Freshman QB Blake Barnett Hospitalized With Undisclosed Illness
Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett has missed the team’s first three practices this week due to an undisclosed illness that required a hospital visit, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban confirmed Wednesday evening.
“Blake's just ill. I can't get into specifics about what's wrong with him, but he wasn't feeling well,” Saban said. “(We) decided to admit him into the hospital for some tests. They found out what the issue is. He's out. We're very hopeful that he'll be fine.”
Barnett, a freshman, was released from his three-day hospital stay Wednesday afternoon, an announcement he made on his Snapchat. Saban said he doesn’t expect Barnett to return to action anytime this week. Alabama plays at No. 9 Texas A&M on Saturday.
“He probably won't be back to practice for another day or two, which kind of puts him out this week,” Saban said, “but we don't think it's anything serious, or anything that's a prolonged illness.”
The freshman’s hospital stay first came to light as a result of various social media posts on his personal Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. According to one Snapchat post Tuesday, he underwent multiple blood transfusions during his visit.
Barnett’s absence from practice was first reported Tuesday.
Barnett, from Corona, California, has yet to play in a game through six games this season, his first as a collegiate player. Instead, the former five-star prospect has mostly worked as a scout-team quarterback in practices.
Saban said Barnett’s absence this week has no bearing on whether or not the freshman will redshirt this season.
“We're developing him as a player and if we develop him to the point where we think he gives us the best chance to win somewhere down the road, then we'll probably play him,” Saban said. “If that doesn't present itself, then we're certainly not interested in trying to waste a year if he's not going to play enough to help his development.”
Of Alabama’s four other scholarship quarterbacks – Jake Coker, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell – all four redshirted as freshmen. Morris, Bateman and Cornwell, who all signed with Alabama straight out of high school, redshirted in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Coker, who transferred to Alabama before last season, redshirted as a freshman at Florida State in 2011.