Tide notebook: Alabama can rely on the 'Nudie Bus'
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Aug 12, 2013 | 2956 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TUSCALOOSA -- The legend of Jalston Fowler’s nickname continues to grow.

The Alabama running back turned fullback turned H-back is affectionately called “Nudie” by teammates, family and friends.

“I like to truck people, run people over,” Fowler said Tuesday. “We’ve got this saying. When you hear the train coming across the railroad, you hear the little choo choo -- nah, that’s the Nudie Bus.”

Where did this come from? Fowler said it's from strength coach Scott Cochran.

“(He says) Wah Wah! Brother, that ain’t no train. That’s the Nudie Bus,” Fowler said.

Fowler revealed to reporters that he hasn’t spent much time working with the running backs other than giving the younger ones a few pointers.

After Tide coach Nick Saban mentioned Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny as two young running backs who’ve been having a good camp, Fowler echoed Saban’s sentiments about Tenpenny when asked which young back was impressing him.

“Altee (Tenpenny). He’s been doing great,” he said. “He runs hard, he finishes plays. But like anybody else, he’s got to keep working.”

HAHA ON COOPER: Amari Cooper torched the secondary for 182 yards and three touchdowns in Alabama’s first preseason scrimmage. Tide safety HaHa Clinton-Dix said Cooper is taking last season’s success to the next level.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Cooper has not settled in or just gotten comfortable at all. He continues to work hard in practice and it carries onto the field.”

What makes him so good about him?

“He’s very explosive off the line. He’s quick, he can get open. He runs his routes very well. Very explosive.”

But it has to be frustrating to get beat by Cooper on a consistent basis, right?

“Not at all,” Clinton-Dix said. “Like I said, Cooper’s a top receiver, so if you can continue to go with him and get better off of him, you’ll be ready for the games.”

MCCARRON ON SIMS: Quarterback Blake Sims is working to maintain his spot as Alabama’s back up quarterback. Along with the Tide’s new crop of signal callers, Sims is competing with Alec Morris who continues to impress coaches and teammates in camp.

But Sims' grasp of the system is something worth noting. Sims went back and forth between quarterback in running back in 2011 before making the switch full-time last season. Quarterback AJ McCarron said Sims knowledge of the position hasn’t surprised him.

“Not really. He was always in and out,” McCarron said. “He never really played just one position more than the other, even when he was at running back he still played some quarterback, and he would come to our meetings, and then at practice time he’d just go play running back. Blake has been here, I don’t even know how many years, three or four? Something like that. He’s done an excellent job. I even told him you just have to keep progressing.”
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