The University of Alabama’s first football practice for the upcoming Citrus Bowl provided a look at which players UA may have available for the game. UA coach Nick Saban is scheduled to address the media at 4 p.m. to further address the subject.
UPDATE: Saban has since confirmed Trevon Diggs and Terrell Lewis will not play in the Citrus Bowl. Here’s the full story.
On the offensive side: no noticeable absences. Najee Harris was on the field, and here’s Jedrick Wills.
— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) December 16, 2019
– The two notable absences were outside linebacker Terrell Lewis and cornerback Trevon Diggs. Lewis, a redshirt junior, went through the senior day ceremonies before the Western Carolina game, suggesting that he had already decided to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft. Diggs, a senior, was projected to be the No. 11 pick in the draft in The Athletic’s mock draft on Dec. 4.
– Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was predictably on the practice field Monday, after he tweeted his intent to play in the Citrus Bowl. Other players like him — those projected to be high draft picks that were on the practice field Monday — included running back Najee Harris, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, right tackle Jedrick Wills Jr., left tackle Alex Leatherwood and safety Xavier McKinney. Their presence on the practice field does not necessarily mean they are playing in the Citrus Bowl nor that they are returning to UA for senior seasons; Saban may discuss their status in his 4 p.m. press conference.
– In Diggs’ absence, Josh Jobe joined Patrick Surtain as a first-string cornerback. Also with the defensive backs: senior safety Jared Mayden was not a full participant in the drills. Christopher Allen took the place usually occupied by Lewis with the outside linebackers.
– Freshman running back Trey Sanders was practicing in a black non-contact jersey, the first time he has taken practice reps during a media viewing period since the beginning of the regular season. A foot injury forced him out of the entire regular season.