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August 10, 2012

Chris Black likely out for the season

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama wide receiver Chris Black, a freshman who sparkled in last spring's A-Day game, could miss the entire regular season after suffering a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

"Chris got hurt in the practice at the stadium last Sunday," UA head coach Nick Saban said at his Thursday press conference. "Some of you probably saw it. The injury will require surgery and we expect that Chris will be out three or four months."

Black, who played at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla., went through spring practice with UA. He caught three passes for 61 yard in the Crimson Tide's A-Day contest, including a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillip Sims.

"He was doing very well," Saban said. "He had a great spring and summer. He wanted to play so much he could taste it. He is going to be an excellent player for us in e future."

Hill ruled ineligible

Black was not the only player who will be out this season, as Saban announced that freshman offensive lineman Brandon Hill (6-foot-6, 350 pounds) had been ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA.

"We appealed because there were some special circumstances in Brandon's case that I am not going too get into," Saban said. "As it is, he is close enough to being eligible that we hope he can rejoin us after one semester."

Hill is expected to attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., in an attempt to meet academic requirements in time for mid-term enrollment.

Cooling off

The Crimson Tide practiced in unseasonably cool temperatures for a second straight day. The thermometer registered 75 degrees as UA began practice at 2:30 p.m., not the usual conditions in Tuscaloosa in August.

"I think it helped us," Saban said. "I have seen a lot of improvement although we are still trying to get some of the guys to improve on intangibles and effort.

"I think the first scrimmage (on Saturday) will show us a lot about where people are. I think it is a little early right now, especially with some of the young players, to know exactly where they are going to fit in."

Praise for DePriest

Trey DePriest, the sophomore inside linebacker from Ohio, drew some words of praise from Saban, who noted that DePriest had "matured" since the 2011 season.

"He understands the importance of the role he has and the (need) to be consistent every day," Saban said.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or 205-722-0225.


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