TUSCALOOSA | Eddie Lacy's 2010 season began as one he'd like to forget, and ended as one Michigan State would like to forget.
In between, the University of Alabama running back watched former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson handle almost all the carries for the Crimson Tide's rushing offense. But with Ingram now in the National Football League, Lacy's got a chance to take on a larger role in the UA offense this fall.
"I've progressed a lot," Lacy said. "I'm starting to be able to actually step into my role as the No. 2 back. And when the season starts, I'll be ready."
Last year, he admittedly wasn't quite so ready. With Ingram sitting out two early games while recovering from minor knee surgery, Lacy had trouble in the area of ball security. At season's end, he had regained some confidence, and rushed five times for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Alabama's 49-7 bowl win over the Spartans.
"I got a little down on myself. Fumbles happen, it's football. All you can do is think forward. You don't keep thinking about what you've done in the past. You have to move on. You've got to keep going."
Lacy finished last season with 406 yards on 56 carries, and as many touchdowns (six) as Trent Richardson. Much of that action came in games that were well in hand, however, and Lacy may be called on for more meaningful action this season.
Safety Will Lowery, for one, is a believer.
"He's very big all over, but up top he's got a real big upper body," Lowery said. "He doesn't look like he might be shifty when you're looking at him, but when he's on the field he's extremely shifty and it's tough to get a hold of him and bring him down."
Lacy wore a black non-contact jersey on Sunday at Fan Day in Bryant-Denny Stadium due to what he called a minor strain of a pectoral muscle in the preseason, but has been cleared for contact since UA went into full pads on Tuesday.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.