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Injury in secondary means Tide will lean on three talented freshman

On his weekly radio show Alabama coach Nick Saban detailed the Tide’s injury concerns heading into Alabama’s matchup with Ole Miss. Saban stated that junior defensive back Maurice Smith has been dealing with shoulder stingers that will cause him to miss Saturday’s game.

Alabama will already start freshman Marlon Humphrey every down at cornerback. Now with Smith’s injury when the Tide are in their Dime package Humphrey will be joined by freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick at nickel and freshman Ronnie Harrison at safety.

On his show Saban stated, “We’re going to play [Harrison] in the game, but we don’t know how much”. Ole Miss loves to play fast and throw the ball all over the place, so there is a good chance that the three freshman will be on the field together quite a bit. Harrison has already made an impact for the Tide this season blocking a punt against Middle Tennessee and his teammates seem confident in what he brings to the table.

Reggie Ragland told reporters over the summer,

“I like how Ronnie Harrison came in,” Ragland said in March. “He was full speed the whole time in Fourth Quarter. You could tell that what he was going through that he was just dying, but he still came back the next day going hard the whole time.

“I like the way he’s doing it. Every time I came up here, he was up here with coach [Glenn] Schumann learning what’s going on. I think he’s going to contribute this year.”

Alabama’s young and talented secondary will be tested by an Ole Miss team that has scored 149 points through two games. You have to grow up in a hurry in the SEC and Saturday against Ole Miss may present a big clue as to how this secondary will shape up in 2015.

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