28 June 2008
| Glen Coffee - #38 - RB - 6-2 - 197 lbs. - Fort Walton Beach, FL - Fort Walton Beach HS - 2 Varsity Letters
Glen is one of the more intriguing players on Alabama’s offense. He signed with Alabama in 2005 as the least heralded member of a running back class that included Mike Ford
and Roy Upchurch
, and then walked right onto campus and into the playing rotation. Whether it has been injury or suspension, so far there has seemingly always been something holding him back from following through on that early promise.
He played in all 13 games for Bama in 2005, touching the ball 56 times on either a rush or a reception, and appeared on his way to being a major part of the rushing attack in 2006. That ended early in the fall camp, and after surgery he sat out the entire season.
While Terry Grant
got the early starts, as the season rolled to its midway point, Glen was getting more and more of the time, due to his ability to run between the tackles and pick up blitzes. Then came the 4-game suspension to due inappropriate use of textbooks. Despite missing those games he ended up as Bama’s 2nd leading rusher, with 129 carries for 545 yards and 4 TDs.
He lacks the speed of Grant and the explosiveness of Roy Upchurch
, but Glen continues to be Bama’s most complete back. He rarely does anything eye-popping, which makes him almost boring to watch at times. But he also rarely misses assignments, something that does not show up in the box score. He is very good as a pass-protector, and does a great job of carrying out his fakes on play-action.
An off-season shoulder surgery held him out for part of the spring, but he should easily be 100% by the time fall camp opens. He had a little fumbling problem in 2007, which will have to be corrected.
2008 Prospectus: Bama’s new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain
shares Nick Saban’s
philosophy of spreading the ball around to numerous guys, so it is unlikely that Bama will have a “featured back” this season. Glen’s experience combined with his ability to run both between and outside the tackles should make him one of the primary guys in what will likely be a 3 or 4 back rotation.
He is also Bama’s #4 returning receiver, with 18 catches in 2007. He doesn’t pose the big play threat at the backfield that Grant does (Terry is Bama’s #2 returning receiver), but Glen has been reliable in this role during his career. With the way that McElwain likes to use his backs as receivers, this should help Glen be a part of the offense.
My guess is that barring injury he’ll top 100 carries again, and should probably catch 15-25 passes. How much he is used in the red zone will likely depend on the emergence of redshirt freshman Jeramie Griffin
and the “ready to play” status of Bama’s 4 incoming freshmen at the running back position.
Not having to be the single-used running back could allow Glen to expand on his growing role in special teams. While he returned 2 kicks in 2005, he was used on punt and kick coverage in 2007. With a new special teams coordinator (Bobby Williams), it is unclear where the pool of talent will come from for the coverage units, but Glen’s experience in that role should make him a top candidate.