News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


TUSCALOOSA — Alabama has lost its defensive line coach to Nebraska.

According to news releases from both schools, Buddy Wyatt, a Crimson Tide assistant coach for the past four seasons, will begin working with the Cornhuskers immediately. Wyatt, 40, will not coach with Alabama during the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

Tide defensive ends coach David Turner will assume coaching duties for the entire defensive line upon Wyatt's departure.

"We're happy for Buddy, that he found a quality job at a fine place such as Nebraska," Crimson Tide interim head coach Joe Kines said. "Buddy's an excellent coach who has done a very good job for us over the last four years here."

Wyatt will assist the Huskers staff as it prepares to play Auburn in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1.

Wyatt, a native of Victoria, Texas, and a 1989 graduate of Texas Christian University and his wife, Andrea, have two children: a son, Frederick, and a daughter, Ariel.

"I'm very excited about becoming a part of the Husker Nation," Wyatt said. "They have great tradition there and it is a program on the rise. I got a chance to meet a lot of the coaches while I was there.

"They all got along very well and they all have one mission — winning championships."

Wyatt coached at Texas Christian (1991), Minnesota (1992-95), Northwestern (1997-98), Colorado (1999), Texas A&M (2000-02) before coming to Alabama in 2003.

"Coach Wyatt has a long track record of developing outstanding defensive lines at each stop in his coaching career," Callahan said. "He has familiarity with the Big 12 Conference and a proven track record as an outstanding recruiter."

Schedule change: The Southeastern Conference has switched the dates of two 2007 Alabama football games.

The Crimson Tide will face LSU in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 3 and Mississippi State at Starkville, Miss., on Nov. 10. Alabama originally was supposed to play Mississippi State and then LSU.

Next season's schedule includes non-conference home dates against Western Carolina, Houston and Louisiana-Monroe and a Sept. 29 game against Florida State in Jacksonville, Fla.

In the Southeastern Conference, Alabama will face Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and LSU at home and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn on the road.

Return to practice: Alabama practiced Thursday for the first time since Saturday and only the second time since the end of the regular season.

The players have had their time taken with semester exams. Alabama worked out for a little more than an hour in shorts and helmets.

"They were in really good spirits today," interim head coach Joe Kines said. "They are glad those exams are about over. They have been at it all week and have one more day of it."

Mark Edwards,
Daily Sports Editor


AUBURN — Defensive end Quentin Groves has pledged to return to Auburn for his senior season, ending for now the possibility of a jump to the NFL.

"I've pretty much made it up in my head that I'm coming back," the junior said Thursday. "I still want to be the all-time sack leader here at Auburn. That's a goal I think I can get if I stay another year. I don't feel like I'm ready for the NFL from a personal standpoint.

"There's some things I have to do to get better, working on my fundamentals."

Groves, an Associated Press first-team all-SEC selection, has 23 sacks in his career, second in Auburn history behind Gerald Robinson's 26.

Groves also is influenced by what happened to friend and former teammate Stanley McClover, who left Auburn earlier only to be drafted in the seventh round.

"He's been talking to me throughout this whole process," Groves said. "He's been saying, 'Q, I don't want you to go through the same thing I went through.' That's the thing that I'm really focusing on. He made a mistake so I'm going to learn from his mistake."

Eddins makes position change: Auburn's coaching staff moved freshman defensive lineman Bart Eddins to the offensive line Thursday, beginning a period of change for what could involve many players.

"He'll be an inside guy, maybe a center or a guard. But again, we're just looking for some guys who might fit the mold of what we need on the offensive line with the graduation of several players," head coach Tommy Tuberville said.

Eddins was the only player to change positions in Auburn's first day of bowl practice, but Tuberville made it clear that more players could see a switch as well. He also pointed out, however, that Eddins could move back to the defensive line.

"We might move someone else and move him back in the next four five practices," Tuberville said. "He was the first who we wanted to look at. We'll look at him all the way probably until we go to Dallas."

Bradley Handwerger,
Daily Sports Writer

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