The Jumbo Package │02.17.14

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

Florida State, Alabama top re-ranked 2011 recruiting classes - College Football - Andy Staples - SI.com

2. Alabama Original Rivals.com rank:1 Record since 2011: 36-4 BCS bowl appearances: 3 SEC titles: 1 National titles: 2

2013 starters: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LB Trey DePreist, LB Xzavier Dickson, C Ryan Kelly, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, DE Jeoffrey Pagan, S Vinnie Sunseri

This group contributed much more to the 2012 national title than it did to the '11 championship, and it included two players who could be first-rounders (Clinton-Dix and Kouandjio) in this May's NFL draft. Defensive tackle Jesse Williams, now with the Seattle Seahawks, also came in with this class. Alabama's recent two-game losing streak has raised some questions about its personnel, but let's not forget that the Crimson Tide went 36-2 prior to that skid.

#1 was FSU and since they just won the national title I guess that makes sense, (Even though having Winston in that class is what put them over the top. Just sayin). But with each class owning a national title, I'd say it's more like a two way tie.

Alabama Crimson Tide 2014 offensive line class could be special - ESPN

According to Saban, solidifying the trenches was the goal. "I think that was a point of emphasis early on when we started this, is that we needed to get quality people up front on both sides of the ball," he told reporters at his annual signing day news conference. "We got six offensive linemen, and I think six defensive linemen. Even though three of those guys are junior college guys, we felt that it was important that we get some guys that had a little more maturity about them, a little more veteran experience."

My only issue with the OL class we just signed, and this is nit picking a bit, is that we only signed one true LT in this class. The others are pure inside players who may be able to play RT but would likely struggle at LT. If Cam Robinson ends up being a bust (I don't think that is the case but you never know) or if he gets hurt, we will have serious depth issues at LT for years to come.

My guess is that we sign at least two pure LT's in the 2015 class and perhaps even a JUCO guy.  Speaking of JUCO guys..

Tracking the success of Nick Saban's first 11 JUCO signees after signing four in 2014 | AL.com

The 2011 signing class had the previous high JUCO number with three. And of the eight who've played in crimson under Saban, five have been drafted with Deion Belue figuring to become the sixth in May. Left tackle James Carpenter was the only first-round pick of the group, though nearly all became starters or heavy contributors at Alabama.

Gene Stallings responds to Dabo Swinney's claims of gay players at Alabama, up-tempo and more | AL.com

He admits he doesn't know whether safety is a factor, but "common sense tells you if you're going to hit somebody 80 times as opposed to 60, there are 20 more times for a chance of injury."

But where is the data, Stallings? YOU HAVE TO HAVE DATA!!

Alabama softball run ruled for first time in three seasons, falls 8-0 at Arizona | AL.com

Alabama was shut out in a second straight loss to the No. 24 Wildcats on Sunday, 8-0. The game ended in the fifth inning by a run rule -- the first such loss for Alabama since the 2011 College World Series. It hadn't happened in the regular season since Missouri took down the Tide on Valentine's Day, 2010. The Tide fell 3-0 in a Saturday game with Arizona as well.

CB pointed out in his season preview that the weakness of the schedule early on may come back to bite the team in the rear end and that was indeed the case. The team sailed through the also-rans but once they met a team with actual talent, they lost......twice.

We'll have to keep our eye on how the team handles defeat moving forward. Do they fall apart a bit or use the losses as motivation?

See photos from Alabama's series-clinching win over Saint Louis Sunday (photos) | AL.com

Check out the photos above as Alabama took the rubber game and the series from Saint Louis with a huge seventh inning

'That's my idol': Alabama freshman Shaun Dion Hamilton models game after C.J. Mosley | AL.com

"That’s my role model, that’s my idol," Hamilton said. "I did a lot of watching him this season and over the four years, and he became a great linebacker.

OK, I hate when people use the word "idol" so flippantly but if Hand is going to model his game after a guy like Mosley, I'd be OK with that...

Former Alabama RB Alvin Kamara headed to Kansas junior college (report) | AL.com

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