Preseason All-American Makes His Presence Felt in First Start
Preseason All-American's usually don't fall off of trees and appear for the first time in week eight. However, the Alabama Crimson Tide continues to bear fruit from an everlasting tree. This time around, the tree produced five star, preseason All-American transfer cornerback Eli Ricks.
The LSU transfer made his first start for the Crimson Tide and his presence was immediately felt. Going up against the likes of Mississippi State and Mike Leach's air raid offense, Ricks was thrown right into the line of fire. Ricks got an early pass break-up on the team's first defensive play. This would set the tone for the night as Ricks would tie Kool-Aid McKinstry with breaking up four passes each. Those four pass break ups by Ricks contributed to a season high in pass break ups for the Crimson Tide with 15.
Ricks first start comes at an interesting time as Alabama bounced back from their first loss of the season. He replaced Terrion Arnold as the corner opposite of McKinstry. Coach Nick Saban put his players on notice after last week by saying no position is guaranteed.
“We can’t continue to tolerate guys that aren’t doing the things they need to do to be successful. Nobody is entitled to a position.”
After beating the bulldogs, 30-6, on homecoming, Coach Saban complemented Ricks performance and preparation.
"I thought he did a good job. He gave up one throw. When you're playing five under man, you're supposed to be be underneath the guy, so the guy shouldn't be able to catch a comeback on you. And caught one him and caught one on Kool-Aid on 4th and 10. But I thought he played well. He prepared well all week. I thought he played pretty well in the game."
Ricks finished the game with 2 total tackles and 4 pass break ups. After securing the win in a stifling performance, the question every one will want to know, where has this guy been and why hasn't he been playing?