Saban Addresses Alabama-Mississippi All-Stars
Both Teams Prepare For Saturday Game In Cold, Windy Workouts
Just a few days after learning his University of Alabama football team will be playing LSU in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans in January, Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban addressed 80 high school senior all-stars at a special dinner Wednesday night.
The Alabama and Mississippi prep all-star teams, which will clash on the gridiron Saturday, dined at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club Club in Montgomery after two cold workouts at Faulkner University and Huntingdon College earlier in the day.
The players will have two more workouts Thursday, the Alabama stars at Faulkner University at 9 a.m. and Mississippi's stars at Huntingdon College. Both squads will practice at Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook Thursday afternoon.
On Tuesday, new Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze visited the Mississippi team practice. Freeze, who guided Arkansas State to a 10-2 record and the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championship, also coached Briarcrest High School in Memphis and Ole Miss standout Michael Oher, the subject of the highly-acclaimed movie Blindside.
SEC coaches learned Monday the NCAA will allow coaches to attend Saturday’s 25th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game, which will kick off at 12:38 p.m. at Cramton Bowl. The game will be televised live across Alabama and Mississippi by Raycom Media and its network of television stations. The game will be shown on each station’s main channel with WSFA-TV sports director Jeff Shearer of Montgomery handling the play-by-play duties.
Alabama holds a 17-7 edge in the series which began in 1988 at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. This is the first year the contest is being played in Montgomery.
ADCOCK PRAISES TEAM WORK ETHIC: Alabama All-Star head coach Jere Adcock of Decatur said his team worked hard Wednesday despite two practices conducted in the bitter cold. “It seemed to be colder for the coaches,” said Adcock.
He said the team remained focused on the task of preparing for Saturday’s game. He signaled out two players who especially stood out Wednesday, Linden’s Terris Lewis and Cleburne County’s Rocky Hayes. “I knew they were good players, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how athletic they are. They came in with great attitudes.”
MISSISSIPPI ROSTER COMPLETE: Mississippi’s All-Stars added one player to its roster late Tuesday to fill out its 40-man roster which was two players shy after two failed to report Monday morning. Mississippi head coach Larry Weems of Meridian added his own receiver LaDerrick Roberts Monday afternoon and defensive back Marcus Betts of Long Beach joined the squad late Tuesday. Betts had 70 tackles and three interceptions for Long Beach in 2011.
Quarterback Todd Mays also reported Tuesday as well after missing the first day due to a bout with strep throat. Mays led Olive Branch to a 16-0 record and the Class 6A state championship in 2011, rushing for four touchdowns in a 35-34 win over Petal in the finals. Mayes rushed for more than 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns and also completed 156-of-256 passes for 2,874 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Fellow all-star quarterback Anthony Alford had three TD passes and two rushing TDs in the championship game for Petal. He rushed for 1,524 yards and passed for 1,892 in ’11.