Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Nick Saban: 'Drake Is Fine'

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Nick Saban: 'Drake Is Fine'

Article excerpt

One of the keys to the offense not taking a step back this season is the health of senior running back Kenyan Drake.

Drake wore a black, noncontact jersey throughout the spring, but has been full speed since the opening of fall camp.

Junior running back Derrick Henry said Drake is just as explosive as he was before he leg injury last season.

University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, clearly weary of answering questions about his running back's health, said Drake is fine.

"How many times do I have to say that?" Saban said. "I've been asked about Kenyan Drake since the first day of spring practice. He was full speed all spring, he was full speed all summer, and he's full speed now. And I think he'll be full speed next week, God willing, and nothing happens to him."

It should be noted that Drake did participate during the A-Day spring game, but at the time Saban said the plan was to keep him on a "pitch count" during the spring.

Coming back

He's out the first week of the season with a NCAA four-week suspension to an issue concerning his amateurism, but true freshman running back Bo Scarbrough has made great strides in his rehabilitation from a major knee injury during the spring.

Scarbrough, a 6-foot-2, 240-pounder, is expected to play this season, a major plus for an offense that had running back depth issues during the spring.

Henry said Scarbrough is like all the other backs on the team, just working hard, competing and trying to get better.

Saban said Scarbrough could make a contribution by the time fall rolls around.

"I think he's a little ahead of schedule in terms of his rehab, what he was able to do.

"He's had no-contact practice. He's four months. Most of the time when they cut a guy loose to cut and do those types of things," Saban said. "We sort of don't want to hit him. He'll probably be awhile before he can play.

"Our target for him is to be able to practice, increase his workload over the next what amounts to two months and hopefully by the end of September he'll be able to start making a contribution."

At odds

At the end of his first press conference of fall camp, Saban read a statement aimed at a new book on his life entitled, "Saban: The Making of a Coach. …

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