July 22, 2006

Darby returns to lead loaded Tide backfield

Maybe it has to do with the modest expectations most have for his team for the upcoming season. Or maybe it's because he doesn't get into the end zone as much as some might like. Whatever the reason, Alabama halfback Kenneth Darby has been on the outside looking in when it comes to the first-team All-SEC lists that have trickled out this summer.

Sure, magazines like Athlon's and Lindy's made it a point to plaster Darby across their covers. But that was more about selling copies in the state of Alabama than paying tribute to a guy who is on the verge of surpassing Shaun Alexander as Alabama's all-time leading rusher. Peek inside those mags and you have to scan down to the their second-team league selections to find the Huntsville native.

Of course, it would be much easier to knock the preseason annuals for their collective snub of Darby if not for the recently released coaches' All-SEC team. While we all know that league bosses put little if any thought into the chore, it doesn't take away from the fact that Darby once again found himself looking up from the second team.

None of this is meant to slight the two backs -- Arkansas' Darren McFadden and Auburns' Kenny Irons -- who are entrenched as preseason first-team choices.

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