"He's a bright guy, he can do it all," Saban said. "He actually did a good job of playing center in just three days work when (William) Vlachos was sick. We feel like he can play center, guard or tackle. For us to get our best players on the field, sometimes you need a guy that can play multiple positions like that. We feel good about the progress that he's made and he's really made significant improvement at tackle."
Alabama coach Nick Saban noted that Jones worked at center for a couple periods during last Saturday’s scrimmage. The coach on Saturday said Vlachos’ absence Thursday and Friday may have been a factor in some of the offense’s problems in the first scrimmage. "During camp we prepare for those ‘what-if’ situations," Jones said. "It may sound simple to say you snap the ball and then block – but it’s not." The pre-snap responsibilities and the speed at which they have to be done surprised the veteran Jones. "I think it game me a better feel for the offense, for what William does," the redshirt junior from Memphis said.
"What you see in the first scrimmage is a lot of these guys aren’t playing fast," Saban said. "They are trying to do the right thing. "So it’s sort of paralysis by analysis a little bit. "They don’t really play hard and don’t really play fast so you don’t really see the kind of players they are. "Each day at practice you see these guys start to make progress--incrementally, maybe by inches. But you see the progress you are making. And maybe it’s not in total and maybe it’s not on a consistent basis, but you see flashes of these guys starting to figure it out. "I think at least n the next scrimmage they’ll understand the intensity, the toughness, the effort that is expected, and they’ll be a lot further along in terms of the repetition they’ve got to be able to execute to do their job and we can make a lot better evaluation and where we go with them from there."
Upshaw had six tackles for loss, including five sacks, and forced three fumbles in those last two games. His coaches feel like that's just a glimpse of the kind of finisher he'll be off the edge this season. He's incredibly strong and has great quickness for a guy pushing 270 pounds. He's not just a pass-rusher, either, and plays the run equally well. Other defenders around the country will go into the season with more acclaim, but Upshaw has everything it takes to put together an All-America season.
Ultimately, what documents show is a booster who broke NCAA rules while simultaneously making tens of thousands of dollars in annual contributions to Miami’s athletic program. All while incurring massive bills aligning himself socially with a stable of Miami players. A stable that features multiple elite players such as Wilfork, Beason, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle and many more – including at least 12 players currently on the Hurricanes roster. "Here’s the thing: Luther Campbell was the first uncle who took care of players before I got going," Shapiro said, referring to the entertainer notorious for supplying cash to Miami players in the 1980s and 1990s. "His role was diminished by the NCAA and the school, and someone needed to pick up that mantle. That someone was me. He was ‘Uncle Luke’, and I became ‘Little Luke.’ "I did it because I could," he said. "And because nobody stepped in to stop me."
Reading through Yahoo! Sports' bombshell expose about former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, my blood boiled thicker with every paragraph. But who exactly was I angry at? Strangely, it wasn't Shapiro, the jocksniffing, 5-foot-5 sleazebucket with one hell of a Napolean complex. The man comes off mostly pathetic for thinking the 18- and 19-year-olds whom he took to nightclub VIP rooms, bought prostitutes for and handed over the keys to his yacht were actually his friends -- the kind of friends, mind you, who inexplicably abandoned him when he got sent to jail for his part in a $930-million Ponzi scheme.
The Miami Hurricanes, in what could be the biggest scandal in college football history, just made the SMU Mustangs of the 1980s look like jaywalkers. A Yahoo! Sports investigative report released Tuesday revealed a former Miami booster provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 to 2010. The range and depth of the violations are so shocking—cash payoffs, cash bounties on opponents’ players, trips, jewelry, prostitutes, among other things—even Sheridan’s look-at-me moment can’t top it. The only thing that can: The end of the NCAA as we know it. For years, some of the sport’s biggest programs and administrators have kicked around the idea of taking their ball and playing by their rules. The 50 or so biggest college football programs would break away from the NCAA, start their own association and get down and dirty.
Alabama releases statement on Yahoo/Miami story, says only that University is "aware of the story" but "will have no further comment."
Alabama's All-American outfielder Taylor Dugas will return to the Alabama baseball program for his senior season as the deadline to sign a professional contract passed at Midnight on Monday evening. In addition to Dugas, three incoming UA signees, Ian Gardeck, Justin Kamplain and Taylor Guilbeau, will join the Crimson Tide after not signing a contract with the team's that drafted them in June.
Of the 17 rookies who got to throw the ball, only four of them completed better than 50% of their passes and had more touchdowns than interceptions: Jake Locker(notes) of the Titans, Ryan Mallett(notes) of the Patriots, Josh Portis(notes) of the Seahawks and Greg McElroy(notes) of the Jets. I think you'd have to call McElroy the biggest surprise of the bunch. He threw the ball an astounding 39 times, more than double of the attempts of any other rookie (with the exception of Tyrod Taylor(notes)). McElroy did a lot of good things, too. He led a couple of long drives for the Jets, and went 23 of 39 for 208 yards, with a TD and no picks. The touchdown total should've been two -- there was a pretty blatant drop in the end zone.
If you thought parking on game days was already a problem, brace yourselves for this upcoming season. Breaking the rules will almost assure your car is towed. Tuscaloosa police announced today that Alabama football game day parking continues to be a problem for the department despite expanded efforts to bus remote fans to the stadium.
Sports Illustrated, relic of the 1800s with their shiny covers and flamboyant trousers, cursed 5 of the top teams for this upoming football season. The magazine cursed blood colored teams from Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, and Stanford through print witchcraft, using a ritual sacrifice of animal guts and painted dolls to any available nether-imps and demigods still reading subscription sports magazines.
Franklin participated as a quarterback during a full period of practice against his defense, something that is becoming a somewhat familiar sight. After Franklin was intercepted by LB Archibald Barnes on a pass over the middle, the coach gave chase toward the front left pylon as Barnes attempted to return the pick for a score. Sophomore DB Andre Hal was shielding Barnes when Franklin — not wearing any pads, mind you — put two arms into Hal and sent him flying out of bounds. It was a priceless moment.