April 14, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban during the spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE
On Tuesday, Saban was asked to clarify Taylor’s situation: "I don’t think I should even be commenting on that because these guys … we’re not supposed to comment about these recruits unless they’re coming to our place," Saban said. "But you know, we made a rule in the SEC that you can’t oversign. We had an injured player [Taylor] who agreed to start school in January and then changed his mind. And then we were full. What else could we do? "But it’s good that you all created such a tremendous story about all of this. My honesty and integrity about the kids has always been straight up and up front. We never get rid of any kids. We made an agreement, and the guy [Taylor] changed his mind. He got to do what he wanted to do, and we’re disappointed he’s not coming to our place."
In the wake of NFL Draft week, it's always fascinating to see where touted guys end up their college careers from a pro perspective. No doubt it's a different type of game. Just because the NFL personnel folks weren't sold on Kellen Moore, Case Keenum and Chris Polk doesn't mean those guys weren't outstanding college players. They were. An intriguing subplot is the production vs. potential dynamic. I went back and looked at the 2009 recruiting class -- guys who would fall into the vaunted Three-and-Out category. That term is often used by coaches in regard to elite talent who on first glance when they go through a training camp have the physical "Wow!" factor. Of course, players can end up Three-and-Outs also because of some character issues or bad judgment, too. The results of this weekend should've hammered that point home quite well. The 2009 signing class produced seven Three-and-Outs: Two became first-rounders, and both were Bama products: Trent Richardson and Dre Kirkpatrick; one was a second-rounder, LSU WR Reuben Randle; another was a seventh-rounder, K-State via Tennessee RB Bryce Brown (widely touted as the top overall recruit in the class) and three others, ASU LB Vontaze Burfict, McNeese State via Tennessee DB Janzen Jackson and UNC DE Donte Paige-Moss, did not get drafted at all. All three had major character concerns dogging their NFL prospects.
Asked recently to reflect on his epic NFL failure by Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Salaam (most recently an MMA promoter) said that it was very much about wanting it and working for it. For him, neither applied at the time. Heavy marijuana use and lack of focus finished him sooner than expected. "Work on your game. I didn't realize coming up how much work you had to put in once you got to the NFL. It's a whole different lifestyle. You have to change the way you live. You have to change who you hang out with. You have to totally get focused on your game. You have the athletic ability, but if you don't put the work behind it, nothing will come from it. "I had no discipline. I had all the talent in the world," he said. "You know, great body, great genes. But I had no work ethic and I had no discipline. The better you get, the harder you have to work. The better I got, the lazier I got."
How to select four teams? "I don’t think the way we selected and ranked teams was far off. But when there are three teams, somebody gets left out. Like when I was at LSU, Southern Cal got left out. Auburn didn’t get in one year when they were 13-0. So that would eliminate that. I think everybody wants to see the four best teams. There’s not parity in leagues. So when you start saying this league champion should be in it against this league champion, we don’t have that kind of parity. This is not the NFL."
"What if the No. 1 team, the No. 7 team, the No. 11 team and the No. 17 team happened to be conference champions?" Saban asked. "You are not really getting the top four teams. I think what the fans want -- and they've said it loud and clear -- is they want to see the best teams play in some kind of playoff.
A Kansas native, Clint Bowyer is a University of Kansas sports fan through and through, but he’s OK with the crimson University of Alabama car he’ll be driving at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday. The No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing car will be wrapped in crimson and white colors in celebration of last season’s national football championship won by Alabama. On its quarter-panels, the Toyota will carry the 14 years the Crimson Tide has won the national title. The car no doubt will be a favorite of fans at Talladega Sunday, and it’s no surprise that diecast models are available. "I'm a pretty big KU fan," Bowyer said Tuesday. "I think everybody knows that. But the Alabama partnership came along with [sponsor] Aaron's, and the SEC partnership that they have after they had Alabama on it, and winning the national championship this year. Certainly [I’m] a KU fan, but respect all athletics and certainly respect what they've accomplished in the past years. It's going to be fun to have the Alabama colors for one day."
The Alabama softball team (45-5) swapped places in both national polls as now the Crimson Tide check in at number three in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll and number four in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. California pushed its season-high streak of weeks at No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll to six when the Association released the latest rankings on Tuesday. The Golden Bears (45-3) received 29 of 30 first-place votes in the latest poll after sweeping then 15th-ranked UCLA (33-15) last week. Arizona State (42-5) received the remaining first-place vote and moved up to second after taking all three games of a Pac-12 series from then 11th-ranked Washington. Despite dropping a game to Arkansas (25-24) last week, Alabama (45-5) moved up to third in the new rankings, while Oklahoma (40-7) won a pair of games, including one over rival Oklahoma State (24-21), and jumped up one spot to fourth. Louisiana-Lafayette (44-2) rounded out the latest top five in fifth, marking its first appearance in the top five since February 16, 2005. The Ragin' Cajuns completed a three-game sweep of Western Kentucky to extend their current win-streak to 10 games.
University of Alabama freshman golfer Justin Thomas was named the Southeastern Conference men's Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year, the league announced Monday. Thomas recently took medalist honors at the SEC Championships and led both the team and the conference with a 70.63 scoring average. He is fourth in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and fifth in the Golfstat Cup.
Former NFL general manager Phil Savage has been named executive director of the Senior Bowl, officials of the college football all-star game announced Tuesday afternoon. Savage will officially be introduced as the leader Senior Bowl's top guy at a 3 p.m. press conference Wednesday at the Crystal Ballroom of the Battle House Hotel. Savage, who currently serves as a player personnel director for the Philadelphia Eagles and is the color analyst for Alabama football on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will replace Steve Hale, who stepped down as the game's president and CEO shortly after the 2012 game, which is played annually at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. He will take over his new duties on June 1.