19 June 2008
With the announcement that Lionel Mitchell has left the team due to his back injury, we thought we would update the numbers situation:
Seniors (11) - Antoine Caldwell
, Marlon Davis
, Bobby Greenwood
, Jimmy Johns
, Rashad Johnson
, Ezekial Knight
, Travis McCall
, Will Oakley
, Nikita Stover
, Nick Walker
& John Parker Wilson
Juniors (22) - Eryk Anders, Javier Arenas, Sam Burnthall, Evan Cardwell, Terrence Cody, Glen Coffee, Drew Davis, Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Fanney, Prince Hall
, Baron Huber, Marquis Johnson
, Mike Johnson, Mike McCoy, Colin Peek, Cory Reamer
, Chris Rogers
, Ali Sharrief, Andre Smith, Roy Upchurch
, Lorenzo Washington & Justin Woodall
Sophomores (15) - Earl Alexander, Luther Davis, Preston Dial, Terry Grant, Charlie Higgenbotham, Kareem Jackson, Charlie Kirschman, Rolando McClain, Greg McElroy, Brian Motley, Taylor Pharr, David Roos, Travis Sikes, Milton Talbert & Chavis Williams
Returning Freshmen (15) - Josh Chapman
, Patrick Crump, Nick Fanuzzi
, Tarance Farmer, Nick Gentry
, Brandon Gibson, Demetrius Goode, Jeramie Griffin, Darius Hanks
, Jennings Hester, Marquis Maze, Alfred McCullough
, Chris Underwood, William Vlachos
& Alex Watkins
The guys I have in bold are still listed as Sophomores on the University's official roster because the ruling on their medical redshirts for last season has not been made public. No one on that list played in more than 1 games, so all should receive their medical redshirts. Should and will are different things, and we'll make changes if necessary, but for now, we're going with them as freshmen.
Add those numbers together and you get 63. Here's where the funny math comes in, though. Take 1 away because Terrence Cody isn't officially a part of the team yet - so 62. But then add back in Corey Smith & Chris Jackson, because they are a part of the team - so 64.
So the number now is 64. Meaning Bama has to lose 4 more players in order to get to that magic number of 60 that allows for a full 25 to come in during the fall.
So where do those 4 come from?
Up until last week it looked like Prince Hall
would be one. That doesn't appear to be an automatic anymore, since he is in school and working out with the team.
Unfortunately there is still no news on Zeke Knight
, and in the case of Zeke, no news is bad news. I expect he will also head to medical hardship.
As was also reported today Will Oakley
has suffered yet another injury and is having another surgery. Coach Saban has said he'll be back, but also mentioned how close we are to the beginning of fall camp. When you factor in the shoulder injuries/surgeries and the 2 years lost to hamstring injuries, my guess is that Will also moves to medical hardship - though he has already completed his degree, and could decide to simply move on with his life.
With Oakley and Knight out, that would leave 2. Where those come from is yet to be seen, but there are certainly other candidates out there.
And before the folks at mgoblog.com
chime in again with accusations of Nick Saban doing something wrong, let's address 2 things:
1) Lionel Mitchell had 61 tackles and 5 interceptions in his 3 years in Bama's secondary. He was the left cornerback in Bama's nickel package in 11 of the team's 13 games last season. This isn't a case of Nick Saban getting rid of a player because he's no good. Mitchell had spells of ineffectiveness, but this is a real loss to Bama's secondary.
2) Every player who has been lost to attrition this off season is still on scholarship at Alabama except for Jeremy Elder, who was kicked off of the team and out of school for legal reasons, and Tremayne Coger who opted to leave for a scholarship and playing time at a smaller school. Nick Saban isn't running guys off because he doesn't like them. The NCAA allows for players who are no longer able to play due to injury (like BJ Stabler' knees or Lionel Mitchell's back) to be kept on scholarship without penalizing the team. Not one of these kids has been sent packing because they were hurt. Bama will pay for them to finish their education without them having to risk further injury.
As for the incoming players and getting that number to 25... the original number of 32 dropped to 30 when Corey Smith
and Chris Jackson
enrolled in the spring and counted towards the 2007 numbers.
That 30 dropped to 28 when Destin Hood
and Melvin Ray
opted for Major League Baseball careers.
That 28 dropped to 27 officially today when Nick Saban announced that Brandon Lewis
will not enroll in the fall. There were rumors that he was busting it in summer school, but those rumors came after Lewis himself said that he was enrolling at Hargrave Military Academy. That has changed also and he'll actually be going to East Mississippi Community College.
So that leaves 2 guys that still have to be accounted for. Kerry Murphy
, Ivan Matchett
& Devonta Bolton
have yet to make arrangements for enrollment in Bama's 2nd summer term (beginning July 8th) as they continue to work towards eligibility. Insiders claim Murphy has very little chance. Matchett & Bolton are still possibilities, and if both qualify there will have to be 1 scholarship accounted for.
There are conflicting reports as to whether Wesley Neighbors
can accept the Bryant Scholarship. His father Wes played for Coach Bryant in his freshman season, so Wesley qualifies. The discrepancy is over whether or not Bama can have 2 players enroll during the same semester under the Bryant Scholarship, and Morgan Ogilvie
, son of Bama legend Major Ogilvie
is enrolling this fall.
As a point of fact, a player on the Bryant Scholarship counts towards the 85 limit only if he sees live action during a game. If he plays during his first 2 seasons he counts towards the 25 number for the class that enrolled with. Neighbors did sign a letter of intent in February, but current Alabama Junior and Bryant Scholarship recipient Scott Deaton sign a letter of intent during his senior season also. And since Deaton has yet to play, he has yet to count.
I expect that we'll hear something definite in the next 2 weeks about Knight, and also about the 3 guys still working to qualify.
The other issue that could arise regarding the 85 number is any academic casualties among the current scholarship players.
We will keep you updated once more information becomes available.