Alabama is going to use more of a running back by committee than it has in years past, but the leader of that committee is supposed to be junior Eddie Lacy.
The 6'0", 220-pounder missed spring practice recovering from surgery to repair a nagging foot injury.
He came back and looked good early in fall practice but missed most of last week after tweaking his knee and ankle in a scrimmage.
With Alabama taking on Michigan at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night, Lacy's status became a hot-button topic at Alabama's media day on Monday.
How's Lacy doing? Pretty good, according to quarterback AJ McCarron (via: Laken Litman of FOXSports.com):
AJ McCarron on Eddie Lacy: "He looks good, cutting fast, light on his feet and picking up blitzes well." Said in very convincing tone, fwiw.— Laken Litman (@LakenLitman) August 27, 2012
Lacy, however, didn't put a percentage on himself.
RB Eddie Lacy says he's feeling good but won't put a percentage on it twitter.com/LakenLitman/st…— Laken Litman (@LakenLitman) August 27, 2012
The two players have different levels of enthusiasm, but both comments are good signs, if you're an Alabama fan.
How many yards will Eddie Lacy rush for on Saturday?
Lacy is a good back, but he's nowhere near as established as an every-down running back as Trent Richardson was when he took over the featured role prior to last season. Lacy needs some work, if for no other reason, to test his durability.
That's why getting out there vs. Michigan and performing well is so important. It gives him the chance to be the leader of the Alabama running-back committee in a big game and prepare himself both mentally and physically for the grind of the SEC season.
Michigan is dealing with some issues along its defensive line, according to the Big Ten Blog's Adam Jacobi. Couple that with the fact that Alabama's offensive line is one of the best in the country, and you have a recipe for success for Lacy—or any Alabama running back—this weekend at the Cowboys Classic.
It sounds like Lacy is ready to go, but we will see if he's ready to lead the Tide running backs on Saturday night.
Wild guess: 17 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown.