Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If there's any team in the country that could withstand losing a consensus five-star running back to injury, it's probably Alabama; having a potential Heisman candidate in Trent Richardson and a backup in Eddie Lacy who only averaged 7.2 yards-per-carry a year ago can give a team a lot of leeway.
But unfortunately for the Tide and incoming freshman back Dee Hart, it looks like Alabama will need it. Hart is reportedly scheduled for 8 a.m. surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ACL suffered during a 7-on-7 drill. Hart is expected to be out for 7-10 months, putting his 2012 spring camp participation in jeopardy as well as the certain loss of the 2011 season.
A consensus prep All-American and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl MVP, Hart was one of the brightest jewels in the Tide's typically star-studded 2011 class. After enrolling early, Hart enjoyed a productive spring, scored on a 17-yard touchdown run in the Tide's Crimson-White game and served as the team's primary punt returner in that game. Though facing an uphill battle to unseat Lacy as the Tide's regular backup, Hart was expected to play a big role on special teams and could have featured as a third-down, change-of-pace back.
But for now, all of that will have to wait as Hart rehabs and prepares for a 2012 comeback. As for the Tide, as long as Richardson and/or Lacy remain healthy, they'll be fine. If they don't, well, maybe we'll find out there's not quite as much leeway as we think.