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December 18, 2012

Notebook: Jones vows return

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama center Barrett Jones' foot injury will not allow him to participate in any of the five practices the Crimson Tide holds before the team's Christmas break, but the fifth-year senior said there is no question that he will be ready to play in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame on Jan. 7.

"My foot is sprained. I'll be playing in the game. I'll be fine," he said. "I'll have this cast on I don't know how much longer, but not much longer. I'll be alright."

Jones earned the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center this season, and was named to several postseason All-America teams since spraining his foot in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Dec. 1. His two-week break from practice included a heavy travel schedule due to various awards he was in contention for, but Jones said he was able to maintain his recovery.
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"It was challenging. But I did a good job icing it and staying off it and resting it when I wasn't on TV," he added.

He is a four-year starter at three different line positions for the Crimson Tide. He was unable to walk across the UA graduation stage Monday upon earning his Master's degree.

"It's probably in the mail, I guess," he said.

UA coach Nick Saban indicated Jones' recovery would be reassessed following the team's three-day break for the Christmas holiday.

"We'll reevaluate what we do with him. Everything we're doing with him right now is kind of precautionary," Saban said. "He's able to do some conditioning drills and things like that. It's day-to-day. We just decided that we're not going to do anything with him until after Christmas, which will give him a little bit more time to sort of recover."

Other injury udpates
There may be some hope for wide receiver Kenny Bell and defensive back Jarrick Williams to participate against Notre Dame. Bell broke his leg against Auburn, while Williams injured his knee before the season began.

"How he does, how he manages, what his tolerance is to activity, will be determined as we go," Saban said of Bell. "I can't make a call as to whether he'll play in the game or not at this juncture."

Bell had developed into the deep threat in the UA receiving corps, averaging a team-best 25.4 yards per catch, prior to his injury. As for Williams, whose junior season was cut short with a knee injury during fall camp in August, Saban said: "We are practicing him some. How he'll progress and whether we decide to play him in the game will be a decision that we'll make later on, based on the progress that he makes."

The Graduates
Eleven Alabama players graduated from the Capstone Saturday: Kenny Bell, Chris Bonds, Quinton Dial, D.J. Fluker, Barrett Jones (Master's degree), Kevin Norwood, Chance Warmack, Ranzell Watkins, Jesse Williams, Kellen Williams and Nick Williams. Saban said his son graduated as well.

"I'm always here and we always have a luncheon with the families and I take pictures with everybody that graduated," Saban said. "But I went to graduation and I was really proud to see that many guys. That's 17 I think for this class so far."

TideSports.com: Recruiting chat Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. for subscribers which includes a special guest who will join Andrew Bone. Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.


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