Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t missed a day of practice with Alabama since bowl preparation began as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered against Georgia. He was participating in individual drills, including footwork drills, during the open period on Monday. He is still expected to play in the Orange Bowl.
“I think he’s probably ahead of schedule,” coach Nick Saban said. “He’s been able to take a lot of reps. He’s been able to throw the ball from the pocket. He can run. I don’t think he’s 100 percent in terms of change of direction yet. But he’s already going 100 percent on the gravity treadmill. So he’s been able to practice and he’s made really, really good progress. So we’re encouraged by that.”
Left guard Deonte Brown was dressed and participating in practice on Monday as well. He’s been working through a turf toe injury suffered earlier in the season. Brown started at left guard in the SEC championship against Georgia.
“He’s doing well,” Saban said. “He’s probably not 100 percent yet, but he’s making good progress and we’re encouraged by it.”
Senior Bowl invites
Senior defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and senior outside linebacker Christian Miller are the first two Alabama players to accept invitations to the 2019 Senior Bowl, it was announced last week. The game is set for Jan. 26, 2019.
Buggs has 41 tackles and leads the team with 9.5 sacks this season. Miller has 35 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Hurts, Tagovailoa receive award
The National Quarterback Club in Phoenix named both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa their college quarterbacks of the year, it was announced last week. The club named Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints as its professional quarterback of the year, while Spencer Rattler of Phoenix and Bo Nix of Pinson Valley High School outside Birmingham were named high school quarterbacks of the year.