By firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Speakman)
Heading into spring football last season, there was uncertainty surrounding Alabama’s backfield. The team had two competitors, Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough.. When the season started, a third emerged: Josh Jacobs.
Now, this spring, Alabama’s backfield is as loaded as ever with six guys competing for playing time.
“We do have a lot of good running backs,” Saban said. “We went from not having very many to having a whole bunch. I think they’ve all done really, really well.”
Harris was Alabama’s leading rushing for last season with 1037 yards on 146 carries. He emerged last year starting with Alabama’s A-Day game. The three-headed attack with Harris leading the way helped Alabama the SEC’s second-best rushing attack last season.
Harris and Scarbrough, the two leading rushers, only had 64 combined carries at this time last year. What seemed like a concern during spring practice last season is now an afterthought. The team is loaded at running back, and even those inside the back field can’t believe it.
“We’ll be at practice and I kind of look back and it’s like, ‘We’ve got this many guys,’” Harris said. “There’s a lot of talented guys, a lot of guys that are ready to work hard.”
Joining Harris, Scarbrough and Jacobs is sophomore BJ Emmons. Emmons missed time last year with fractured leg and underwent surgery on his foot in February. Even with those four guys, Alabama still added two top 50 recruits to the back field in five-star Najee Harris and four-star Brian Robinson.
“Najee (Harris) has done a nice job,” Saban said. Brian Robinson has done a nice job. Damien Harris sprained his foot last Saturday indoors but he’ didn’t work today but he’ll probably be back Thursday.”
Scarbrough and Harris are expected to lead the way for Alabama this year. Scarbrough came on very strong late last season. After rushing for 180 yards in the semifinal against Washington, he ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns before fracturing his leg in the third quarter.
Scarbrough enters the spring season limited in practice. He’s spent all of Alabama’s practices in a black, non-contact jersey.
“Our goal for Bo is by the end of spring, he’s fully confident that he can do everything he needs to do,” Saban said. “Whether he ever scrimmages or is really something that we’re not that concerned about.”
As spring rolls on, Alabama will look to take advantage of its loaded backfield. Wheither it’s a familiar face or a new one, Alabama’s rushing attack seems to be more secure than the spring of last season.
“We certainly could use the experience. I think it’s a good problem to have,” Saban said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports