Alabama safety and potential All-American Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules by head coach Nick Saban. In typical Saban fashion, he would not elaborate on the specific team rule Clinton-Dix broke.
“I’m going to be consistent,” Saban told the media following Alabama’s practice. “When guys get suspended, I never ever say what it’s for.”
Speculation about the rule he broke or how long he will be suspended is now running at the forefront of the fans of the Crimson Tide as rumors are running rampant on social media as they tend to do from possible contact with an agent to a potential drug test. But all of that is purely speculation and not rooted in fact.
All we know is Clinton-Dix is out for the game vs. Georgia State this Saturday and it is expected former five-star recruit Landon Collins will take his place in the starting lineup opposite Vinnie Sunseri in the defensive backfield with Geno Smith likely to see some more action.
Collins is more than capable of filling Clinton-Dix’s shoes in the interim. However, if he is suspended for the rest of the season, then you have to seriously be concerned about an already vulnerable secondary. Playing without an All-American isn’t ideal, but not many teams have a reserve as dynamic and talented as Collins.
Collins was the No. 7 player in the 247Sports composite rankings out of Dutchtown high school in Geismar, La. where he was the top prospect in the talent rich state. He was the No. 2 safety in the composite rankings behind Shaw Thompson who is now a linebacker at Washington.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Collins has been a special teams ace for the majority of his Alabama career, but has seen some reps as an inside cornerback this year and will get a big opportunity to showcase the talent that made him such a coveted recruit.
The schedule is really friendly should Clinton-Dix be suspended any longer than this week with a road date with Kentucky next week and then home games vs. Arkansas and Tennessee before they have a bye before hosting LSU. While the timing may be good, it’s never ideal to lose a player to another off the field incident which Alabama has had a few this season.
Clinton-Dix is regarded as the top pro prospect at his position and likely to enter the 2014 NFL draft, but now we wonder if he’s already played his last game for the top team in the nation. If he has then you can trust Collins to fill his shoes admirably.