As Alabama football finalized its prep work for New Mexico State on Wednesday, Nick Saban took to the podium inside the Mal Moore Facility for his game week presser.
His opening statement and Q&A with reporters had topics littered with information that ranged from suicide prevention and focus for this game to Jordan Battle’s interception versus Duke, and somehow Saban even threw in the childhood game “Etch A Sketch” into the conversation.
Despite him not having any new injuries to report, Saban did provide an update on two serious medical situations between Hunter Brannon and Nigel Knott. Both players have not seen action since spring practice and media pundits were concerned.
According to Saban, Brannon has not been cleared to return to football.
“He’s got medical issues that we are dealing with,” Saban said of Brannon. “What the future holds for him is still a question mark on whether he will come back to play or not.”
Brannon, a redshirt freshman, was one of the top offensive linemen in Alabama in the 2017 recruiting cycle.
He played at Cullman (Ala.) High School, where he recorded 117 knockdown blocks as a junior and senior. Brannon is the nephew of former Crimson Tide standouts Justin Britt, Taylor Britt and Wesley Britt, who all played on the offensive line.
The 6-foot-4, 296-pounder is a natural center who can also play guard.
While the news on Brannon hurts, the report Saban gave on Knott is a shot to the heart.
Knott came to Alabama as one of the biggest defensive back recruits of the Saban era.
A four-star from Madison, Miss., Knott was the one who had cameras following him across campus in 2016.
He entered college with a knee injury from high school; however, everyone thought he would be okay.
Numerous players had confirmed with yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine on the type of guy Knott was in the locker room and on the field.
Per sources, Knott had recently committed his life to God and was doing well in practice – pushing for a starting role. He was one of the guys that made players smile and it appeared as though everything was starting to fall in place for him.
It is uncertain as to what his injury might be, but per the Tide’s medical staff, Saban said the young man can only focus on his education.
“Nigel Knott has been redshirted medically for some of the issues he’s had and he’s in school here,” Saban said. “We want to support him and help him get an education. He was a very good teammate for a lot of our players. He worked really hard, but the medical staff felt that it was in his best interest to no longer play football.”
Knott is still being carried on the roster via rolltide.com.
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