August 26, 2007

BOL Notebook: Arenas finds home at 'Star'

Alabama fans came to appreciate Javier Arenas in 2006 when the true freshman from Tampa ranked among Southeastern Conference leaders in both kickoff and punt returns.

Arenas, however, is now looking to be appreciated for more.

Next up: Impacting the secondary.

Arenas spent spring practice and the first half of fall camp working at cornerback, an area where the Crimson Tide has plenty of depth. He began working with safeties about two weeks ago.

"He plays the 'Star' [position] for us in the five defensive backs [package], and has done a good job with that," said coach Nick Saban. "We had him playing corner, we felt like we needed a little more speed and athleticism at safety. Even though he's a little bit small, he's very explosive and a strong tackler and a good hitter."

Arenas said early in camp that he enjoyed the bump-and-run style of cornerback play being taught in Saban's defense. Now, he'll have to get equally comfortable playing further away from the line of scrimmage. The 5-foot-9 sophomore intercepted a deflection in the Crimson Tide's final scrimmage of fall camp and returned it for a 30-yard touchdown.

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