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No A-Day showcase for Stover

By Staff
Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
This spring was supposed to be Nikita Stover’s big coming-out party as he stepped from the shadows of D.J. Hall and Keith Brown.
The University of Alabama senior-to-be was expected to step to the front of the receiver corps and fill the shoes of Hall and Brown in the Crimson Tide offense.
The big plans just didn’t work out for Stover. His name wasn’t among the receivers who hauled in passes during the A-Day game. He has spent most of Alabama’s spring on the sidelines, nursing a hamstring injury.
Stover suffered the injury during a scrimmage and missed the last two weeks of spring practice while trying to rehab the injury. But rather than try to get back on the field in time for the A-Day game, Alabama coaches shut down the rising senior’s spring early.
And even though Stover wasn’t at the center of new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain’s game plan, Stover certainly hasn’t lost his standing in the receiver rotation.
Stover, a Hartselle graduate who had 10 catches last season for 131 yards and two touchdowns, is still considered one of the Crimson Tide’s top threats from the wide receiver position.
The Crimson Tide is expected to use a rotation of receivers this fall, probably with as many as eight receivers getting their share of playing time.
Alabama used a lot of four-wideout sets last season, though McElwain’s schemes could be different this fall.
Saturday’s starters were junior Mike McCoy and sophomore Earl Alexander. Redshirt freshman Darius Hanks also saw plenty of action as the No. 3 receiver.
Both McCoy and Hanks finished the A-Day game with 100-plus yards receiving.
Certainly, incoming freshman Julio Jones, one of the nation’s top recruits, could also find himself in the rotation this fall if he adapts quickly to the college game.
But the biggest question mark among the receivers will be Stover and his health.
There probably won’t be much need for worry, however. With the extra rehab time, Stover should be able to report to camp in August in top shape.
Alabama coaches and fans are banking on it.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or by email at todd.thompson@hartselleenquirer.com

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