Alabama head coach Nick Saban told ESPN on Monday that Waddle wants to play and has worked hard to return. On Wednesday, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian provided an another update.
“We’ll see where it goes from here,” Sarkisian said. “Clearly we’ve got about a week or so until the game, so probably a better question for coach Saban, but yes, he was back at practice yesterday.
Single focus: Sarkisian will coach with Alabama in the championship game and then transition to his new job as the head coach at Texas, where he replaces the fired Tom Herman.
“My focus is on the game,” Sarkisian said. “I’m prepping for the ballgame. Any of the spare time that I do have, that’s getting my attention for the job at Texas, whether that’s staffing or recruiting, things of that nature. But I would say my week has been as normal as it could be.”
Big honor: Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has been named the Big Ten’s most valuable player.
The Chicago Tribune announced Wednesday the junior from Georgia was picked the winner of the paper’s Silver Football, which has gone to the league MVP since Red Grange of Illinois won the first one in 1924.
Fields was already named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year and Quarterback of the Year.
He led the conference in passing efficiency and enters the College Football Playoff National Championship Game having completed 141 of 192 passes for 1,906 yards and 21 touchdowns.
An Ohio State player has won the Silver Football 22 times, including seven of the last eight years.
That string started with Wayne High School graduate and Springfield native Braxton Miller winning it in 2012 and ’13. Ezekiel Elliott won it two years later followed by J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins and Chase Young.
Wes Fesler won Ohio State’s first Silver Football in 1930. Miller and Archie Griffin are Ohio State’s two-time winners.
In just two seasons, Fields has won five major Big Ten awards. That ties him with Orlando Pace for second in school history.
Miller is the leader with seven. He was the two-time offensive player of the year, quarterback of the year and MVP while also being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2011.
Pace won the 1996 Silver Football and was also named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year that season. He was the Offensive Lineman of the Year in ’95 and ’96 and Freshman of the Year in ’94.