When looking over Chris Black, Robert Foster and Cam Sims, the University of Alabama football program and its fan base can only think about what could have been.
All three players were heavily recruited out of high school, however, injuries and frustration from medical mishaps negated major success from them. As he faces his senior season in the coming fall, wide receiver Derek Kief looks to prevent the same fate from seizing him.
Like the other three, the Cincinnati, Ohio native was a four-star recruit upon his arrival to the Crimson Tide in 2014. He has played in 36 career games – including all 14 in 2017 – but does not have a ton of production to show for it. The 6-foot-4, 204-pounder sustained a knee injury earlier in his career, but sources state that he’s doing much better and should have a big role.
“Expect for Kief to have more action than last season,” sources said.
“In fact, I see him serving in the same role as Cam Sims did last year. He’s worked really well with coaching up the young receivers and is expected to take on a leadership role.”
Despite injuring both his knee and shoulder, Sims told yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine that his goal was to ‘produce’ in his final year. After saying this in fall camp, the Louisiana native went on to record 207 receiving yards with a touchdown on 14 receptions.
Sims is now pursuing a career in the National Football League.
Kief grabbed two passes in the Tide’s national championship season, with one resulting in a 13-yard touchdown against Mercer at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He extended himself in the corner of the end zone to bring in the catch, helping Alabama obtain a 56-0 win on senior day.
At La Salle High School, Kief was a legend.
He finished his career holding records in receptions (155), receiving yards (2,105) and touchdowns (23), but now he must define himself under Nick Saban.