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December 23, 2013

INSIDER REPORT: Fanning, Pruitt and more

After a up-and-down three years at the University of Alabama redshirt sophomore defensive end LaMichael Fanning plans to enroll at Jacksonville State, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.

Fanning, 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, was indefinitely suspended in late-October with UA coach Nick Saban making a brief announcement at the time that "(Fanning's) just not around."

Fanning drew negative attention to himself in 2012 when he flipped Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough head over heels during a violet slam to the turf. Fanning wrote an apology to Hansbrough and to Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.

He played in four games in 2013, registering three tackles. He will be able to play immediately at Jacksonville State, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, and will not have to sit a season.

No grudge
Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt raised a few eyebrows in March when he expressed his disappointment about getting "passed up" twice for promotions while he was on staff at Alabama.

But apparently Saban doesn't hold a grudge, at least one wasn't evident when he spoke about his former secondary coach.

"Jeremy Pruitt doing a great job at Florida State is no surprise to me at all," Saban said. "He did a fantastic job here for us, regardless of what his role was. Did a great iob of coaching our secondary. I certainly felt like because he had been a coordinator in high school, he had a really good, sort of, big-picture view of things, that he would make a really, really good coordinator. He certainly understood our system very well and would be able to apply our system here, and actually thought he could do that for us here. So it doesn't surprise me at all that he's doing extremely well there with their defensive players because he did a fantastic job here."

Pruitt joined Saban's UA staff in 2007 as a director of player development, mainly due to his relationships with high school coaches across the state.

Next defensive leader?
The heart and soul of the Alabama defense gave his opinion on the who the next leader defensive leader could be and it may shock you.

"...Trey DePriest. If he stays, it will be him," Mosley said. "He doesn't get a lot of credit, but he's a pretty good linebacker."

That's high praise coming from the All-American and Butkus Award winner.

DePriest played in all 12 games and is third on the team in tackles with 58 tackles, including 6.5 for loss and two sacks.

"He knows the defensive just like I do," Mosley said. "If he comes back like I did, he'll evolve into that every down linebacker role so people will be able to see his true talents. They'll see he can control the defense and be the only linebacker on the field and make all the calls."

Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0229.


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