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All-American center Jones key to line battle

Dec 19, 2012, 1:49 PM EDT

Alabama Crimson Tide Cody Mandell, Kevin Norwood and Barrett Jones celebrate after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs during the NCAA SEC college football championship in Atlanta Reuters

If Manti Te’o was spotted wearing a protective boot this week, you can bet Notre Dame fans would be a little bit worried heading into Christmas. That’s where Alabama fans find themselves, with the heart and soul of their team’s best unit, All-American center Barrett Jones, still in a protective cast on his left foot.

Jones injured the foot in the SEC Championship, a sprain that didn’t take him out of the game. And if you ask the senior center, college football’s scholar athlete of the year, whether or not he’s playing, he’s particularly adamant.

“My foot is sprained,” Jones told reporters. “I’ll be playing in the game. I’ll be fine. I’ll have this cast on I don’t know how much longer, but not much longer. I’ll be all right. That’s all we’re talking about the foot.”

If you’re looking for a match-up that now has a really interesting subplot, Jones match-up with nose guard Louis Nix should be one to circle. Nix’s power and speed, which would’ve been a handful for Jones regardless on January 7th, might be even tougher if Alabama’s center can’t get back up to speed before the game.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Jones will be reevaluated on December 27, and said the cast and rehabilitation plan was precautionary. Still, the leader of college football’s best offensive line might be less than 100% heading into January 7th, a key factor in Alabama’s offensive prowess.


  1. yogihilt - Dec 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Please be healthy, Jones, and I’m glad Dial’s playing, too; no suspension (although well deserved). Let’s have both teams 100% when we take them to the woodshed. 2013 will start off with an Irish Bang

    • tiderecruiter - Dec 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

  2. dudeacow - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Jones, meet Nix. Nix, meet your lunch.

  3. 808raiderinparadise - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Wow, the ND haters are hilarious …

    I just had a South Carolina fan (die hard supoosively) who said he had no idea who Everett Golosn was till this year, Golson was heavily recruited by Spurrier from Myrtle Beach, SC…. go figure.

    Then he told me that n. Montana left ND because we can’t develop legacy stars? He sucked. It gets better: then he told me N. Montana will get a better education at Tulane.

    “Tulane is perceived stronger academically than the “Golden Dome”. ” ??????

    Then finally he finished with that he is 110% cheering for Alabama in the NC ????????



    ROLL IRISH !!!!!!!!!!

    • chadwalters425 - Dec 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      There’s no use in arguing with a moron. Nick does not equal Nate. South Carolina fans have less than no reputation or clout. Win something, then start arguing.

      I’m sorry you had to share air space with this nutjob. Sometimes you just have to ignore stupidity, otherwise you’re just wasting your time and your breath.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      Tulane? That’s laughable. Can’t wait for 1/7 we aren’t done surprising people yet. Word of advice? Bet the dog. I have been saying for like 3 months now that this is a magic year. Team of destiny. Teo will not be denied! ROLL IRISH! Please shut these SEC hillbillies up once and for all.

      • tiderecruiter - Dec 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        I am an Alabama fan and I am sorry there are those in our southeastern area that give lackluster impressions of the south. In the norm down here, it isn’t like this; there are other things that make up our lives outside CF. Notre Dame is a fine institution in all aspects and certainly I speak for most that it has a top traditional program in football. I respect your institution and for what it stands. I look forward to the game of my dreams in the new area of CF 1/7/13. Gonna be a good one for all, recruiting and stability in national recognition of dominance in CF. You have an outstanding team this year and well coached. You played a decent schedule as well. As the same for us, some teams that are usually dominant weren’t so much this year that ND played and it isn’t your fault.

        For BAMA Michigan was weak and posed no challenge. Arkansas was down due to coaching issues. Auburn down because they are just pitiful Auburn and that happens there frequently. TN has been down. Mizzu didn’t pan out impressively. Miss St was 7-0 til playing us. Ole Miss is on its way up but still lost to us by 19 pts. Tex AM put the wood to us surprising us fromt he first snap yet once they scored 3 unanswered TD’s in the first quarter Bama made adjustments and shut them down zero pts in 2nd and zero pts in 3rd and they managed 9 pts in the fourth only our “O” didn’t produce enough (keep in mind we had that emotional win vs. LSU in Baton Rouge the week before but no excuses here = we lost) and we threw an int in the endzone in last moment of that game > we put one of the top lockdown CB’s in last year’s class in the star position after the TX AM game and it has made all the difference in the world in our secondary.

        I wish you did play in our conference w/ the likes of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, LSU perennially up every year > I would love to have watched your season play out if you had. Who knows, maybe your depth and players and speed could have more than managed. It is a moot wish, however. Yet even our mid-achieving schools annually like South Carolina, Arkansas, TN, Auburn have very up years = we knock each other off having beat each other down over the season = trap games/let down games do happen needlessly to say, as well for any program. We have 9 bowl eligible teams this year. That my blog friends IS a statement for any conference to make: even Vandy was a good opponent this year (Aaron Rogers little brother is their QB, btw). Check and see how many win their bowl games out of the 9 in them, then make a determination on SEC difficulty rating.

        As far as Barrett Jones’ ankle issue. His replacement is the #2 Center out of H/S in ’11 named Ryan Kelly. See the link on Scout below. Rivals ranked him as the #6 Center. You have a good nose guard and I do tell you that Jones has faced several good ones down here, athletic and quick ones all year long, big 360 pounders often. I do consider this a challenging matchup and we’ll see.

        Wish you all and a Merry Christmas and Roll Tide!

  4. sullyp18 - Dec 19, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    James de-committed today. I know this was expected but hopefully this will push Folston to make a decision on the IRISH. GO IRISH!!!!

  5. irishdodger - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Both teams will sandbag their injuries. Bama will have Jones & Bell at 100% & ND will have Daniels back regardless of how “questionable” they’ll be at game time.

    • tiderecruiter - Dec 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM

  6. alsatiannd - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    What other nose tackles has Jones gone up against? Is Nix better than anyone he has seen so far?

  7. yogihilt - Dec 22, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    All interesting stuff.. but omg, my hangover is now pounding after reading all that…. Can the game please begin… want to hear Brent say “You are looking Liiiiiive, in Miami”. To the woodshed, men. Go Irish

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