is, as Amari Cooper (freshman year highlights) enters his second spring training with the Crimson Tide as the No. 1 receiving threat available.

Not only did the true freshman lead the Tide in receiving yards last season with 1,000 on 59 catches and 11 touchdowns, he’s also the only every-down wideout starting practices this spring, as Kevin Norwood has an uncertain status with a toe injury.

Alabama also has the two Joneses returning to the wide receiving corps, Christion and Cyrus. Outside of their kick returning duties, Christion caught 27 passes, third-best on the team, for 368 yards, and Cyrus caught four passes for 51 yards.

The Tide has three more wide receivers returning from injury: Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White. Bell’s junior season was cut short with a late leg injury, after catching 17 passes for 431 yards, while White’s season was cut off much earlier with his season-ending knee injury, holding him to only eight catches for 105 yards in 2012.

Finally, the Chris Black saga will finally take to the field after having his potential freshman season ended with a redshirt after a shoulder injury in spring training, despite rumors that he would strip the redshirt to play in te SEC Championship Game and BCS National Championship Game.

The Tide will have one newcomer to the position group for spring practice, New Orleans native Raheem Falkins. Falkins (high school highlights), coming in at 6-foot-4 and 195 according to Rivals, is one of three wide receivers in the 2013 class, but the only early enrollee at the position. Robert Foster (high school highlights) and Eddie Jackson (high school highlights) will join the team in the fall.

Breakdown: Two seniors (Bell and Norwood), two juniors (White and Chr. Jones), two sophomores (Cooper and Cyr. Jones), one redshirt freshman (Black), three true freshmen (Falkins in the spring, Foster and Jackson in the fall)

Prediction: Cooper will be the No. 1 receiving threat again yet again, and Norwood will follow despite missing some, possibly all, of spring training with the toe injury. Norwood’s absence does create a large opportunity for wideouts to separate themselves for the No. 3 and 4 spots alongside Bell.

The Joneses will compete with Black and Falkins for that honor, and an edge could be given to Black seeing the shot he had at playing time over the Joneses before his shoulder injury.

The other two freshmen, Foster and Jackson, look like they could be on their way to a redshirt season unless one of them strikes the scenes like Cooper did (however, unlikely, as Cooper had the advantage of being a early enrollee).

Black on Twitter: I was prepared but no reason to burn year

True freshman Chris Black didn’t play Saturday in Alabama’s 32-28 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, although he posted on Twitter he was ready if needed.

As it turned out, he wasn’t. Marvin Shinn and Cyrus Jones filled in as the fourth and fifth receivers behind Amari Cooper, Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones. Black had preseason shoulder surgery but returned to practice four weeks ago. He likely will redshirt this season, unless an emergency arises in the BCS National Championship Game.

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Alabama’s walk-through Friday at the Georgia Dome

Nick Saban, right, at what passed for Alabama’s practice at the Georgia Dome.

ATLANTA, Georgia — Alabama went through a brief walk-through at the Georgia Dome. If you can call it that.

Injured Crimson Tide wide receiver Kenny Bell with a trainer at the Georgia Dome. Bell had surgery on his broke left leg Sunday.

Alabama’s players went on the field in practice jerseys, shorts and football shoes and threw footballs around a little. They didn’t wear helmets. It was less walk-through and more stand-there.

Head coach Nick Saban didn’t bother changing out of the suit he wore for the news conference 30 minutes earlier.

This is just one of those things teams have to do for the SEC Championship Game as we stand on the sidelines, take pictures and try to make judgements about what’s happening on the field.

Chris Black plays a little pitch and catch on the Georgia Dome turf.

From what we could see, true freshman receiver Chris Black looks happy to be on the field. When he returned to practice a little less than four weeks ago, we began posting a good bit on the blog about him. I felt he was working too hard, too quickly for anything less than returning for the championship run at the end of the year.

AJ McCarron with the Tide quarterbacks. They stood near the opposite sideline from where the SEC allowed us, so the quality of the picture isn’t that great.

