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August 31, 2011

Notebook: Woodson is in

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed the enrollment of 2011 signee Danny Woodson, a wide receiver from Mobile, on Wednesday. Woodson did not join the team when fall camp began on August 5 and had until Wednesday to beat the deadline to enroll.

Saban said Woodson will be placed on a similar learning track as receiver Duron Carter, who just joined the team on Monday after being cleared academically.

"Those guys will go through a program and a process a little bit like when a guy comes in late to camp in the NFL," Saban said. "Duron Carter practiced in shells two days, he'll practice in pads two days, same thing Danny Woodson will do. We'll also work them out on Friday in pads and Saturday in pads, trying to get them more ready to get implemented into the routine starting next week, in terms of what they might be able to do or contribute on Monday."

Woodson is the son of the former UA quarterback by the same name. Carter, the son of former NFL All-Pro receiver Cris Carter, played at Ohio State in 2009 and at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College last year. Saban said Woodson was a candidate for deferred enrollment, a process known as grayshirting, in which signees enroll for classes in January following the season rather than joining the team in the summer. Circumstances, Saban said, allowed Woodson to enroll for the fall instead.

"We had a scholarship available. He was the grayshirt guy. We had other promises we made to other people in recruiting that maybe could have qualified or been available to come participate on our team," Saban said. "Until we exhausted those possibilities ... We had made a promise to Danny that we would bring him in if we could. When those things didn't work out, we brought him in."

UA running back Trent Richardson said Woodson's smile around the football building Wednesday was a wide one.

"They (Woodson and Carter) are going to be behind a little bit, but for them to get acquainted with the quarterbacks will be good for now," Richardson said.

Smiley named student assistant
Former Alabama offensive lineman and NFL veteran Justin Smiley is helping out at practice as a student assistant, and pursuing his undergraduate degree as well.

"He's a student assistant, which means he's allowed to be on the field and coaching players because he's an undergraduate," Saban said. "He's done a good job. He's very enthusiastic, he has good knowledge and experience. I think the players look up to him."

Smiley was an All-SEC performer for the Crimson Tide in 2002 and 2003. He was a second-round NFL Draft choice in 2004.

Tidebits
Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa and the Nick's Kids Fund, which have partnered to help the rebuilding process in the Holt area following the April 27 tornado, will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon Thursday at the first new home to be completed. The new structure, built for Bob and Dana Dowling, is at 4214 5th St. NE. Habitat Tuscaloosa plans to build 10 homes by the end of the year. ... UA, the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame will honor HOF inductee Marty Lyons with an on-campus salute Saturday during the Kent State game. Lyons was a two-time All-SEC player at Alabama and the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. He also operates The Marty Lyons Foundation, which fulfills wishes for terminally ill children. ... Saban said reserve center Kellen Williams, who is recovering from an ankle twist, will be a game-time decision to play or not against Kent State. Williams has been participating in individual drills but had not done any team drills as of Wednesday.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase.goodbread@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0196.


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