Coach Nick Saban said sophomore running back Josh Jacobs is able to play in Saturday’s LSU game. Senior defensive end Da’Shawn Hand’s status isn’t yet known.

“Da’Shawn Hand has practiced, gotten reps. But I don’t think we’ll know if he’ll be able to play or not until pre-game,” Saban said. “He’s been medically cleared but still any time a player is coming off an injury I think that the player’s got to have confidence that he can go out there and do his job well. I usually talk to the player about that. We’ll make a decision in pre-game on his status for the game.”

Paging McElwain

Nick Saban is often viewed as one not known to emotional sentiment, but he is fiercely loyal to coaches who’ve worked with him.

That was the case this week when he placed a phone call to Jim McElwain, his former offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2008-11, after he parted ways with Florida on Sunday.

“I put a call into him, left him a message, didn’t get ahold of him,” Saban said. “I understand he went to see his granddaughter in Arizona. I did talk to Jimmy (Sexton) about him and how he was doing, sent a message through Jimmy to him. As the week winds down here, I’d certainly like to have an opportunity to let him know that we’re here to support him in every way that we can. I think Jim did a really good job there to get to the SEC championship game the last two years, the first two years he was there. We’ve had to play them and they’re always difficult preparation. I’m just sorry it didn’t work out for him better. We’ll do everything we can to help him in the future.”

Bye week football

Last Friday night a handful of Alabama players joined freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in attendance of the biggest high school football game in the state, Thompson at Hoover. Thompson prevailed thanks to a clutch performance by Tagovailoa’s younger brother, Taulia, who led a late fourth-quarter drive to seal the come-from-behind win.

Running back Brian Robinson and defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne were spotted at the game in support of their teammate’s brother. Senior linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton watched it on his computer, rooting for Thompson the entire time.

“It was really good. I was watching it online,” Hamilton said. “Hoover has always been that team. I was glad to see Baby Tua pull it out. That’s what I call him. Baby Tua.”

What impressed him?

“Just his will to win. After the Tennessee game I gave him the whole history of Hoover High. I told him to do what you have to do to beat them. To get the win as a junior, that’s big right there.”

Reach Aaron Suttles at or at 205-722-0229.