I know some folks are asking why bring him back for two games, but how often do you get a chance to play for a championship? How can he know what will happen between now and 2016? Saban said Black wants to play, and his family wants it for him. Even if he doesn’t make a catch Saturday, at least he’ll know he didn’t pass up the chance.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell, who broke his left leg against Auburn, made the trip and was on the field Friday on crutches.

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Saban says Chris Black ready to play Saturday

Alabama receiver Chris Black (in black jersey) with teammates Kevin Norwood (83) and Kenny Bell (7). Players who aren’t cleared for contact wear black jerseys during practice, and this was taken before Black was cleared Monday.

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — True freshman wide receiver Chris Black will make his season debut Saturday in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said the highly touted pass-catcher has practiced and is ready to play. Black injured his left shoulder in the first week of preseason practice and underwent surgery. He rejoined practice three weeks ago, but he wasn’t cleared for contact until Monday.

Black was slated to be redshirted until receiver Kenny Bell broke his leg in Saturday’s win over Auburn.

“Chris wants to play,” Saban said, adding he made the decision in combination with Black and his family. “He can help the team by playing. It might help his development between this game and one more game, wherever it is, whoever it’s against, in terms of his development for the future. It’s a tough decision and you never know it’s the right decision because you never know what’s going to happen five years from now.”

Saban said he has come across this situation before. In 2001 at LSU, he played true freshman cornerback Travis Daniels for the first time in the SEC Championship Game.

Daniels was forced into action when Randall Gay was injured during the game, leaving nobody left to play. He broke up two passes in the 31-20 win, including one in the end zone. After four years, Daniel was a fourth-round NFL draft pick and is still in pro football with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We had to make that decision on the spot,” Saban said. “We didn’t really have anybody else to play corner. He ended up being a fourth-round draft pick in his fourth year. I don’t know if he would have stayed for another year. He had already graduated. I think that’s what you have to weigh.”

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Thoughts from Tuesday’s Alabama practice

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The Crimson Tide went through a second straight day practicing inside the indoor facility. That will be routine for the week, considering Saturday’s SEC Championship Game will be inside the Georgia Dome.

Alabama true freshman safety Eddie Williams got some work with the scout team as a wide receiver. He wore No. 12, which is the jersey number of Georgia’s Tavarres King, who is 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. Williams stands 6-3 and 204 and came to Alabama as a prospect to play either receiver or defensive back.

Noseguard Brandon Ivory (ankle) stood and watched for the media viewing period, which covered about 16 minutes. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday that Ivory should be able to play Saturday.

Offensive guard Chance Warmack wore a heavy tape job on his hand, which is protecting an injured finger. He has said the tape looks worse that it actually is.

Here’s a short video of the Alabama receivers today, which gives you a look at how Kevin Norwood (83) and Chris Black (5) are running. They both looked fine at practice. Norwood, who has struggled with a leg injury this week, had a good week of practice last week, and it paid off with five catches and a pair of touchdowns against Auburn.

Why shoot receivers for the second straight day? Well, they practice the closest to where we’re allowed to stand when the Tide works out inside.

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Alabama may need Kevin Norwood as much as ever Saturday

Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood (83) with quarterback AJ McCarron after the two hooked up on a touchdown pass against Auburn. (AP photo by Dave Martin)

This is my story for today’s editions:

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Maybe the most important play in Alabama’s 49-0 win over Auburn came early in the third quarter.

Lined up at the Tigers’ 38, AJ McCarron threw deep to receiver Kevin Norwood, who had a couple of steps on an Auburn defensive back. Norwood made the catch in stride and rolled into the end zone for a touchdown.

With speedy receiver Kenny Bell out with a broken leg suffered against Auburn, Alabama could use another deep threat to go along with freshman Amari Cooper, and Norwood showed ont hat play he’s healthy and ready to provide one.

Since the third game of the season, Norwood has struggled with a leg injury he said he doesn’t know precisely how he hurt. But in the week leading up to Saturday’s win over Auburn, he was able to work out every day. On Saturday, he caught five passes for 65 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Tigers.

