News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Mark Guillon calls a time out during a game against South Carolina in 2004. Guillon, who saw playing time when Brodie Croyle injured his knee in 2004, is 2 for 2 on his passes this season.
DAILY File Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Mark Guillon calls a time out during a game against South Carolina in 2004. Guillon, who saw playing time when Brodie Croyle injured his knee in 2004, is 2 for 2 on his passes this season.

Guillon leaves Tide
Redshirt freshman Barnes now second-string quarterback

By Josh Cooper
DAILY Sports Writer 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — Citing the issue of playing time, Alabama senior quarterback Marc Guillon has decided to leave the football program, according to head coach Mike Shula.

"You always want your players to play," Shula said Tuesday afternoon. "I think it's disappointing anytime anybody quits."

When Alabama (4-2, 2-2 SEC) hosts Ole Miss (2-4, 1-2) on Saturday, redshirt freshman Jimmy Barnes will back up starter John Parker Wilson, and true freshman Greg McElroy will serve as the third-string quarterback.

Barnes saw increased action at practice Tuesday and now stands only one snap away from being the Tide's starter when Alabama kicks off at 2:34 p.m. Saturday.

"He might be actually tired today," wide receiver DJ Hall said. "He got a lot of reps today, but that's good for him."

A redshirt freshman from Los Alamitos, Calif., Barnes has seen limited action this season. He played a few snaps in a 41-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe and did not attempt a pass.

"I think if you give him some time, he'll come along," Hall said. "I don't think he was expecting to be in this situation. It caught him off guard, but now he knows he's one snap away."

Guillon leaving the team surprised several Alabama teammates, too. After all, Guillon had practiced with the team Sunday and seemed in good spirits.

Before practice he was joking with locker neighbor Tim Castille about not wanting to be at the practice facility for five hours.

"I thought he was going to try to finish (the season) out," Castille said. "It's a tough situation, but I'm still behind him."

According to Castille, Guillon, a business major, is on track to graduate at the end of the fall semester. Guillon has no eligibility left after this season, meaning he cannot transfer elsewhere and play.

While this does not change the immediate offensive situation, it could force a few changes to Wilson's style.

Instead of the whirling dervish that saw Wilson sometimes take off as soon as the protection pocket collapsed, Wilson probably will be more careful when he run. Tide players also talked about protecting him better to make sure he doesn't get hurt.

"We need to be a lot smarter," Hall said. "(Wilson) has to be a lot smarter now that you don't have to make anything more happen."

One of the top high school quarterbacks in the country coming out of Miramonte High in California, the 6-foot-3, 197-pound Guillon passed for 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior season.

Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report rated him the nation's No. 10 high school quarterback, and ranked him at No. 24.

As a freshman, Guillon saw limited action at Miami (Fla.) in 2002 after suffering a shoulder injury, completing 3 of 5 passes for the season. He left Miami for Alabama and sat out the 2003 season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Guillon had most of his playing time in 2004 when he became the starting quarterback after Brodie Croyle tore a ligament in his right knee against Western Carolina.

Guillon played three games, completing 20 of 43 passes for 191 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. A lower back injury against South Carolina kept him out of two games, and Spencer Pennington wrestled the starting job from him. Although Guillon was healthy enough to play, Guillon did not get in another game that season.

Since then, his playing time has remained limited. He played in three games last year and attempted one pass, which fell incomplete.

This year, he appeared in two games against Louisiana-Monroe and Duke and completed both passes he attempted for a total of 15 yards.

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