Trey Sanders, Alabama running backs looked good in spring scrimmage
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The running back room for Alabama football is one of the team’s biggest strengths.
Brian Robinson departs to the National Football League, but the Crimson Tide returns Trey Sanders, Jase McClellan, and Roydell Williams to the roster. Coach Nick Saban went into the NCAA transfer portal for Jahmyr Gibbs (formerly of Georgia Tech), and Alabama recruited Emmanuel Henderson (five-star) and Jamarion Miller (four-star) in its recent signing class.
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McClellan and Williams have been recovering from knee injuries in 2021.
Both are participating in spring practice, but they are performing non-contact drills
Sanders and Gibbs lead the group, while Miller is an early enrollee. Henderson will arrive on campus in the summer. Gibbs has generated much attention from coaches, players, and fans, but Sanders showed out in the first scrimmage. The former five-star via South Florida is healthy and prepared to show why he was sought-after in the 2019 recruiting cycle. He totaled 314 rushing yards and two touchdowns (72 carries) in 2021, but Sanders has looked great in practice. Gibbs displayed explosive cuts, vision, and speed in the first scrimmage. He also scored a touchdown in the red zone. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder recorded 1,800 all-purpose yards and seven scores last season at Georgia Tech. Miller was a dominant player at Tyler (Texas) Legacy High School.
The 5-foot-11, 201-pounder collected over 5,000 yards rushing for his career.
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Saban was pleased with all three backs, but he singled out Sanders and Gibbs after the game-like practice.
“Both of those guys did really well,” Saban said. “They had some good runs. We wanted those guys to carry the ball 10 to 12 times. I think Trey had 73 yards. Jahmyr had 54 or 55 yards. I was good with both guys.”
Miller got an opportunity in the scrimmage, and he performed well.
Alabama’s offensive line is allowing the backs to run with more consistency. Crimson Tide fans want to see the return of a dominant rushing attack. The Tide will have a healthy stable of runners when McClellan and Williams are full go for preseason camp.
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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.