When Utah State takes on Alabama in Tuscaloosa Saturday night, Olympus High alum Cam Latu could be watching from the sideline.
A second-team preseason All-SEC tight end, Latu — a Salt Lake City native — was a breakout performer for Alabama last season, but a “minor knee injury” suffered prior to fall camp set Latu back in his preparation for this season, and per Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Latu is day-to-day at this point.
“Cam is going to start practicing today and we’ll see how he progresses, see how he does,” Saban said Monday, during his weekly press conference. “I don’t think anyone can make a prediction about that right now.”
According to Saban, Latu worked on a treadmill last week and “never had an issue, never had a problem.”
This week he is expected to do individual work, and how that goes will determine his status moving forward.
“The next thing he does is start dry-land working, doing individual work, seeing what he can do in practice,” Saban said. “It is kind of day-to-day with him.”
Adding doubt to the idea that Latu will play against the Aggies is Alabama’s depth at tight end.
Saban noted that there are three young and less experienced tight ends on the Alabama roster who’ve benefitted greatly from Latu’s prolonged absence, most notable among them sophomore Robby Ouzts.
“Robby Ouzts has done a good job, but all three have made significant progress and they will probably have some role in this game,” Saban said.
Last season, Latu had the best year of his collegiate career by a wide margin. He played in 15 games and totaled 26 receptions for 410 yards and eight touchdowns.
Prior to last season, Latu hadn’t made a single catch for the Tide, as he started out on the defensive side of the ball before making a mark on special teams while transitioning to tight end.