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First of Three Miami Practices

Alabama took the field today at Barry University, where they will have all of their BCS practices this week in preparation for Monday’s national championship game against Notre Dame.  Barry doesn’t have a football field so the Tide utilized their soccer complex instead.  Side Note: Europeans would be proud, football was being played on a “futball” field.

This is the 18th consecutive year in which Barry University has been a practice facility for one of the teams competing in the Discover Orange Bowl and the second time that the Miami Shores school has hosted teams preparing for both the Orange Bowl and the BCS Championship Game in the same year.

Today’s practice will be Nick Saban’s first time to visit Barry University.  Other notable coaches to visit Barry include Lou Holtz (Notre Dame), Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech), Joe Paterno (Penn State), Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Bobby Petrino (Louisville) and Jim Harbaugh (Stanford). Bob Stoops has made the most visits, bringing the Sooners to Miami Shores on three different occasions. Current Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly practiced at Barry with his Cincinnati Bearcats prior to the 2009 Orange Bowl.

As is scheduled for the rest of the week, the weather was perfect with upper 70′s/low 80′s and blue skies.  You couldn’t ask for better weather in January.

Center Barrett Jones practiced in full pads and appeared as though he is living up to his statement that he “feels great”.  He should be ready to go for the game as it didn’t seem like he was limping or favoring his ankle.

One of the more impressive moments was seeing Kenny Bell making some great catches and cutting on the leg that was broken nearly six weeks ago in the Auburn game.  He has made some significant improvements as he participated in each drill, but it is still uncertain if he will be cleared for contact before the game Monday night.  It would be great to have him on the field but he is still wearing the black non-contact jersey.

The defensive backs continued to work with head Coach Nick Saban in the usual drills, Devall was back in his practice jersey and Jesse Williams was back in the line and didn’t appear to be favoring his knee even though he was in a brace like the SEC championship game.


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