October 13, 2006
RB coach Sparky Woods speaks to BOL
Q: You've signed the last two "Mr. Football" winners from the state of Mississippi. How and why have you had so much success there?
A: First of all, I think our school sells itself. If you go up to that All-American hall we have, there's a lot of guys from Mississippi in there. You can get from here to Tupelo faster than you can get to Huntsville or Mobile and some people forget that. We play two games there every other year and we've won a lot of those games and that gives us some exposure. It's all those things but Alabama has always gotten some great kids from Mississippi. We're a pretty big name in that state.
Q: How is the competition between Alabama and the Mississippi schools when you are competing over a high-profile Mississippi recruit?
A: They compete hard and when it's a high profile kid they get pretty upset over it. They'll make it hard for the kid by putting a guilt trip on them about staying in-state. There's been plenty we didn't get. It's a very similar state to Alabama in terms of high school football.
Q: How involved have you been in the Jimmy Johns quarterback package?
A: Coach Rader and Coach Shula handle most of that. Anytime you can put the ball in Jimmy's hands is a good thing and if you can run the quarterback it makes it easier to run the football, it gives you one more blocker out there.
Q: Why is Ken Darby having more success running on the outside right now and not as much success up the middle?
A: Anytime you can get him in space, whether that's outside or through the line onto the other side, than he's got a chance to be elusive and make people miss. We're trying to do anything we can to get him onto the other side of the line whether it's running outside, misdirection or whatever. Once you do that, then you can ask him to make it hard for the other team to tackle him. We've had a couple inside runs that actually bounced outside and ended up working. Right now we're just trying to get him some space to run in and I think he's running better and we're blocking better. As we make bigger plays in the passing game it's going to make the defenses a little more coverage conscious and that will give KD some more space to work with.
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