There was a little something special when reserve running back/tight end Ronnie Clark scored the first touchdown of his career Saturday night. His teammates piled off the sidelines to congratulate him. You could tell it meant something to the team, including the head coach and essentially anyone associated with the program.

Clark has bounced between positions during his time in the Alabama program. He’s also suffered two torn Achilles, which added to why the moment meant so much to the team.

“Ronnie Clark has been, to me, the consummate, ultimate great story about any program and what college football should be all about,” Saban said. “Here’s a guy that has done everything that anyone could ever ask as a teammate and contributed to the team in whatever way he could, regardless of how much accolade that may have brought him. I think every player on the team respects that and understands that, and I think every coach, including myself, respects that and understand that.

“When a guy has an opportunity to score a touchdown, I think a lot of people were very, very excited for him. So excited that we really could have gotten a penalty because the guys ran out on the field without their helmet on, so we caught a break on that one. We were really, really happy to see Ronnie have a positive self-gratification for all his dedication and hard work and commitment to the program and the team in every way that he’s been able to contribute.”

Tight end Hale Hentges said no one deserved the moment more than Clark.

“That was amazing,” he said. “We all love Ronnie Clark to death, and he’s been a valuable contributor to our team and he’s gone through hell since he’s been here with injuries and things like that. We were so excited as you can see. Everyone on the sideline was swarming him. Ronnie Clark deserved that we’re really glad that he ended up scoring.”

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