Nico’s in the ‘middle’

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He’s the man in the middle.

Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed Wednesday that linebacker Nico Johnson will take over starting duties in the middle linebacker spot, while Dont’a Hightower will play in the weak inside spot, reports.

Saban talked about the move in the article, and said the move was based on the players’ experience in the positions.

“We played the run a little bit better,” Saban said of the Arkansas game. “We also moved Dont’a back to where he played most of his career, the money position, and I think he’s a little more comfortable there.

“I think the combination of those two things is what contributed to us playing the run a little bit better.  This is a good running team we’re playing this week, so we’ll certainly have to do a good job against the running plays they have and the speed they have on the perimeter.”

In addition, Johnson was asked about the move as well.

“I just had to wait my turn,” he said. “It’s an honor to be back on the field to play for a good team, a good school.”

Last week, Johnson got his first taste this season in the starting role against Arkansas, where the Crimson Tide came from behind by 13 points to win 24-20 in the second half.