COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
With preseason practice coming to a close and game instillation starting Saturday, Alabama players said they learned a lot about themselves, but there is room for improvement.
"We are definitely ready," said wide receiver DJ Hall "I wouldn't say we are where we need to be, but we will get there before the games. We are tired of hitting each other"
The team has practiced 20 days since players reported Aug. 2 and almost every day had temperatures hovering about 100 degrees.
"We bonded by being under the same roof for so long," said defensive end Wallace Gilberry. "We got a lot accomplished and figured out what we could stride on working harder and be better at."
Alabama's spring prospectus lists running back Glen Coffee at 225 pounds. The 105-man roster, however has the sophomore at 197 pounds. Was it some incredible diet regimen or just a typo?
"I mean, I've lost a couple of pounds but not 20 pounds," Coffee said.
Coffee and fellow sophomore Roy Upchurch appear to be the two front-runners to be the second running back in Saban's two-back system. While Terry Grant has emerged has the starter, Saban has not publicly praised either Coffee or Upchurch as a potential No. 2 in his offense.
As a freshman in 2005, Coffee rushed for 179 yards on 48 carries as the team's third-leading rusher. He missed 2006 with strained knee ligaments and a bone bruise.
"I want to be on the field," Coffee said. "(My injury) may have calmed me down a little. Knowing every game may be your last."
Daily Sports Writer
AUBURN — Starting left tackle King Dunlap did not practice Friday after he "tweaked his ankle" during Thursday's drills, coach Tommy Tuberville said. Dunlap is expected to return soon.
Carl Stewart (hamstring) and receiver Montez Billings (hamstring) practiced with the team and "could have gone full speed," Tuberville said. Guard Leon Hart (ankle) was "out there running around," he added.
Tuberville expects everyone to return to full-speed action Sunday, except for running back Tristan Davis, who had surgery for a broken toe two weeks ago. The coach said Davis will be walking Monday.
"We'll know once he starts walking how long the rehab will be," Tuberville said. "It could be two weeks. It could be four weeks."
The team practiced for only a short time Friday, wearing shorts and helmets. Players will have Saturday off before going 11 straight weeks without a break. Auburn's first and only bye week of the season comes before the Iron Bowl.
"I've been ready for a day off with nothing to do ... no meetings, no nothing," a relieved Sen'Derrick Marks said following practice.
A four-star running back from Daphne committed to Auburn on Thursday, becoming the team's ninth commit of the 2008 season and the biggest.
Reggie Hunt, a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, chose the Tigers over West Virginia, according to rivals.com. But Hunt had other offers from Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Purdue, South Carolina and Southern Miss.
"He'll fit in well at Auburn," said Hunt's high school offensive coordinator at Daphne. "He's seen the history of the running backs there. A lot of people say it's a running back school and that's the way he looked at it."
According to rivals.com, Hunt runs the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds. Despite missing five games his junior year, Hunt had 72 carries for 1,009 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Daily Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE — Tennessee tailback LaMarcus Coker, the team's leading rusher last season who was indefinitely suspended two weeks ago, will rejoin the team, coach Phillip Fulmer said Friday.
While Fulmer never made clear what Coker had done to get suspended, the coach said Coker "has fulfilled his obligations" to return to the team starting with practice Saturday.
The decision, Fulmer said, came "at the recommendation of his (Coker's) medical advisers."
OXFORD, Miss. — Former walk-on Seth Adams will be the starting quarterback when Mississippi takes the field Sept. 1 against Memphis, coach Ed Orgeron announced Friday.
Kickoff for the team's season opener is 2:37 p.m. in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
Adams, who has been running with the first unit during the preseason, was selected over last year's starter, Brent Schaeffer, and redshirt freshman Michael Herrick.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina safety Emanuel Cook was arrested on a gun charge and suspended from the university Friday, making him ineligible to play for the Gamecocks.
Cook, a 19-year-old sophomore, was charged with unlawful possession of a pistol by someone younger than 21, according to a police report.
Former South Carolina star and NFL standout Duce Staley will work the team's radio broadcasts as a sideline reporter.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, talking with reporters for the first time since arriving on campus in January, confirmed Friday he underwent arthroscopic surgery this past spring to remove a bone spur from his throwing arm.
JACKSONVILLE — With the football season just one week away, Jacksonville State spent Friday working on game week preparations for the season opener at Alabama State next week.
The Gamecocks held their final two-a-day workout Friday and used both practices to install the Alabama State game plan.
Head coach Jack Crowe says he is excited to see some of his younger players step up and play a larger role this season.
The Gamecocks will hold a dress rehearsal practice at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Paul Snow Stadium and Crowe says the team will spend the majority of practice working on kicking situations.
BIRMINGHAM — UAB fans are welcome to join the Blazers at Bartow Arena in Birmingham for "Breakfast with the Blazers" on Saturday.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will include a breakfast catered by Full Moon, followed by an autograph
session with the UAB football team.
All UAB football season ticket holders and current UAB students are invited to attend the event free of charge. The breakfast will cost $5 for all non-season ticket holders.
From Staff, wire reports
Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
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