What Saban said about transfers, freshman contributors

The week of pre-season, without games, comes to an end with the arrival of Nick Saban in the media room on Wednesday evening. Official preparation for Utah State begins next week.

Refresh the page for the last time Saban arrives.

— Saban said he saw a significant improvement from scrum to scrum after watching the film.

— It’s about taking advantage of every opportunity now so they can be ready to go when the time comes.

— This is the time in August when they determine who will be in the depth chart, who will go to road games, etc. They have to decide where the depth will be.

— This week is all about preparing for opponents who do unique things. Preparation for Utah State will begin Thursday with a full setup starting Friday.

– Gambler James Burnip is more consistent in training in the second year after arriving from Australia.

– In LB midfield, Saban said there are three guys competing for two spots with four more competing to play an important role.

– About Jase McClellan, Saban said he was great without any limitations because of the torn ACL last season. He was excellent in the scrum, can catch the ball out of the backfield like we saw last year.

– On the offensive line, Saban said he was encouraged by the mentality and how far he’s come since last season. “I feel more comfortable in the running game that we have,” Saban said and the pass protection is better.

– Transfer WR Tyler Harrell sprained his foot early in camp, but last week saw more reps and gained confidence. His speed makes him a threat, Saban said, but there is room for improvement.

– Freshman Kobe Prentice played well in the slot with his speed but has some way to go to learn offense. His work ethic is impressive and does not get frustrated easily.

– There are four “maybe five” players competing for the two cornerback spots. Eli Ricks missed a week through injury and Khyree Jackson missed time, but there’s still a lot of competition in the position.

— Freshman Emmanuel Henderson has the speed and work ethic to contribute to special teams while still working at a receiver. He came from Hartford County as a running back.

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande Or on Facebook.