ESPN’s visit to Tuscaloosa on a spring practice tour turned out to be more than a quick check-up on the program and an opportunity to build a background file: they found that linebacker Trey Depriest had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot and will thus miss the rest of spring practice with it.“He might have hurt it a little worse in the scrimmage, so rather than trying to get him to continue going through the spring, which was a possibility, we just decided to go ahead fix it before it got bad,” head coach Nick Saban said. “It’s just a stress fracture which will take less time to heal, and he’ll have a better chance of a good recovery.”
Also on the injury front, reserve defensive tackle Wilson Love suffered a concussion in Monday’s practice and is out indefinitely.
Saban said Love will be out until, “his concussion scores get to where they need to be.”
Kick return game
While the offensive and defensive line units deal with numerous lost starters, the special teams units remain stable.
“Kickoff and punt, we’ve got just about everybody back that did it last year,” Saban said. “Dee Hart was probably the most effective punt returner when he did it. He’s obviously back. Christion Jones did it, Amari Cooper can do it very well. And I think Cyrus Jones could do it very well.”
New pupils in town
The massive crowds flock to Tuscaloosa for the conclusion of spring practice every season, and even a few days before the A-Day scrimmage. No, there’s no tailgating for A-Day or no one making a week of the two-hour spectacle: the masses are other coaches.
The coaches that flood to Tuscaloosa are part of the annual Coaching Clinic that Saban and his assistants put on every year during spring practice.
“We try to have the greatest coaches clinic in the country to try to pay back and give back to all the coaches and people who help us so much with our program here, and what they do to inspire young people to play football and coach and develop players for us to recruit,” Saban said. “We’ve got Sean Payton, Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards, Chuck Pagano and a lot of other really good coaches to come here and talk to the coaches and maybe help them in some kind of way so they can be more successful in what they do.”
Saban even cracked a joke with his mind on the clinic.
“If you guys (media) were interested in learning something about football, I might recommend that you go to it, too,” Saban said.