Alabama suspends Geno Smith

Alabama starting nickel back Geno Smith, who was arrested this past weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence, has been suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech, according to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

"This is something everyone should learn from," Saban said. "If you make a bad choice, the consequence of that has a bad effect.

"Geno has been a really good person in the program. He made a bad choice ... and now he has consequences for him."

Should Smith handle "in-house" things, he'll be able to come back for the second game of the season against Texas A&M, Saban said.

Smith, a former four-star prospect who came on late last year as a freshman, was expected to log significant minutes this season. Against a team like Virginia Tech, which likes to spread the field with multiple receivers, he would have played a big part of the Tide's defense, matching up against the slot receiver.

Now Alabama must go back to the drawing board to determine who can fill his vacancy during the suspension.

With Deion Belue and John Fulton projected to start as boundary corners, it falls to sophomores Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve to step up among the cornerbacks. Jones shifted to defense from wide receiver this year and has looked promising at the position, which he played in high school.

Another possibility, however, is a safety dropping down to play nickel. During practice on Tuesday, Jarrick Williams played the position, and either Vinnie Sunseri, Landon Collins or Nick Perry is capable of playing it as well.