Alabama football RB Jase McClellan out for the year with injury

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football running back Jase McClellan will be out for the year with a knee injury, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday. 

McClellan will have surgery Tuesday. McClellan suffered the knee injury in Alabama's win over Ole Miss this past Saturday. 

Alabama is down to three healthy scholarship running backs in Brian Robinson Jr., Roydell Williams and Trey Sanders. On Monday, Saban said freshman running back Camar Wheaton is week-to-week with a meniscus injury and is not medically cleared to practice. 

"Five (running backs) is a good number to have and now we have three," Saban said. "But I think that would be the case at any position. You lose two or three guys at any position, and it challenges your depth. So that's the case. And hopefully you don't get snake-bit and lose a bunch of guys at one position, which really can have an impact on your team."

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Saban said Monday that Alabama will look to see if anyone else on the roster has experience at the running back position and see how it works out. Saban said Alabama has several guys in mind but didn't name anyone specifically. 

"We'll see how they might be able to develop and be an emergency guy," Saban said. 

Prior to leaving the game, McClellan tallied 28 yards on six carries. In total this season, McClellan has rushed 40 times for 191 yards and a touchdown. 

McClellan's true value comes in the passing game. He has caught 10 passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns through the first five games. 

A sophomore from Aledo, Texas, McClellan has served as Robinson's primary backup this season. McClellan is also a special-teams contributor. He has four tackles this season and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against Mercer in the second game of the season. 

In that game, McClellan scored three times: Off that blocked punt, via a running play and via a passing play. 

McClellan's solid start to his sophomore season builds off his freshman campaign. As a freshman in a deep backfield in 2020, McClellan caught one pass. He rushed 23 times for 245 yards and ran for two touchdowns. 

He had a season-high 99 rushing yards against Kentucky in 2020, and his longest run went for 80 yards against Arkansas in December. 

"Jase is a very good player," Saban said. "Did a great job as a runner, as well as a blocker as well as very good special teams player. We have to replace him in a lot of areas on our team, but we do have confidence in Roydell, and I think he'll do a good job. Trey Sanders is going to get more opportunity now and he's got to be able to step up and continue to make progress as well."

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly