Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

McCullough’s versatility a luxury for Tide

If junior offensive lineman Alfred McCullough finds solid playing time in 2010, it could be because of his versatility.

McCullough made the change from the defensive line to offensive tackle in 2008, but head coach Nick Saban said the team’s current third tackle could also fill in at guard.

“[McCullough’s] probably our third tackle on the team right now and certainly a guy who’s athletic enough to play left tackle if we need him to,” Saban said.

“Alfred has continued to work hard. I think he could play other positions for us to if we need him to. I think he could play guard if we need him to play positions other than right tackle.”

Saban also didn’t forget to mention the rest of the offensive lineman alongside McCullough. With three of five starters returning up front this year, he voiced his confidence in that unit.

“I feel like we have a good group of offensive linemen coming up,” Saban said, “some guys that have a chance to be really good players.”

Senior center William Vlachos already has some battle wounds from practice. Courtney Upshaw’s uncovered shoulder pad caught Vlachos above his nose, resulting in a cut that required six stitches.

When asked if he liked his “Braveheart-type” wound, Vlachos laughed and said, “It is kind of cool.”

Start of school

With classes beginning, the challenge of balancing academics and football begins again as well. Saban emphasized the struggles with classes starting amongst practices.

“It’s always a little bit challenging when guys change routine,” he said. “Yesterday was the first day of class so it was a little bit challenging, but I saw the players bounce back today. We continue to emphasize that everybody needs one of us all the time. And everybody has to do their job everyday.”

Saban also referred to managing their lifestyles as being similar to a “three ring circus.”

Vlachos voiced his confidence in the team to correctly handle the balance.

“It’s very important,” he said. “I’m sure some people aren’t as good of a player because of that type of stuff if they don’t balance it right. Coach Saban talks about that a lot, just doing the right things on and off the field… The people that play on our team, most of them know that it’s really not an issue anymore.”

Sophomore tight end Michael Williams commented on the number of guys staying after practice and continuing to work, despite the official practice being done. To Williams, the start of school gives players the opportunity to show their determination.

“The only difference [with school starting] is there’s no meetings at night,” he said. “Once 5:30 comes, you’re done for the day, unless you want to get extra for yourself, which I found a lot of people are getting extra reps by choice.”

Alfy Hill

According to a statement from Mike Ward, the Eligibility Center has declined to accept certain courses taken at Alfy Hill’s high school as core course in certification. This results in Hill being deemed ineligible for in football this season.

Although Alabama has repealed the decision, Harrison Jones has joined the team as Hill’s roster spot replacement.

“There’s a new emphasis with any kind of correspondence courses that young guys take,” Saban said. “There’s a new standard. For whatever reasons, a few of his courses we not accepted after they were reviewed and that put him as a nonqualifer. We had limited options with him and we will continue to support him. If we can get him to do the right things he’ll always have the opportunity to come back to Alabama when he is qualified.”

Jones returned to the team on Wednesday after originally planning to delay his enrollment until January. Hill’s situation allowed another scholarship to become available.

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