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

Right tackle starter still in question


Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has yet to name a starter at the right tackle position for Saturday’s game against LSU.

D.J. Fluker is coming back from a groin injury suffered during the South Carolina game. Saban said he has to evaluate Fluker’s performance in practice before naming him starter over Alfred McCullough, who has taken the spot in Fluker’s absence.

“D.J. is able to practice, but is he 100 percent?” Saban said. “That is what we will have to evaluate. We will continue to evaluate the right tackle position and decide probably as late as the game who will play there.”

McCullough said he is preparing every day as he would as the starter, but he admitted that not knowing has made him a little anxious.

“Everybody wants to be in the starting position,” McCullough said. “The anticipation is great. It makes you practice hard every day, so it’s a good thing.”

Whoever starts for the Tide, the team feels they will have a great chance at success.

“If [Fluker] goes, he’s going to be ready to play,” McCullough said. “If I go, I’m going to be ready to play.”

Carpenter: A silent leader

There is a silent presence in the Alabama offense. He might not be the loudest or the most outspoken, but Crimson Tide left tackle James Carpenter’s actions are most definitely heard.

“I think James does a really great job and he works hard,” head coach Nick Saban said. “He doesn’t say anything. I mean, he doesn’t speak unless spoken to. I guess you would say he is not really a vocal leader, but I think he leads by example and does a good job of what he tries to do.”

Carpenter, like many of the other prominent leaders on the team, sets a good example on and off the field.

“He is never an issue, never a problem, never in trouble,” Saban said. “I don’t even know if his name has come up since he’s been here for missing class or anything.”

When teammates say Carpenter doesn’t say anything, they mean exactly that. When it comes down to practice, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman is all about business.

“I have never heard him say anything in practice except for making an O-line change,” junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. “When he’s tired, he doesn’t say, ‘I’m tired,’ or anything like that. He is just quiet.”

Despite the respect Carpenter receives in the locker room, teammates still give him a hard time about his silent nature.

“I think he would be one of the guys the players would kid a little bit because he is so quiet,” Saban said.

Hightower said, “James is one of those players that leads by example more than vocally. Whenever he steps up, because he doesn’t talk at all, I guess it’s just funny cause he never talks.”

Fallen friend

Mississippi State defensive lineman Nick Bell passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus said he is mourning the loss of not just a competitor, but of a friend as well.

“It’s been pretty rough,” Dareus said. “You just got to keep going. I knew Nick through football playing in Birmingham. He just seemed like a real cool dude and we just clicked like that.”

Dareus had been in and out of the hospital since Bell checked in and said he is focused now on making sure Bell’s family is all right.

“I was out on Monday, out on Tuesday, I’m thinking about going down there today, just checking if everybody is ok,” Dareus said. “I’m just trying to comfort them and make sure everybody’s head’s in the right place.”

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