The Jumbo Package | 01.24.14

USA TODAY Sports

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Twenty-four from the SEC make Pro Bowl - SEC Blog - ESPN

The NFL has always had an affinity for SEC players, and this year's Pro Bowl rosters blare that loud and clear, as 24 players from the SEC were selected for the all-star game in Hawaii. The SEC was represented by at least one player at every position except kicker and punter.

Eddie Lacy, Evan Mathis, and Marcell Dareus will all be repping Alabama at the NFL Pro-Bowl.  Roll Tide guys.  Take in the scenery and enjoy the flag football.

5-star linebacker Rashaan Evans welcomes Nick Saban, Kirby Smart for in-home visit | AL.com

Alabama's coaching staff continues to make its best recruiting push for the state's top prospect, Auburn High School linebacker Rashaan Evans, as Nick Saban and Kirby Smart visited the star recruit and his family at their home on Thursday night.

"It was a really great visit, as we expected," said Evans' father, Alan Evans. "I feel like we really got a lot accomplished. Coach Saban went into a lot of detail about their plans for Rashaan both on the field and off the field, what his chances look like to get on the field early and how they feel they can help him develop over the course of his career there."

It would be a major coup to pull Evans at this point, but if anybody on the planet could manage it, it's Saban.  It's nice to see that Bama is seemingly getting some serious consideration here, but the smart money is still on Auburn to bring this one home.

Senior Bowl provides Alabama's Kevin Norwood an opportunity to prove he's 'faster than a 4.6' | AL.com

The first time Norwood heard the numbers "4" and "6" mentioned in his direction came shortly after his Alabama career came to a close. In an interview with a prospective agent, Norwood learned that some scouts believed he was a "4.6" guy in the 40-yard dash.

While incredibly fast for most humans, a 4.6-second 40-yard dash time is not good for those who hope to play wide receiver in the NFL. Only four wide receivers ran a 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds or more at last year's NFL Combine. None were drafted.

"It's not slow, but it's not fast. It's not what they want," Norwood said. "I never ran that in my life. "Do I look that slow on film? Do I?"

I don't think anyone thinks of Norwood as a burner, but I wouldn't think of him as slow either.  Given this extra bit of motivation, I'm suddenly much more interested to see how fast he actually runs at the combine.

Alabama Crimson Tide 2013 season report card - ESPN

DEFENSE: B+

Let's face it. Alabama's defensive standards are dizzying. The Crimson Tide finished fourth nationally in scoring defense (13.9 points per game) and fifth nationally in total defense (286.5 yards per game). For most programs, those are "A" numbers. But there were also more glitches than usual. The Crimson Tide struggled at cornerback with youth and inconsistency and were vulnerable against the pass most of the season. They were shredded by Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel for 42 points and 628 yards in an early-season win over the Aggies and gave up 348 passing yards and four touchdown passes to Oklahoma's Trevor Knight in the bowl loss. It was a good Alabama defense, but not a great one.

I would say this is a pretty good assessment.  Basically, the defense was dynamite in 10 games, and mediocre in three.  That really helps pad the stat sheet, but it's not a way to win a championship.

High School Quarterback Starting To Suspect Friendship With Nick Saban Founded On Ulterior Motives | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Despite enjoying the constant attention and lengthy chats on the phone every night, 16-year-old quarterback prospect Colby Spear told reporters Thursday that he is beginning to suspect his friendship with University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban was founded on ulterior motives. “Coach Saban introduced himself to me right after I started breaking the passing records at my school, and it did seem kind of weird, but I just assumed he wanted to make friends with someone who loved football as much as he does,” said Spear, adding that Saban, like all the other adults he knows, mostly just marvels at how fast he’s growing and asks boring questions about his plans for college. “Still, I can’t shake the feeling that he wants something from me. Maybe it’s the way he’s always complimenting my intangibles, suggesting I’d be great in a pro-style offense, or telling me I’d look really sharp in crimson and white.” Spear, who did not want to rush to judgment, reportedly plans to run his theory past some of his other friends, specifically Louisiana State University football coach Les Miles when the pair meet for lunch next week.

Really funny piece here by The Onion.

Alabama hangs around with No. 6 Florida but never leads in 1st SEC home loss since 2012 | AL.com

A team such as No. 6 Florida doesn't need many extra chances to come away with a victory. Alabama entered without its second-leading scorer and didn't pounce on enough of the opportunities the Gators presented on a relatively sluggish shooting night.

Advantage: Gators.

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