The Alabama football team returned to practice Monday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility for a two-hour session in which the Crimson Tide strapped on full pads for the first time in fall camp.
It marks the fifth practice of fall camp as the Tide continues to work towards their season opener on September 4 at Bryant-Denny Stadium against San Jose State.
Junior running back Mark Ingram, who practiced in shells on Monday, rejoined the team after missing the last two practices to attend the funeral of his grandfather in Flint, Mich.
"I did everything that the team did," Ingram said regarding his return to the practice field. "I just had shorts on."
The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced the names of thirty "players to watch" for its 2010 Player of the Year award today, with Ingram headlining as the only returning Walter Camp First-Team All-American from last season on the list. The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in early November with the winner announced live on the 6 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 9.
In addition to being named to the Walter Camp watch list, the 2009 Heisman winner was also named to the Maxwell Award watch list by the Maxwell Football Club which recognizes college football's most outstanding player. Ingram was a Maxwell finalist last season. Greg McElroy and Julio Jones were also selected to the Maxwell Award watch list while Marcell Dareus, Mark Barron and Dont'a Hightower were named to the Bednarik Award watch list.
"It's an honor, but as usual that's not my focus," Ingram said of the preseason recognition. "My main focus is to be the best player I can be and every single day improving. Every day you go out there you get better or you get worse, so I want to get better every single day and put myself in the best position where I can be the best player every Saturday to make plays for the team and put us in the best position to win games."
The intensity of fall camp will increase tomorrow with the Tide's first two-a-day practice session beginning at 9:30 a.m. Alabama will then hit the field again at 7:30 p.m. for the day's final workout. UA will hold a single practice on Wednesday before conducting the week's final two-a-day practice on Thursday. Alabama will practice once on Friday prior to the fall's first scrimmage on Saturday to close the second week of fall camp. All practices are closed to the public.