“I couldn’t feel any better,” Norwood said Monday before practice, as No. 2-ranked Alabama (11-1) prepares to face No. 3 Georgia (11-1) in the SEC Championship Game.

Bell provided Alabama’s best deep threat, averaging 25.4 yards a reception. He played backup at the “Z” receiver position to Norwood, who starts and averages 15.2 a catch.

However, Norwood has missed one game and played sparingly in two others because of the leg injuries. In some cases, he played even though he didn’t practice full speed during the week.

“I’ve been dealing with injuries ever since I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s basically a mental thing for me. I basically push it aside and worry about what I have to do for the team. Injuries don’t affect me as much as everybody thinks they do. I really just block it out.”

Norwood’s backup at the “Z” in Monday’s practice was true freshman Chris Black, who hasn’t played this year because of a preseason shoulder injury that required surgery. He returned to practice three weeks ago, although Monday was the first time he was allowed to go through contact drills.

“We’re going to try to get him some reps,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, although he wouldn’t commit to revealing if Black will play Saturday.

Other than Norwood (26 catches) and Cooper (45), Alabama doesn’t have many experienced pass-catchers left. The rest of the rotation for Saturday will include Christion Jones (24), Cyrus Jones (four), Marvin Shinn (four) and possibly Danny Woodson Jr. (one), if Black remains on the sideline and redshirts, which was the original plan for him.

Norwood said if Black has to play, “it’s going to be very difficult, being that he really hasn’t played all season.”

Either way, it might come down to the role Norwood will play. He’s done well before in games with high stakes. In last season’s BCS National Championship Game win over LSU, he had four catches for 78 yards.

In the season-opening win over Michigan, he caught three passes for 53 yards. When Alabama won at LSU, he had five catches, including three on the game-winning drive in the final two minutes.

“I love doing everything,” Norwood said. “I love moving the ball for us and making plays for this offense. As long as AJ throws me the ball, and I’m able to make plays, I’m going to continue to make plays.”

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Thoughts from Alabama’s Monday practice

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The Crimson Tide practiced inside its indoor facility today in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets.

We saw true freshman receiver Chris Black in a regular white jersey instead of the black non-contact jersey, which is what injured players are assigned. He looked explosive when running his routes.

We also watched the tight ends and H-backs at work, and once again, we realized how much of a loss Alabama suffered when Jalston Fowler went down with a knee injury in the second game this year. While he wouldn’t have played a ton at running back, he gave Alabama a real threat at fullback and H-back. The Tide misses the pass-catching option Brad Smelley gave the team last year.

Here’s a quick video of receivers Kevin Norwood, Black and Danny Woodson Jr. running a route in practice today. Norwood, who has struggled with leg injuries, looks 100 percent, and Black looks good, too. You can judge for yourself:

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With Bell out, Tide to give Black more practice time

Alabama’s Kenny Bell (7) gets past the out-stretched hands of Florida Atlantic safety Brent Harstad and runs for a touchdown earlier this year. (AP photo by Butch Dill)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama coach Nick Saban emphasized again today he could let true freshman receiver Chris Black make his debut Saturday against Georgia.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell had surgery on his broken leg Sunday, and Saban said Black could get the call. Black injured his shoulder in preseason practice and required surgery. He returned to practice three weeks ago, and doctors have cleared him for contact.

“So we’re going to try to get him some reps because we’re getting down to where we only have maybe five guys that have much experience at the position,” Saban said. “We still feel good about the guys that we have. We just need to get more guys ready to play so that they can complement each other.

“You’d like to be able to roll guys in and out at that position. Guys get a little winded at times, especially when they run a lot of deep routes or when you go two-minute or something. We definitely need to get more guys ready to play. It’s going to create an opportunity for some other people.”

Saban isn’t ruling out Bell for a possible bowl game appearance.

“Kenny Bell had surgery, which is the best way to actually fix the issue with his leg,” Saban said. “We’ll evaluate moving forward probably five or six weeks from now where he is. That’s going to be a medical decision that our doctors have to make.”

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