Alabama coach Nick Saban indicated on his Thursday night radio show he isn’t expecting offensive tackle D.J. Fluker to return for his senior season.
Asked generally about recruiting needs, Saban said offensive line is a priority because of the expected losses. Fluker is a junior and is slated as a possible first-round draft choice by analysts.
“We’re a little bit thin in offensive linemen for the future, because we’re going to lose three guys probably, two seniors and a guy (Fluker) who’s probably going to go out for the draft,” he said. “I can’t say that right for sure yet. And we won’t even consider it until after the season. That’s going to be an important spot in recruiting.”
Saban also said the defense is a little bit thin all the way around.
n An honor for Milliner: Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player.
The Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club announced the five finalists Thursday. The other four are South Carolina sophomore end Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia junior linebacker Jarvis Jones, Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te’o and Florida State junior end Bjoern Werner.
The winner will be announced Dec. 3. The FWAA has presented a national defensive player of the year award since 1993 and in the name of Nagurski since 1995. Nagurski was a standout defensive player for Minnesota in the 1920s.
Milliner has 44 tackles, two interceptions, 14 pass breakups and 16 deflections.
He is the fifth Alabama finalist for the Nagurski Trophy (Antonio Langham, 1993; DeMeco Ryans, 2005; Terrence Cody, 2009; Mark Barron, 2011). No Crimson Tide player has won it.
n Overtime blues: If you don’t like college football’s overtime rules, you’re not alone. Nick Saban said he doesn’t like it that the college overtime period gives both teams one possession 25 yards from the end zone.
“I think if it’s a good game for four quarters playing it one way, why should you change it for overtime?” Saban asked Thursday on his radio show.
He added it’s too much of a disadvantage for a team that is placed on offense first, especially if you don’t score.
“That’s what happened to us last year when we lost to LSU. We didn’t score, and that puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” Saban said.