News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



TUSCALOOSA — Alabama’s lack of depth on the defensive line could open the door for playing for one of the freshmen linemen, specifically Athens High grad Alfred McCullough.

The 6-foot-3, 297-pound tackle has been drawing rave reviews from their fellow members on the front seven. Fellow freshman Josh Chapman, a Hoover High grad, has received solid reviews, too.

“McCullough is catching onto the process, and Chapman is so strong and physical,” said defensive end Wallace Gilberry.

Added defensive end Bobby Greenwood: “Chapman came in real strong. McCullough is working hard so that he can get his stuff done. He is good at filling the gap and he doesn’t get blown off the ball.”

  • One of the tougher competitions during Alabama’s preseason practices is for the second cornerback slot.

    Simeon Castille has one, but who will get the other? West Morgan grad Eric Gray, Lionel Mitchell and Marquis Johnson are in the running.

    The competition among the three is breeding a healthy attitude — at least, so they say.

    “If they are better and they beat you out, that’s just what it is, but we all have to help one another,” Mitchell said. “We all know we have one another’s back. There won’t be any issues when we’re on the field. We will be playing as one.”

  • Even with temperatures reaching 103 degrees in Tuscaloosa, Alabama coach Nick Saban wasn’t feeling sorry for his players during another day of preseason practice.

    In fact, Saban had a name for the complaints he was hearing from his bunch.

    “It’s called the ‘poor me’s,’ ” Saban said “That’s going to be your ad campaign. I can’t do it. What are you telling the other guys? ‘I’m hot. I’m tired. I don’t know if I can make it. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. It is called the ‘poor me’s.’

    “I have to work out here in the heat. Everybody else is doing it, though.”

  • Freshman defensive back Chris Lett returned to the practice field Thursday. Lett went home to have his diabetes treated. Saban said that Lett’s situation is ongoing.

    Running back Roy Upchurch and defensive tackle Luther Davis wore black non-contact jerseys and were limited in practice.

    Upchurch had shoulder surgery in the offseason and Davis hurt his neck in practice two days ago.

    Josh Cooper,
    Daily Sports Writer


    AUBURN — The Auburn football team held its second set of two-a-day practices despite hot and muggy weather conditions Thursday, working out in full pads early in the morning and in shorts and helmets in the evening.

    The Tigers practiced for a little more than two hours in the early workout before holding a shorter 90-minute practice in the evening. Auburn continued to focus on special teams early in both practices, before moving to individual and position drills. The Tiger offense and defense came together to work against each other near the end of each practice before concluding with field goals.

    “Mental toughness has to be a big factor in two-a-days, and we’re still looking for a lot of that from some guys,” head coach Tommy Tuberville said. “We are letting nit-picky things keep us out of practice. We’re not going to practice guys if they’re hurt physically, but you have to work through pain and soreness. That’s one thing we’re stressing with all these younger guys.”

  • Auburn will hold its fan day Saturday from 3-5 p.m. in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free.

    From staff reports

    Jacksonville State

    JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville State football team will practice in pads for the first time Friday at 6 a.m. after working in helmets and shoulder pads in 100-plus degree record heat Thursday afternoon.

    Head coach Jack Crowe said his team spent Thursday working on end-of-the-game situations, especially near the goal-line.

    The practice’s final 30-minutes featured a high intensity two-minute drill scrimmage.

    From staff reports

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