December 19, 2007

BOL notebook: Woodall looks ahead

As the Alabama football program steams toward a signing class of more than 25 members, Crimson Tide fans have wondered just how room will be made on a roster that doesn't appear to have that much freedom.

On Wednesday, Justin Woodall put one common speculation to rest: He's not giving up football for baseball. The sophomore's plan, as always it has been, is to play both sports in 2008.

"I'm going to do my fourth-quarter [program] training. ... They know I am going to play [baseball], but they don't know who is going to get most of my time," Woodall said of football coach Nick Saban and baseball coach Jim Wells. "... We'll probably sit down with [both coaches] when we get back [from Shreveport]."

Woodall, a left-handed pitcher with a fastball in the 90s and a former draft pick of the New York Mets, did not play baseball last spring in an effort to learn Saban's defense. Still, he said it was the mental side of the game that kept him off the football field in 2007.

"It was mental for me - wasn't anything physical ... It's hard to learn so many things, but I've caught on now," Woodall said. "It was a long learning stint I had, but it's worked out for the better."

Woodall played briefly in the Iron Bowl when safety Rashad Johnson was shaken up, but was only needed for one series.

"I thought they would call Ali [Sharrief], but they called me," Woodall said.

THE FUTURE AT RECEIVER - Asked which of the three redshirting wide receivers - Brandon Gibson, Marquis Maze or Darius Hanks - had the most impressive fall, two UA veterans had the same answer.

"Darius Hanks," said Woodall. "He's just smooth. Real good hands, runs real good routes."

Senior receiver Matt Caddell said the same on Monday.

ETC. - DE Wallace Gilberry met the media with a protective boot on his right foot Wednesday, but said he will miss no practice with it. "Big Andre Smith stepped on me [Monday] and bruised it, but it's fine." ... DB Simeon Castille on the early stages of Jimmy Johns' transition to linebacker: "It's going to be bad news for some people once he learns a few things. Right now, he's hitting anything that moves." ...

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!