42 LB Adrian Hubbard (So.)
2011 season: Recorded nine tackles, including 1.5 for loss, while seeing action in nine games as a redshirt freshman. Worked mostly as a pass rush specialist in Alabama's nickel and dime packages.
2012 spring practice: Started at jack linebacker for White (first-team) defense in A-Day game, but also saw time at strongside throughout the spring. Dwight Stephenson Lineman of the A-Day Game Award recipient after racking up seven tackles, including four for loss, and three sacks. Also received Woodrow Lowe Linebacker Award at close of spring practice. One of a few players to undergo sports hernia repair after A-Day, is expected to be ready to go in August..
What he brings to the table: Long and athletic, Hubbard could become UA's very own version of Jason Taylor at the jack linebacker position. He's also better than you think in coverage. Like Dont'a Hightower before him, look for defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to bring Hubbard from a variety of angles in passing situations.
Early in the 2011 season, Hill and his parents visited Bryant-Denny Stadium for a game. There, they met with Saban, who stunned them all when he offered Hill a scholarship. When word leaked that Alabama had unearthed an unrecruited gem, other schools quickly picked up their recruitment of Hill. He began hearing from Auburn, Florida, LSU and others. By February, Hill had made up his mind. He couldn't pass up a scholarship to a program 100 miles from his home that had won two national titles in three seasons. After receiving assurances from the Alabama coaching staff that he would be allowed to throw the discus for the Crimson Tide track team, Hill committed. This past weekend only served to reinforce the fact that Alabama coaches saw something special in the game film of a player who never envisioned he would be in this position. Only a few months after learning he had a future in football, Hill has adjusted well to life as an elite recruit. "Ever since colleges started looking at me for football, I figured that's the big stage," Hill said. "That's the king of the South."
University of Alabama men's basketball coach Anthony Grant said Monday on the Southeastern Conference basketball coaches' summer teleconference that UA would face some "roster challenges" in the coming season - but added the Crimson Tide's recruiting class would help, even though it consists of just one player. "We are obviously losing some key pieces in JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell and (with) Charles Hankerson choosing to transfer, but we are looking forward to the challenge that the league will impose on us," Grant said. "We're excited about the season. I think if you took a poll of the coaches, they'd say there is potential for our league to have a banner year."
Alabama’s consistent improvement under Grant has demanded the attention of his counterparts in coaching. He suffered through a 17-15 campaign in 2009-2010 before capping a 25-12 2010-11 season with a berth in the NIT championship game. The reason for Alabama’s improvement under Grant is clear to his peers, even those who witness it from afar. "He had another year to get his program in place," said Tubby Smith, now entering his sixth year as the coach at Minnesota after a 10-year stint with Kentucky. "It takes time to grow the program and get the type of players that fit his system and fit his style." Smith thinks Grant has just that, noting that Grant’s team has the ability to, "really extend their defenses and push the ball up and down the court."
Saturday featured one-on-one drills between offensive and defensive players and according to Rivals.com recruiting analyst Chris Nee, Alabama commit O.J. Howard and Auburn commit Carl Lawson both drew plenty of attention. Howard's battle against Indiana linebacker Jaylon Smith drew praise as one of the best individual matchups of the weekend, while the 6-foot-6, 226-pound tight end was also named "Most Difficult to Defend" at the event.
Therein lies the potential quandary for the selection committee. No doubt there could be a political mire ahead. For the process to seem fair to everyone outside SEC country, Oregon probably should be the pick in this scenario, at least based on a resume you can point to, one that is notably topped by a conference championship. But there would be strong, national sentiments that the Ducks wouldn't be the right choice as the "best" team. In this scenario, one program's fans and administrators -- as well as one conference office -- would go ballistic. And they'd be able to produce a compelling argument for how they got screwed. In other words, it would feel a lot like the old BCS system we are eagerly kicking to the curb.
The Iron Bowl rivalry spent 40 seasons (1908-47) in the desert before Alabama and Auburn agreed to play again. Taylor Watson, the curator of the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, has unearthed an exchange of letters between officials at the two schools circa 1926 in which Auburn wanted to resume play. In setting aside the request, the Alabama official quoted Auburn then-president Spright Dowell, who had said three years earlier that he feared a "…damaging situation in that foot-ball would tend to become the all-the-year topic at both institutions and all other games, contests, and activities would be made subservient to the one supreme event of the year." That could never happen.
Officially, Mizzou averaged a little over 62,000 per game last year, up slightly from 2010 but down from the averages in 2008 and 2009 – the best seasons at Faurot Field since 1980. At any rate, the Tigers are entering a whole new league, literally and figuratively: Where last year's attendance ranked fourth in the Big 12, behind only Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, the post-expansion capacity will rank just ninth in the SEC. With in-conference road trips to South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M, the only stadium Mizzou will play in this fall smaller than its own is Central Florida's Bright House Networks Stadium (capacity 45,300) on Sept. 29.
While the NCAA does not sponsor a football championship, the marketability of the scholar-athlete has been on constant display as the powers that control college football have worked to implement a play-off system. During the past several weeks, college football fans have followed the meetings with great interest, and if future national championship games are as fiercely competitive as the negotiations that produced them, then football fans will be in for a great treat. Unfortunately, sports administrators engaged in far less negotiation, and college football fans gave far less attention to the process resulting in the NCAA decision to raise the minimum standards for incoming freshmen beginning in August of 2016 (students beginning as high school freshmen this Fall will be the first group evaluated under the revised system). As a teacher and head football coach at a college preparatory school, I find these changes to be frightening; indeed, it appears that the NCAA has chosen to sacrifice academic rigor on the alter it has built to the highly marketable image of the NCAA scholar-athlete.
"I feel like I’m back to feeling normal now," he said at the end of the minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "Obviously the first couple of practices , it took me a while to get my legs back under me. Now I’m starting to move, react, anticipate a little bit better. Granted, I was a little rusty the first few weeks. "I knew throwing the ball would be fine. I didn’t think I’d have a setback there. But moving around to avoid the rush, anticipating things, the new system, took some time."
City officials plan to study turning certain popular night spots in Tuscaloosa into state-approved "entertainment districts," where drinkers could bring open alcoholic beverages into the streets. The City Council is forming an ad hoc committee to explore the rules and regulations that would govern the entertainment districts, which most likely would be at Temerson Square downtown and on the Strip on University Boulevard. The Alabama Legislature, during the 2012 session, enacted a law that allowed Tuscaloosa and other cities of a certain size to form areas where open beverage laws would be relaxed or suspended.
If you wonder how Alabama finished ahead of Mississippi State in 1941 in the Houlgate Poll, it is a poll based on strength of schedule, only counting DI (now FBS) schools. If my research and math are correct, Alabama finished that season with 37 points in the poll. Mississippi State absorbed zero points in their games against Millsaps, Mississippi College, and Southwestern and lost one point for the loss to Duquesne, finishing with 22 points. Had the Bulldogs played stronger teams in those games, they would have made up the difference with Alabama by beating three three-loss teams, and in fact, would have won the national title.
O Great and Powerful Espnu Jefferson "Pontius" Pilot, Your actions disturbeth me in a time of great sorrow, You blesseth everyone around your Southernmost kingdom but my people, your chosen people. It is we who must endure your torment; we who are forced to bear this burden, and for what? When the raucous tribe of Thibodeaux or the arrogant Bryantines curse you and break your law, you bestow gifts upon them. Yet we continue to honor your name, to offer sacrifice of many ligaments, and yet you reward us with tears and the flailing of footwear.