The University of Alabama (UA) will be without sophomore wide receiver JoJo Earle for 6-8 weeks because of a fractured foot. UA head coach Nick Saban said that Earle hurt his foot in practice.
“We’ll just have to have to see how it goes,” Saban said in his Wednesday press conference. “Hopefully, maybe by Oct. 1 or something like that, he’ll be close to ready to come back.”
Earle was expected to play a big role after catching 12 passes for 148 yards as a true freshman. He was also the team’s punt returner and was selected to the SEC All-Freshman team as a returner. Earle missed three games with a leg injury last year but returned for the BCS playoffs.
“He was doing a really, really good job and having a really, really good camp, probably the best he’s been on a consistent basis,” Saban said. “(He’s) just a solid guy and he was playing with a lot of confidence. We’ll miss him for a while. We want him to get well and I’m sure he’ll contribute to the team at some point this year.”
In other college football camp news around the state:
Troy officials announced on Wednesday that more than 10,000 season tickets have been sold. It’s only the second time in school history that season tickets have passed that mark.
“The excitement surrounding the ‘Pack the Vet’ initiative has been incredible, as our fans are stepping up in record numbers,” said Troy athletic director Brent Jones. “Thank you to those that have already jumped on board and we cannot wait to see our fans continue to step forward to be a part of this record-setting opportunity.”
The program has set a goal of 12,000 season tickets sold before the home opener on Sept. 10 against Alabama A&M.
Jacksonville State is ahead of most teams in the state when it comes to practice because the Gamecocks open the season earlier than most. Jacksonville State will begin play on Aug. 27 against Stephen F. Austin in the FCS Kickoff game, which will be shown on ESPN.
The Gamecocks finished their second week of practice on Tuesday. Defensive coordinator Zac Alley spoke about his group in a story published on Jacksonville State’s official athletic website.
“I think we have five or six practices left before we start truly game prepping, so they have to show what they can do,” Alley said. “Some positions are pretty well solidified right now, but there are some that, off the top of my head, I have no idea who the starter is going to be. So, they have an opportunity over the next five or six days to be the best player, the highest-graded guy and hopefully they will win the job.”
Alley is in his first season at Jacksonville State after serving as the Louisiana-Monroe defensive coordinator last season. The 28-year-old Alley was the youngest FBS defensive coordinator in the country last season.
Eddie Robinson Jr., the Alabama State head coach, announced on Wednesday that special teams coordinator Ryan Lewis will take over as the program’s defensive coordinator.
Lewis came to Alabama State after serving as Bethune-Cookman’s special teams coordinator and linebacker coach last season. He also is a former defensive coordinator at Edward Waters College.
Lewis is a former All-American linebacker at Bethune-Cookman.
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