Alabama Crimson Tide: Malcolm Faciane

Alabama Intel: Wrapping up camp 

August, 23, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Camp formally ended for the Crimson Tide on Monday when the fall semester began on the University of Alabama campus. And while studies have gotten in the way of the early morning practices and two-a-days players had become accustomed to, the mood of preseason camp lingered for much of the week, as players fought to climb the depth chart and position changes remained in effect.

Preparation for Virginia Tech didn't begin until Thursday afternoon, when the second half of the brief media viewing portion of practice came with the condition that cameras not film the proceedings. For the first time, there was something coaches weren't willing to show the outside world.

[+] EnlargeBlake Sims
John David Mercer/USA TODAY SportsComing out of preseason practice, Blake Sims is the clear cut No. 2 quarterback for the Crimson Tide.
But even so, there was plenty to report, and in the final edition of Alabama Intel we'll try to do just that.
Alabama starting linebacker Trey DePriest has been suspended for violation of team rules, according to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, who stressed that the team's second-leading tackler from a season ago would be able to return to the field shortly if he fulfills his obligations.

DePriest, a junior with NFL potential at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, missed Tuesday's practice in Tuscaloosa. He's part of a linebacking corps that returns all four of its starters from a season ago, including All-American inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and top pass-rusher Adrian Hubbard on the outside.

[+] EnlargeTrey DePriest
Paul Abell/USA TODAY SportsTrey DePriest has been suspended by Alabama for a violation of team rules.
"[DePriest] played very well for us," Saban told reporters. "He made a mistake. He didn’t do the right thing. It wasn’t a very smart thing to do, and there has to be consequences sometimes when you don’t do the right things. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it, it will make him better and he’ll have a better chance to be successful in life."

Saban also announced that star wide receiver Amari Cooper would miss the next few practices with a strained foot. The Pre-Season All-SEC selection led the team with 59 catches, 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, setting nearly every Alabama rookie receiving record in the process.

Cooper wore a black no-contact jersey during practice on Tuesday.

"He’s going to be out for a few days," Saban explained, "and then he will be day-to-day. I don’t think he’s going to be hurt for a long time."

Luckily for Saban, Alabama is loaded at wide receiver. Kevin Norwood, Christion Jones, DeAndrew White and Kenny Bell all have starting experience and freshmen such as Chris Black, Robert Foster and Raheem Falkins are pushing for playing time as well.

"The receiver group has progressed very, very well from where we were at this point last year," offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said at UA's media day on August 4. "We have a couple of new players, a lot of returning guys, a lot of guys who've played a lot of games. Obviously we had some injury issues last year that helped us develop some younger players."

Alabama was able to welcome back tight end Malcolm Faciane on Tuesday after he finished a 30-day suspension for violation of team rules. The 6-foot-5, 267-pound redshirt sophomore was in line for more reps this season after the departure of Michael Williams, but will have an uphill battle now that backups such as Harrison Jones and O.J. Howard have begun making their case for playing time.

"I don’t like suspending players," Saban said. "If we’re going to punish any players or suspend any players, it’s going to be in their best interest to change their behavior so they have a better opportunity to be successful. If it’s not going to do that, I don’t see any reason to do it.

"It’s almost like raising your kids. If you’re going to spank them and it doesn’t change their behavior, why spank them? If you take their computer or their cell phone away from them and it changes their behavior, I’d say that’s the thing to do. We would only do it in the best interest of the player."
Darius PaigeGreg Ostendorf/ESPN.comFreshman DT Darius Page will remain on scholarship and could rejoin the team in the future.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Former four-star defensive tackle Darius Paige has been "medically disqualified" to play by the University of Alabama medical staff, according to coach Nick Saban.

Paige (6-foot-4, 314 pounds), out of Foley, Ala., was part of Alabama's No. 1-ranked signing class of 2013 and arrived on campus this summer eager to compete for playing time on a defensive line replacing three of its top four players from a season ago. Instead, he will remain in school on scholarship and work toward playing sometime in the future.

