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Three players expected to contribute in 2014 were arrested during the offseason, bringing into question how much that will affect their roles as the season approaches.
Linebacker Dillon Lee was taking first-team reps as an outside linebacker in Alabama’s base 3-4 and inside in nickel looks before an early April DUI knocked him back down the depth chart.
JUCO transfer defensive lineman Jarran Reed (also DUI), who played with the 1s on defense at A-Day, and running back Kenyan Drake (obstructing governmental operations, crossing crime scene tape) were both arrested in the span of a week, and Saban said at SEC Media Days that the two were suspended for the time being.
It’s unclear how much time each will miss or what their respective punishments will be.
Defensive back Geno Smith missed the 2013 season-opener against Virginia Tech following an August DUI. Reed could meet the same fate, while Lee’s timing may have made for a rough spring but could save him a suspension. Drake was already in hot water, losing his No. 2 running back role to Derrick Henry and having previously dealt with off-field issues of his own.
Some early fall camp practice positioning could provide clues as to how Saban is handling the individual disciplinary matters.