Alabama QB Tagovailoa feeling better about ankle
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said his sprained ankle is feeling good two days before the Crimson Tide plays Clemson for the national championship.
“I can only say we’re continuing to get better,” Tagovailoa said at media day Saturday in San Jose, California. “Just one more game then I can rest.”
Tagovailoa was hurt against Georgia in the SEC title game.
Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley said Tagovailoa, who also dealt with a knee injury this season, was as healthy as he has been in months.
Backup quarterback Jalen Hurts, meanwhile, is ready to do whatever he can to help defeat Clemson. He’s not ready, however, to talk about his future at Alabama.
Hurts is a junior who started his first two seasons, but was the backup this season.
Asked whether he’ll be back for his senior season, transfer or try for the NFL, Hurts quickly turned away and walked off.
Bama LB ailing: Alabama linebacker Christian Miller is questionable for Monday night’s game because of a pulled hamstring. Coach Nick Saban said Miller has not been able to do much work in practice.
Nice surprise: Before heading to the championship game, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had good news for three of his lesserknown players.
Swinney awarded scholarships to walk-ons Carter Groomes, Regan Upshaw and Austin Jackson, carrying on the Tigers’ tradition of rewarding those who put in the time and effort to help the team during the week, without the hope of getting a whole lot of actual playing time. Juggling act: Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is not sleeping much. He is the latest Tide assistant to coach in the playoff after accepting at another school.
Locksley was hired by Maryland last month. He is recruiting for the Terps and trying to hire staff, but does that at 10 p.m. when he’s done for the day with Alabama.
Out in California, he’s been getting up at 3:30 a.m. to juggle both jobs.
“I owe it to these players and this team.” Locksley said.
Another champ crowned: North Dakota State (15-0) won its record seventh FCS championship, as Easton Stick ran for three touchdowns and threw two quick scoring passes to Darrius Shepherd in a wild start to the second half of a 38-24 victory over Eastern Washington (12-3) in Frisco, Texas.
North Dakota State has won all seven titles over the past eight seasons. Stick, who succeeded Carson Wentz, ran for 121 yards in his 49th victory to become the winningest FCS quarterback.
It was also the last game for the Bison’s Chris Klieman, who now becomes Kansas State’s coach. He went 69-6 with a record-matching four FCS titles in five seasons.
Washington State: Running back James Williams is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Williams and the Cougars closed out their season on Dec. 28 with a 28-26 win over Iowa State in the Alamo Bowl.
California: Defensive back Bryce Turner has died after being hospitalized for a medical emergency during a non-team workout. He was 19. California announced Turner’s death Saturday. No cause of death was given.
Turner was hospitalized following a workout this week near his Southern California home. The school called it a “medical emergency” and has provided no other details. Iowa: Junior defensive back Amani Hooker said he will enter the NFL draft. He was a first-team All-Big Ten pick and the league’s defensive back of the year. Texas Tech: Paul Randolph has been hired as defensive line coach after the past three seasons at Memphis. Randolph became the eighth member on the coaching staff of new coach Matt Wells.
North Dakota State defensive end Derrek Tuszka waves his arms like an eagle, Eastern Washington's mascot, after sacking quarterback Eric Barriere late in the title game.