First off, thank you everyone for your birthday well wishes (aka GIF's) yesterday from the site, twitter and facebook. I am truly a blessed man. Some of you may not know this but my wife is expecting our third child any day now and there was a slight chance she could have been born yesterday, which was also my wife's birthday. That didn't happen so we are still waiting baby Gracen's arrival.
That means here shortly I'll be out of action for a bit and Slice and the guys will be picking up my slack. Have no worries as we have lots planned leading up to Spring practice. Starting the first week of March, we will be previewing two units per week leading up to the start of practice, starting with the the offensive and defensive line.
Roll Tide and hurry up Gracen!
The Jumbo Package
Alabama: 73 percent blue-chip recruits
The Tide have undoubtedly been the most dominant team in college football over the past few years, with six straight 10-win seasons, three national titles in a four-year stretch and five BCS bowls in the past six seasons. The class the Tide just inked was their fourth No. 1 in a row, likely Nick Saban's best yet.
An Alabama scholarship offer commands instant attention from almost any recruit. The Tide market their "built by Bama" branding non-stop, making sure recruits know how many NFL players come through Tuscaloosa.
No real shock here to see Alabama at the top of this list but I was a bit surprised that FSU wasn't near the top and tOSU came in at #2.
"We were a little eager to get out there," said White who went 4-for-10 in his first weekend. "I felt like we heated up towards the end of the weekend. ... I think everybody was really tight going into that first game and with Saturday playing a day game, we kind of loosened up a little bit." The Tide had 10 hits Saturday and 16 total bases. "Overall, I thought there was a lot to take out of the weekend from a standpoint of things we need to correct," coach Mitch Gaspard said. "They really pitched us the same way for three days and give them credit, they commanded the strike zone and threw the ball away. That's really been our focus this week, getting back to handling that ball on the outer-third."
The main upshot here is that you probably shouldn't worry about whether your provider doesn't have the SEC Network until May or June. Much of what both sides say until then is posturing for negotiations that are either ongoing or can be turned back on fairly quickly. But it also doesn't hurt to lobby. To do that, go here.
DIRECTV is still in negotiations to bring SEC Network to customers. Check http://t.co/QDaZagBzUw for updates as season gets closer— DIRECTV (@DIRECTV) February 19, 2014
I don't care to order the SEC Network as long as Bama is on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or CBS every week (which will likely be the case) but I'm sure people will run from DirecTV if they don't pick it up.
"Nick and I met early this week regarding a pattern of behavior and inconsistencies with his responsibilities as a student athlete," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said in a news release. "When addressed with these off-the-court issues, he requested a leave of absence which I granted. He and I both feel it is in his best interest to step away from the team for the immediate future. We will continue to provide Nick the support and assistance he needs to reassess his priorities and focus on his well-being."
I haven't been pushing the #FireGrant narrative this season but I'm just about there. I understand this situation seems to be a Jacob's problem, not one with Grant, but this is, what, the 4th player to leave or be suspended this year? This, to me, speaks to wide spread attitude issues within the team and could be (or at least should be) a reflection of the coaching staff's inability to control/motivate the players properly.
And for those who say, "but the football team had attitude issues last year," just stop. The football team deals with complacency because of the teams' success (yes that's plural cause three titles/three teams). The basketball team should be highly motivated due to the amount of playing time available and the lack of success over the last few years.
If Grant can't get the team to play at a high level and act accordingly, it may just be time for him to go.
But even though his football-playing dreams were over, he still needed to make a decision on his future. Though he had received numerous offers,there were really only two schools on his radar - Alabama and Georgia.
When Lamar asked Elisha where he wanted to go to school after he learned of the severity of his injury, though, there was a clear-cut choice. He wanted to go to Alabama.
So Lamar called then-Alabama defensive line coach Chris Rumph, who was the Crimson Tide's main recruiter in the area, to see what Alabama could do. Rumph, along with Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, sat down with Saban to discuss Shaw's status and made the decision to stand by their offer.
Elisha Shaw did not technically "sign" with Alabama, but he did sign the paperwork that will grant him a medical hardship scholarship that will pay for his tuition. As promised by Saban and the coaching staff, Shaw will still be around the program, where he will help assist in his new passion of coaching.
As of now, Elisha Shaw said he will be helping Smart with recruiting -- a position Lamar said he thinks Shaw will be more than qualified for. "With his personality, if you knew the kid, you would know," Lamar said. "He's extremely involved, he's very charismatic, he's a great leader.
"The kid wants to be successful, and he's going to try to find a way to be successful. And so if he can't play, he's going to try to find a way to be as successful a coach as possible and be a good person."
Again, to those who think Saban is evil, to you I say..
Shaw seems to be a great kid with an even better head on his shoulders and I hope nothing but the best for him. He has an inspirational story that should be told to every Five Star recruit, heck every teenager/college kid that thinks they are untouchable.
I couldn't be more proud of what our coaching staff is doing for this young man. Roll Tide, indeed.
LSU says it has granted reserve quarterback Stephen Rivers' request to transfer after he graduates this spring, allowing him to play wherever he wants next fall. Rivers, the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, has used only two seasons of eligibility after taking a redshirt year at LSU in 2011.
Should we all call Les an evil oversigning a-hole because a guy is transferring likely due to a lack of playing time? Can we start that narrative?
The two last met in 2007 in one of the more infamous losses in recent Alabama history. The Warhawks came to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take a 21-14 win in Nick Saban's first season with Alabama.
3. La Monroe