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Alabama still “evaluating” LB Christian Miller for matchup with Clemson

© Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Upon its arrival to Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban took the podium Saturday for interviews. He is going after his seventh national championship overall and sixth with the Crimson Tide; however, the Clemson Tigers are his competition next week. 

Alabama might end up playing this game without a senior leader on defense. 

Christian Miller, outside linebacker, is still listed as “questionable” by the coaching staff following the team’s practices on Tuesday through Thursday. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder sustained a pulled hamstring in the Tide’s 45-34 win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. 

RELATED: Alabama LB Christian Miller “questionable” for CFP title game versus Clemson

“He hasn’t been able to do a lot in practice,” Saban said of Miller. “We’ll sorta see what he can do today and further evaluate his circumstance and see if he can be effective enough and contribute.” 

It would be a huge blow to the Tide if it does not have Miller, seeing how he’s collected 8.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback pressures. All of these numbers rank among the leaders of the team, and Miller is also regarded as one of college football’s elite edge rushers. 

Despite his condition, the former five-star wants to play. He told the media that “people don’t realize how much it means to him to wear the crimson and white colors.” 

“You are going to have to put me in a strait jacket,” Miller said, in answering a question on what would it take for him to not play. “You are going to have to lock me up or something. You are going to have to do something, because I signed up for this. I got here to give my all to this team, my brothers, and that is what I am going to do.” 

He has accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl; however, Miller wants one final national title ring. Hopefully, he will be able to do more in Saturday’s practice.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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