Skip to main content

Alabama RB Jase McClellan Out for Season, Camar Wheaton Dealing with Meniscus Injury

McClellan suffered a knee injury on Saturday against Ole Miss while Wheaton is dealing with a meniscus injury that has rendered him unable to practice.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama running back Jase McClellan is out for the season with a knee injury, head coach Nick Saban announced on Monday afternoon. He will undergo surgery on Tuesday.

McClellan suffered the injury early in the third quarter last Saturday in the Crimson Tide's 42-21 victory over Ole Miss. Prior to his early exit, McClellan had accounted for 28 rushing yards off of six carries.

"Jase has got a knee [injury], he'll be out for the year," Saban said during his Monday press conference. "He's gonna have surgery tomorrow, so he's out."

Additionally, Saban revealed that freshman running back Camar Wheaton, who to this point has not played in a single game this season, has been held out due to a meniscus injury.

“He hasn’t practiced," Saban said. "He had a meniscus or whatever, and so he’s just kind of week to week, but you know he's not been cleared medically to practice at this point.”

With McClellan out for the season and Wheaton on a week-to-week basis, Alabama is now down to three scholarship running backs. Brian Robinson Jr., the team's primary threat at the position, is back and fully healthy after missing the Southern Miss game with a rib injury. Trey Sanders and Roydell Williams are the other two backs, with each already joined McClellan in playing second-fiddle to Robinson this season.

So far this season, McClellan is second on the team in carries with 40 through the team's first five games. He is also second on the team in rushing yards with 199 and has averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

"Jase is a very good player," Saban said. "Did a great job as a runner, as well as a blocker as well as very good special teams player. We have to replace him in a lot of areas on our team, but we do have confidence in Roydell, and I think he'll do a good job. Trey Sanders is going to get more opportunity now and he's got to be able to step up and continue to make progress as well."

McClellan provided not just a running threat for Alabama this season but also provided versatility as the position by being utilized as a pass-catcher. McClellan caught at least one reception in all five of the Crimson Tide's games so far this season and made three receiving touchdowns.

Defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe, who is very familiar with the versatility that McClellan brings to the position having faced him consistently in practice, understands that the Alabama running back room still has talent. However, it's up to that talent to have that 'Next man up' mentality.

"Jase is a great player," Eboigbe said. "There's a lot of great players in that room and that's just a focus on coach: to make sure that every player who steps on that field is ready to go. That's something that a lot of players in that room can fill into his shoes but Jase is a great player and I know he'll rehab in a matter of time."