"Paige has medical issues that have caused our medical staff to think that it's not safe for him to to try and play, so he has been medically disqualified," Saban said. "He is here, and we are helping to support him, and he will be on scholarship, get an education, and our medical staff is working with him right now to improve his condition.

"Now, I can't comment any further on that. ... I'm just giving you what I can say."

Paige tweeted from his personal account on Sunday that, "Being left out is the worst feeling ever."

Saban said Paige's redshirt cleared the way for Bradley Bozeman to join the team this week. Bozeman, a former four-star signee in the 2013 class had been prepared to grayshirt this season because of a knee injury. Bozeman told TideNation's Greg Ostendorf this week that he's very close to 100 percent.

Paige's loss wasn't the only blow to the Tide, as it was announced that reserve tight end Malcolm Faciane has been suspended for violation of team rules. The 6-foot-5, 267-pound redshirt sophomore was in line to take on an increased role after the departure of former Alabama tight end Michael Williams. Now he'll have to work his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff.

"He can return, if he does the things he's supposed to do, at some point in the future," Saban said.

Defensive end LaMichael Fanning practiced with the tight ends and will continue there for another four days to see if he can contribute and provide depth at the position.
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.

No. 85 Malcolm Faciane
Redshirt sophomore tight end

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Crimson Countdown: Harrison Jones 

July, 23, 2013
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During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.

No. 82 Harrison Jones
Redshirt junior tight end/H-back


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Editor's note: TideNation will use this week to look at the four major positions on the football field and how their outlook has changed post-spring practice. Today we examine the threats in the passing game:

Who's leading?

AJ McCarron is a happy man these days, and not just because he gets to drive the pace car at Talladega. The senior quarterback is smiling, in part, because of the number of weapons he'll have to work with this coming season.

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Editor’s note: Every Tuesday and Thursday between now and national signing day, TideNation will review each position and look at who figures to start, who could rise up the depth chart and who might be on the way. Today we’ll look at the tight ends and H-backs.


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Tracking the Tide: Michael Williams

December, 20, 2012
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Alabama's date with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, we will review the season for a key Crimson Tide player or coach and attempt to project what’s next for him. Today we’ll look at tight end Michael Williams.

No. 89 Michael Williams
Tight end
21 receptions, 166 yards, 3 touchdowns


Role in 2012: Williams was the Crimson Tide's best and arguably only reliable option at tight end this season.

The good: The redshirt senior didn't jump off the screen, but he was consistent. As he has been his entire career since moving to offense, Williams was an above-average blocker with just enough skill in space to be a threat in the passing game. He was fourth on the team with 21 receptions for 166 yards and three touchdowns. But his worth is also measured in Alabama's success running the football. Both Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon were able to rush for 1,000 yards this season thanks in no small part to Williams' efforts.

The bad: Williams never developed into the receiving threat some might have hoped for when he transitioned from defensive end to tight end. Despite having the frame (6-foot-6, 269 pounds) and athleticism (coach Nick Saban touted his skills on the basketball court) that can cause matchup problems with both linebackers and defensive backs, Williams didn't become a weapon in the way of a poor man's Tony Gonzalez or Jason Witten.

Crystal ball: Because of his skill in the running game, Williams should find a home in the NFL. He's arguably one of the best blocking tight ends in all of college football, which is something scouts and general managers value when looking for backups. As far as the question of who will step up next year, the answer is wide open. Neither sophomores Harrison Jones or Brian Vogler have separated themselves this season. Redshirt freshman Malcolm Faciane has played and has a frame (6-foot-5, 259 pounds) to grow into. Another option might be moving wide receiver Marvin Shinn inside to tight end. The 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman would have to put on weight, but he already has played some snaps at the position early in the season. Keep an eye on two Alabama commitments to make an impact right away: O.J. Howard is the No. 2 tight end prospect in the country and Josh McNeil isn't far behind at No. 4 in the ESPN 150.

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