Fit to be Tide
Nikita Stover participates in spring football scrimmage
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
TUSCALOOSA – Former Hartselle star Nikita Stover worked out at a scrimmage Thursday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium, hoping to impress his coaches and improve his standing on the depth chart heading into the 2006 football season.
Sporting a green No. 9 jersey designating him as a member of the third-string offense, Stover did not catch a pass in the scrimmage but did run a large number of plays with the second and third-string offenses.
"Mainly it's all about trying to get back into shape," Stover said following the scrimmage. "I'm just trying to get back and get used to things again. I don't feel like I'm there yet, but the coaches are trying to help me out."
Stover was usually paired with Darwin Salaam at wide receiver, and Marc Guillon or Jimmy Barnes at quarterback. He did not run a play with first-string quarterback John Parker Wilson, who was 17-of-23 for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Earlier in the spring, Stover injured his groin in a practice and was held out of several spring practices. He was able to participate in the scrimmage Thursday, but does not yet feel he is completely healed from his injury.
"I'd say I'm about 75 percent," he said. "If I get my rest during the week of spring break, I should be completely healthy in time for A-Day."
Stover graduated from Hartselle High School in 2004. He originally committed to attend the University of Alabama but failed to qualify academically.
Stover then attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss., where he redshirted his freshman season before joining the football team in 2005. After graduating from ICC in December, Stover moved to Tuscaloosa and began taking classes. Academically he is a junior, but in terms of football eligibility Stover will be a sophomore in 2006.
Stover said he is quickly warming up to being a member of the Crimson Tide.
"It's like a family up here," he said. "I'm really glad to be here. It's pretty much what I expected; people really look out for you. I've gotten to be friends with (fellow wide receivers) Keith (Brown) and DJ (Hall). We all hang out and do things together."
During the scrimmage, Stover was thrown to three times. On the first pass, Guillon was heavily blitzed and did not get to make an accurate throw. Guillon's second attempted pass to Stover was thrown behind the receiver, and his third pass was intercepted by Tyrone King.
The scrimmage Thursday took place under cloud cover and lasted for 111 plays.
It was the 12th practice of the spring season and the second to be held at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Spring practice culminates April 1 with the intra-squad scrimmage also called the A-Day Game. Stover said he is excited about the A-Day game but doesn't have any personal goals set.
"My goal is just to help the team get better, really," he said. "I just want to try and get better and help the team get better anyway I can."