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Nick Saban reluctant to share why Ja’Corey Brooks sat out the first half vs. MTSU

Ja'Corey Brooks catches a pass in the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State
Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

As Alabama’s offense took the field on Saturday against Middle Tennessee there was one familiar face from last season missing.

Junior wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks, who was one of the Crimson Tide’s leading receivers a season ago was listed on the second team with Malik Benson getting the start. But not only did Brooks not start the game, he didn’t see any action the entire first half of play and later made his first appearance at the beginning of the third quarter.

The decision not to play Brooks raised some questions but head coach Nick Saban was reluctant to share any specifics as to why he missed the first half.

“He was sitting out the first half for — I know you guys have a job to do and you know how much I love you and want to help you do your job and all that and give you depth charts,” Saban said following the 56-7 win. “But I’m not gonna reveal to you what a guy did or didn’t to put himself in a position where he sat out the first half. But he sat out the first half.”

Brooks did not record a reception in his two quarters of play while Benson caught one pass for five yards in his place.

In 2022, Brooks was one of Alabama’s top contributors through the air catching 39 passes for 674 yards and a team-leading eight receiving touchdowns.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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