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April 5, 2014

Jackson, Foster injured, Cooper shines in first scrimmage

It was the first full contact scrimmage of the spring for the University of Alabama football team, but it was a non-contact injury that could prove costly.

Sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson will undergo an MRI on his knee Sunday after injuring is knee during Saturday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Jackson landed awkwardly after jumping to defend a pass. The Lauderdale Lakes native, who played in seven games and started four his freshman season, recorded 19 tackles with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

"Eddie was having a great spring and probably our best corner, most consistent," UA coach Nick Saban said.

Linebacker Reuben Foster also sustained a neck stinger, but it is not considered serious. The sophomore linebacker is competing for a starting position at inside linebacker.

"I think he will be fine," Saban said. "But he wasn't able to finish…this is something Reuben has been sort of dealing with all spring long."

According to statistics released by UA media relations, junior wide receiver Amari Cooper shined in the first of three Crimson Tide scrimmages. Cooper finished the day with 10 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior DeAndrew White did not scrimmage as he continues to deal with a toe injury.

"I think our receivers have done a nice job this spring," Saban said. "Christion Jones has been really, really good all spring. So has Amari Cooper. Chris Black is developing. Some of the young guys are developing. So we're pleased with the progress that we've made. We feel like there's three guys if we can throw DeAndrew White in there with Amari Cooper and Christion Jones that have a lot of experience and a lot of ability."

Blake Sims led the quarterbacks with 227 yards on 16 of 23 passes completed, including two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman was 14 of 25 passes for 102 yards. Sophomore Alec Morris was 9 of 12 for 57 yards.

"Blake has had a really good spring and has taken some command," Saban said. "Cooper Bateman has made a lot of improvement. He's done a nice job. Alec's still competing. Those three guys have sort of emerged as the three guys that look like they're most ready to play."

Linebacker Trey DePriest was the highlight for the defense with eight tackles, but overall improvement must be made.

"Defensively, the first defense did a pretty good job, but after that the tackling wasn't what it needs to be," Saban said. "I thought we made too many mental errors with too many other guys to get the kind of execution that we'd like to get on a consistent basis.

"I think every player should be thinking about the same thing: I'm not disappointed with where I'm at, but I'm also not satisfied with where I'm at. So we all need to take it one day at a time and do the things that we need to do to focus on the improvement that we need to make to become a better football team."

Four running backs totaled at least 40 yards, led by Kenyan Drake, who finished with 60 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

There is much to improve upon, but Saban said he's impressed with what's he seen so far.

"I really like the attitude of this team, in terms of how they go about what they try to do, how they work and the effort that they give, the mental and physical toughness they play with," he said. "A lot of guys come out and be conscientious to do a good job, and I think it shows in the way we play and the way we compete."

Reach Aaron Suttles at [email protected] or at 205-722-0229.

Blake Sims - 16 for 23, 227 yards, 2 TD
Cooper Bateman - 14 for 25, 102 yards
Alec Morris - 9 for 12, 57 yards

Kenyan Drake - 11 rushes, 60 yards, 1 TD
Tyren Jones - 10 rushes, 49 yards
Derrick Henry - 12 rushes, 40 yards
Altee Tenpenney - 13 rushes, 40 yards
T.J. Yeldon - 7 rushes, 20 yards

Amari Cooper - 10 rec., 190 yards, 2 TD
Cam Sims - 2 rec., 48 yards
Altee Tenpenny - 3 rec., 23 yards
Christion Jones - 3 rec., 21 yards
Raheem Falkins - 2 rec., 21 yards

DePriest - 8 tackles
Devall - 5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Ragland - 5 tackles, 2 sack, 1 PBU
Collins - 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FG Block
J. Williams - 4 tackles, 2 PBU

Passing Touchdowns (2): Blake Sims - 2 (1 yard, 75 yards)
Rushing Touchdowns (2): Kenyan Drake - 1 (7 yards)

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