TUSCALOOSA — Despite still suffering the effects of a stress fracture in his foot, Alabama tight end Colin Peek has not disappointed his coaches through the first week of practice.
Coach Nick Saban said Peek, a transfer from Georgia Tech, has been a lot more effective in preseason practice than he had expected considering the 8-month-old ailment that has slowed Peek at times.
To keep the injury from getting worse, Peek sits out some drills. When the team participated in two-a-day practices Tuesday and Thursday, Peek was only a spectator for the second workout each day. It is a method used at NFL training camps with some players older than 30.
"He's done very well with his foot, but we don't want to create an overuse problem that could put him in a position where he can't continue to improve and get better," Saban said.
Two other tight ends have caught Saban's eye in the first week of drills. Redshirt freshmen Undra Billlingsley and converted defender Michael Williams are making progress.
Williams has been working with the tight ends longer and Saban said he's a little ahead of Billingsley, who has been impressive as a blocker.
• Hard to ignore: All kinds of expectations have landed on freshman offensive lineman D.J. Fluker.
At 6-foot-6, 350 pounds, his physical presence is hard to ignore. But it's how he handles that massive frame that Saban said needs work.
"Part of his development is conditioning and an ability to sustain," Saban said. "What I would be more concerned about is guys understanding what it takes to get in shape and to be able to sustain their performance. Because when you get tired, you make mental errors. They can't give the same effort and they can't play with the same toughness."
• Missed out: Alabama missed out on a shot at adding to its stable of young linebackers on Friday.
Vic Beasley decided to take his services elsewhere. The highly recruited outside linebacker from Adairsville, Ga., committed to Clemson on Friday after narrowing favorites down to the ACC school and Alabama.
"I thought for a moment there he was going to Alabama," his father Victor Beasley, a former Auburn free safety, told CUTigers.com. "Anywhere he would have gone, I'm proud of him. I don't care what school. I'm just proud of him."
A four-star prospect according to scout.com, Beasleey was rated the 16th best athlete in the nation by the recruiting service.
• Tickets available: As of Friday afternoon, tickets were still available for two Tide home games this fall.
Fans can still get seats for the Sept. 12 home-opener with Florida International and the Nov. 21 home finale with UT-Chattanooga for $45 apiece. The surplus came after the visitors could not sell their allotment. The other four home dates including North Texas, Arkansas South Carolina and LSU are sold out.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to the official athletics Web site, rolltide.com or call (205) 348-BAMA.
• Watch list: Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody made the 65-man Chuck Bednarik Award watch-list.
The Maxwell Football Club gives the award annually to the nation's top defensive player.