TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama junior running back Jeramie Griffin has decided to transfer to a medical scholarship, ending his collegiate football career.
"He cannot function effectively on his knee," Coach Nick Saban said Thursday. "Those things happen on occasion. He tried to go through the summer conditioning program and struggled."
Griffin missed all of last season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament at the start of training camp, and has played in two career games with six carries for 29 yards. In his absence Mike Marrow moved from H-back to working with the running backs.
Griffin might become a student coach when school starts.
Hanks gets a year back
After having his initial request to restore the year of eligibility he lost as a true freshman in 2007 denied, wide receiver Darius Hanks was recently informed that his subsequent appeal had been approved. As a result, Hanks, who was fifth on the team with 17 catches for 272 yards in 2009, will be a redshirt junior for the upcoming season rather than a senior.
"Initially, (the NCAA wasn't) going to (approve it), but Coach Saban fought it and they gave me my year back," Hanks said between practices Thursday.
Hanks said a change in the rules regarding playing in non-conference games versus conference games resulted in him having his initial request denied.
Alabama still has no players in black, signaling no contact.
Safety Kendall Kelly remained out due to a heat-related issue.
Cornerback DeQuan Menzie, who is coming off an Achilles injury, was limited during the morning, but hasn't missed any practices. Running back Demetrius Goode was also limited by a hamstring strain and continued to work in the back of the running backs.
Senior tight end Preston Dial returned to practice, and wore a sleeve on his right leg.
True freshman safety Jarrick Williams appears to be in the mix more and will probably get a lot of work during Saturday's scrimmage. Considering the Tide's depth issues at the position he could potentially end up backing up Mark Barron. Another sign that players are beginning to develop, true freshman cornerbacks DeMarcus Milliner and John Fulton are no longer joined at the hip for every drill like they were during the spring.
The team went back outside, and was greeted by a hot morning that felt worse than the 93 degrees and 101 heat index indicated midway through. Players were in full pads for the morning session of the second full-squad two-a-day, and shorts for the evening when it was 89 degrees, 97 heat index. The Tide will have a final prep for the first fall scrimmage at 2:30 p.m. Friday. All practices are closed to the public.
Saban expressed disappointment with the morning workout. "We have some guys who are making progress and improving, I think we also have some guys who are digressing. The whole key to that is where is your maturity. I talk about it all the time, you have to persevere in difficult circumstances." Although the coach said he's pleased with the effort of the outside linebackers, he singled out the reserve interior linebackers.
Hanks is looking to improve one aspect of his game in particular. "I would say finishing," he said. "After I catch the ball, last year, I got tackled pretty easily. I want to catch the ball, break some tackles and score."
Freshman Blake Sims continued to work at running back.
Although ESPN aired the fourth out of five all-access shows in leading up to next week's special, few if any of the players have seen them. "Too busy," Barron said.
_ Travis Reier contributed to this report.