Alabama's Jones ready to go for spring

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

We already knew Julio Jones was a great player. We already knew that he was the SEC's toughest player to tackle one-on-one.

As a freshman, Jones was everything Alabama fans had hoped for ... and more.

We also know now, unequivocally, how tough a guy Jones is. He played last season with a bum left shoulder and a cracked left wrist. Jones used a wrap to protect his wrist and started all 14 games, catching 58 passes for 924 yards and four touchdowns.

As they say in the trade, the guy is a football player and the kind that doesn't come around every year.

He underwent surgical procedures on both his shoulder and wrist following the season, but according to Alabama coach Nick Saban, has been cleared for spring practice. I'm sure the Tide will still pick their spots on how much actual contact he gets.

The only two Alabama players who haven't been cleared for contact for the spring are running back Roy Upchurch and receiver Earl Alexander. Upchuch's 2008 season was cut short by neck spasms, and he underwent surgery. Alexander had surgery on his right shoulder.

Other players that had minor procedures in the offseason who have been cleared for the spring are cornerback Kareem Jackson (right wrist), offensive lineman Barrett Jones (right shoulder), linebacker Rolando McClain (right thumb), tight end Colin Peek (left foot), linebacker Cory Reamer (right knee, right wrist), receiver B.J. Scott (right knee), tight end Brad Smelley (right wrist) and defensive end Lorenzo Washington (right thumb).