Alabama's Johns Moving to Linebacker

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Even Jimmy Johns' Alabama teammates couldn't help but wonder how he would fare if he were hitting running backs instead of being one.

They're finally getting to find out. Johns has been buried on the depth chart in the backfield most of the season. But he's moving to linebacker for the Crimson Tide's practices for the Independence Bowl against Colorado and is hoping he has found a home in his latest position move.

Johns, a former Mississippi Mr. Football, had been expected to compete for a starting job at tailback after spending two seasons as Kenneth Darby's backup. Instead, the former high school quarterback wound up with just 17 carries and had a costly fumble in his first career start against Louisiana-Monroe.

His 6-foot-2, 223-pound frame and athleticism make him seem a nice fit at linebacker. It's also a position where the Tide is about to lose starters Darren Mustin and Keith Saunders.

At tailback, Terry Grant, Glen Coffee and Roy Upchurch all return.

Johns and coach Nick Saban discussed a potential switch late in the season, and made it official after the Iron Bowl.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)