Former Alabama consensus All-American Javier Arenas has joined the Alabama staff, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.

Areanas’ role is yet to be defined. The former standout defensive back and returner has been spotted at the Crimson Tide’s practices this week. He has been shadowing the coaching staff to determine if coaching is something the 29 year old wants to pursue.

Per NCAA guidelines, which restrict the amount of on-the-field personnel that are allowed to instruct, Arenas will serve in an off-the-field role.

Arenas, a Tampa native, had a stellar career at Alabama (2006-09), which culminated in a 2009 BCS national championship. He made active rosters for three NFL teams (Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons).

Saban the mentor

Arenas is the latest in a host of former Saban players the veteran coach has found a role for in his program. Former defensive back Nick Perry is a graduate assistant. Former defensive tackle Josh Chapman is a strength and conditioning coach. Former linebacker Denzel Devall is the director of player development. Former defensive back Geno Matias-Smith serves in an off-the-field capacity. Former running back Glen Coffee joined the staff this week as a student-assistant as he continues work towards his degree.

“I’m very loyal to our players,” Saban said “We probably have a half of dozen guys around here now that have played for us in the past. They understand the culture, they understand how we do things, they buy into it and they believe in it. I’m happy to have them back if they want to be coaches or be in the strength and conditioning program or get in some kind of athletic administration, we certainly want to help them have the opportunity to do that.”

Aaron Suttles at or at 205-722-0229.