Roll Tide. After winning a national title, signing another top recruiting class, losing three players who attempted to steal snacks from fellow students, and having another now-former player arrested for using a stolen credit card, the Alabama Crimson Tide finally got back on the field Saturday. Nick Saban used his first non-contact day to do what he always does: try to move one or two guys to defensive back. This year, it is wide receivers Cyrus Jones and Christion Jones, as well as running back Dee Hart. As Roll Bama Roll explains, these moves might not stick:
I could see Cryus [sic] playing safety with his size. I don't think most are surprised by this move considering the plethora of depth at WR and a lack of experience at DB...Still we really haven't seen much success at the "converted WR playing CB" to date. We'll have to keep an eye out to see if this sticks or just another experiment by the coaching staff.
The surprise (not a big one tho) was that Dee Hart was also seen getting work at CB. This could be seen as attempt to get him reps somewhere since we are loaded at RB but many think it could be a way to get him "contact" before moving back to RB. Saban is known to have guys, who are tentative coming back after an injury, play CB to get them use to taking and giving contact.
For what it's worth, Saban told reporters that he did not expect all three to remain at cornerback:
"I don't even know that we're looking to make permanent changes. I think we're looking to see if any of those guys could help us and whether and if this would be a better circumstance for them to be able to contribute to our team.''
WOLVERINES! Michigan opened spring practice Saturday with the requisite helmets-and-shorts practice, heavy on tackling dummies and running plays, in the Wolverines' indoor practice facility. At the end of the day, it's about exploding as well as you can.
One takeaway from the video: Brady Hoke looks at home when throwing a right cross.
The Wolverines started spring practice one day after announcing that defensive coordinator Greg Mattison had signed a three-year extension to stay through 2016. The 63-year-old Mattison is the former defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, and has been credited with the quick turnaround of the Michigan defense under Hoke. Michigan plays its spring game on April 13.
There is an Achilles joke in here somewhere. The string of knee injuries being suffered by USC skill position players in spring practice is nearing epidemic status. Running back Silas Redd is out for the remainder of spring practice after tearing his meniscus Thursday. Redd watched Saturday's practice from the sidelines and will have surgery to fix the knee. He is expected to recover fully before USC opens preseason camp in July.
Redd's injury comes in the same week that wide receiver Marqise Lee and quarterback Max Wittek missed time with knee injuries. Both of those players sat out Saturday's drills, but are expected to return before spring camp breaks.
Tiger eats Commodore. Film at 11. Vanderbilt quarterback recruit Chad Kanoff, who signed a letter of intent with the Commodores in February, has announced that he will instead enroll at Princeton. Because Ivy League schools do not grant football scholarships or participate in the letter of intent program, Kanoff is eligible to play next fall despite his previous commitment. The consensus three-star prospect had reportedly received pressure from his family throughout the recruiting process to attend an Ivy League school. Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin wished him well.
Speed kills. Oregon kick returner and wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas won the 100 and 200-meter dashes at Oregon's first outdoor track meet of the year. Thomas ran a 10.31 second 100 and 21.17 second 200 at the Oregon Preview meet.
HOSS FIGHT. LSU holds its first "big cat" drill of the year.