TUSCALOOSA — Alabama’s Nick Saban will enter the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, but another member of the new class has Crimson Tide center Barrett Jones excited about attending the induction ceremony May 18, 2013.
His grandfather, former North Alabama basketball coach and athletics director Bill Jones, will enter the Hall of Fame that night, too.
“It’s very special for my family and my dad, especially my grandmother (Joan), who is still alive,” said Jones, who grew up in Germantown, Tenn. “It’s pretty cool that he was able to accomplish that. ... A lot of people around Florence are pretty excited about it. I’m excited about getting to go. He’s also in the same class as Coach Saban, which I think is kind of cool.”
So where will Barrett Jones sit — at Coach Saban’s table or the one reserve for supporters of Bill Jones, who died in 2008?
“I’ll sit at the family table,” Barrett Jones said firmly.
Barrett Jones won’t practice this week because of a foot injury he suffered in the SEC Championship Game win over Georgia, but he will dress out and ride the exercise bike during workouts.
Saban said he is holding out Jones as a precaution. Jones is wearing a cast on the foot, but he said he’ll play in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame.
When asked about the foot, he recited the answer as if he had been asked 1,000 times: “Sprained foot. Going to be fine. Can’t wait to play. How’s that?”
AJ will return in 2013
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will come back next season for his senior year, and Saban said that’s a good decision, even if he had gone high in the NFL draft.
“I think AJ’s decision was based on the fact that, with the quarterbacks, if you’re not going to be one of the very, very top picks, one of the first few guys picked in the draft, where they’re going to make an investment of you being the guy, where you’ll develop as the guy, just like a couple of the guys have this year, it’s very difficult to develop because you don’t get to play very much,” Saban said. “If you play in college you can certainly have a better chance of improving and enhancing your draft status in the future in how you’re evaluated.”