Nick Saban On His Player’s Spring Break

Michael Casagrande, (

Some went to the beach.

Others hit the gym.

Nick Saban said he wasn’t checking up on Alabama football players during spring break, but they had a homework assignment. And he knew who completed it without much effort.

After starting spring practice the Friday before the break, Saban told the team he’d like for them to work out four times beforeresuming the routine Monday.

“And we’ll know the players who worked out four times and did not dissipate in terms of gaining weight and who took care of themselves, because you won’t be able to respond in practice like you want to if you don’t do those things,” Saban said. “Now, we don’t call and make sure they do it. We don’t have a postcard that they fill out. We can’t make them do it, so we encourage them to do it.”

For the most part, it sounds like the team passed the test.

Three players who met with reporters after Monday’s first practice back followed the plan. Linebacker Reuben Foster said he was in Miami for spring break, but not for the beach.

“Worked out. Studied,” Foster said. “Tried to call the young guys, check up on them, them checking up on me.”

Tight end O.J. Howard went to Houston with David Cornwell, one of the four quarterbacks competing for the starting job this spring. A trip like that was something the two had discussed in the past. They worked on a few routes on the trip, as social media posts displayed.

“We both want to win for the team so whenever you’ve got a bunch of guys on the team who are dedicated like that it’s going to help the team in the long run,” Howard said.

Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson went home and got a few workouts in.

All four?

“I probably did three,” Tomlinson said with a laugh.

He felt good Monday afternoon when Practice 2 of 15 began under sunny skies.

“I didn’t feel sluggish out there,” Tomlinson said. “I was pretty excited to go back and practice because just running in the Fourth Quarter (conditioning program), you just want to get back on the field.”

Saban wasn’t disappointed when he took the field Monday.

“I didn’t ask anyone how much they worked out over spring, but it’s a real indicator of how important football is to them, and how important that is for them to be a good player,” Saban said. “If a guy just went and did nothing for the whole time, he’s not very committed to improving himself and having a significant role on the team. I think it tells you a lot about a player’s competitive character, how important football is to them, and how important the team is to them in how he does those things.”

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