Nick Saban was visibly frustrated discussing the lack of skill position players — particularly in the secondary and wide receivers.
The veteran head coach revealed that another wide receiver was out for spring. Redshirt freshman Tyrell Shavers, 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, injured his toe during last Saturday’s scrimmage, tearing a ligament in his toe that required surgery. Shavers joined Jerry Jeudy on the shelf for the rest of spring. Asked if Trevon Diggs could make the move back to wide receiver from the secondary to provide depth for the receiving corps, Saban explained why that wasn’t possible.
“No, we haven’t considered that because we don’t really have enough defensive backs,” he said. “I think Trevon Diggs, who played receiver here before, probably could do that but we don’t have enough guys in the secondary. We just don’t have enough skill people out there with those guys both injured.
“(Shavers will) be back for the season next year. It actually happened in the scrimmage and they told me after it was turf toe. So I didn’t think it was that big a deal. You always do MRIs on things like that and I guess it was a little bit worse than what they originally thought. He’ll be out for the rest of spring. Jerry will be out for the rest of spring. I said this before, we don’t have as many guys out there as we usually have and we have more guys out because of injuries than we usually have.”
Saban’s anxiety over the secondary isn’t unfounded. Alabama lost six defensive backs from last season and the only player with multiple games of experience as a starter is safety Deionte Thompson.
Saivion Smith is a junior college transfer who has been getting the majority of the repetitions at right corner with the first organizational group (Alabama doesn’t have a depth chart). Diggs is at left corner with Xavier McKinney and Shyheim Carter in nickel and dime packages. Daniel Wright has also been at safety.
That group is as inexperienced group as the Crimson Tide has fielded in recent memory. That group is Saban’s speciality and he’s working with them closely this spring.
“We have a lot of inexperienced guys there so it’s been a little bit of a work in progress,” he said. “I think guys have made improvement. Are we where we need to be? Not really. We have a long way to go. Am I disappointed in the progress? No. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to coach the guys. Trevon missed four or five practices but he’s back practicing now. I think that’ll be good for his development. But all in all, we have some young players coming in and there’s no doubt we’re going to have to use some of those guys for some depth at some of our positions in the secondary.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.