TUSCALOOSA — While he’s still a long way from playing, having sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson back on the practice field is a positive sign for Alabama.
Jackson, who injured his knee in a non-contact situation during spring practice, wore a brace on his right knee and worked with the defensive backs during Alabama’s initial preseason practice Friday. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Jackson is “doing really, really well.”
“He’s had a very successful rehab during the summer,” Saban said. “He’s limited in how many reps. We kind of have him on a pitch count as to what he’s going to do.”
As with any player returning from an injury, Saban said it’s about seeing “how much can they do before they start to get sore,” while also not pushing too hard to avoid further injury. Saban wouldn’t put a timetable on Jackson’s return.
“Eddie took all the tests and passed them, so straight-line running is not the issue,” Saban said. “It’s cutting, changing direction, doing those kinds of things and see what issues those things create. But we’re very encouraged with where he’s at. We’re making no predictions about when he’ll be able to get back and play. We’re just going to evaluate him one day at a time and try to bring him along so that at some point in time he's going to be able to come back and contribute for us.”
SCARBROUGH, MCBRIDE FAIL TO QUALIFY: Two members of Alabama’s 2014 recruiting class have failed to qualify. Running back Bo Scarbrough and offensive lineman Montel McBride are the only players who have not enroll.
Saban said McBride “did not qualify and will be placed in junior college.”
As for Scarbrough, Saban said Alabama is taking steps in hopes of getting him in by January.
“We have an appeal in place because he is very close to qualifying,” Saban said. “That will take some time. We will have a plan here at his high school to try to do the things that he needs to do to finish and be able to qualify. And our goal is to get him here in January.”
McBride, a three-star offensive guard prospect from Plant City, Fla., picked Alabama over Auburn and Florida State. Scarbrough, a five-star prospect from Tuscaloosa, was the nation’s No. 1 ranked athlete according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
LEON BROWN SIDELINED: Saban announced right guard Leon Brown is out with a foot injury. Brown was absent during Alabama’s early practice.
“He probably, even though he’s rehabbing extensively and able to do some things, he probably will be limited to some degree in practice for at least two more weeks,” Saban said.
Brown started at right guard during the Sugar Bowl in place of the injured Anthony Steen, who has completed his eligibility. Brown finished spring practice as the No. 1 right guard. With Brown out, Alphonse Taylor and junior college transfer Dominick Jackson should get more time.
LAKE, WHITE 100 PERCENT: Two other Alabama players who missed spring practice with injuries are now 100 percent and fully participating in practice.
Defensive lineman Darren Lake (pectoral) and wide receiver DeAndrew White (toe) worked with their position groups during the Tide’s morning session.
“They were 100 percent all summer long, and they’re 100 percent right now,” Saban said.
White is a projected starter at receiver, while Lake should factor into the defensive line rotation.
Sports Writer Marq Burnett: On Twitter @Marq_Burnett.