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The Jumbo Package | 2.22.12

Courtney Upshaw ready for NFL Scouting Combine, 40-yard dash - NFL -

After weeks of prep work, the Combine is finally here. All of the training, physical therapy and mock interviews I've done will be put to the test starting on Friday, when my fellow linebackers and I arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. I'm more than ready to go. I'll be participating in all of the tests, performing all of the linebacker drills and sitting down to talk with several teams. I'm looking forward to many of the events, but I'm most focused on the 40-yard dash. I know how important 40 times are to a player's draft stock, and I'm determined to impress scouts and GMs with my performance. My goal is to run a 4.6-second 40. I've been practicing the 40 while training in Arizona and -- though the trainers won't tell me my time -- I know I'm in the 4.6 range.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson applauds Alabama coach Anthony Grant's discipline |

Anderson coached at Missouri for five seasons before leaving last year to come to Arkansas, where he had been a longtime assistant coach. In his second season at Missouri, Anderson suspended five players in connection with a bar fight. The Tigers lost to Nebraska. The players returned and Missouri defeated Kansas State. "You've got to set a precedent about your program and what it's going to be about," Anderson said. "When I made the decision to do what I did at Missouri, I thought it was a turning point ... because then everything else kind of seemed to take it up to the next level." - HURT: Tide might still make NCAA Tournament

For at least one more game, the UA team, facing a crucial closing stretch in the Southeastern Conference race, will not be at its potential full strength. That potential strength no longer includes Tony Mitchell, at least not for this season, but it does include JaMychal Green, now back at practice but not, as Grant revealed on Tuesday, fully back in good graces. Alabama will be a little stronger than it was in Saturday's win over Tennessee, with Nick Jacobs coming back from injury. But Green has been missed, and he'll be missed at Arkansas on Thursday. The Crimson Tide won't concede, but Fayetteville is a tough place to play - last weekend's blowout loss to Florida was an anomaly - and Green would have helped. The question now is more mathematical than anything else.

No. 2 Softball Concludes Road Trip with 8-1 Win over UAB -

The No. 2 ranked Alabama softball team wrapped up its season opening road trip with an 8-1 victory over UAB, Tuesday evening at the UAB Softball Field. With the victory the Crimson Tide improve to 8-0 on the season while the Blazers drop to 5-6 overall. Alabama outhit UAB, 8-3, and were led at the plate by freshman Danae Hays, who batted 2-for-3 and drove in two runs. Junior Kayla Braud scored two runs, walked three times and stole three bases.

Tyren Jones: Georgia’s No. 1 RB commits to Alabama over UGA and Clemson (UPDATED) | AJC College Sports Recruiting

"He was very impressed with the Junior Day visit," said Derrik Allen, Tyren’s AAU track coach. "Alabama laid out what they liked about him. They told him about the academic programs, and the support for the athletes. He just felt like in his heart, Alabama was the place for him." Why did Jones commit on Tuesday? "He felt like he just wanted to go ahead and end the process," Allen said. "It was getting crazy. He found a program for him, and he wanted to calm down the recruiting craziness." news: Top five running backs entering NFL Scouting Combine

1. Trent Richardson, Alabama: Richardson is the most complete runner to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. He excels at grinding out tough yards between the tackles, but is also nifty enough to produce big runs on the perimeter. His dominant play in the SEC, college football's toughest conference, suggests that he is poised to make an immediate impact as a pro. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Richardson can make a strong case for inclusion within the top five picks with an impressive workout in front of evaluators.

Cleveland Browns Rumors: Trent Richardson on Organization’s Draft Wish List | National Football Authority

The Cleveland Browns have been connected to Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson all offseason, but up until now all the reports were just rumors. According to a report by CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman, it appears there are some people in the Browns’ organization that would prefer drafting the former Heisman Trophy candidate. In his latest article Freeman stated, "The Cleveland Browns remain uncertain exactly how to handle running back Peyton Hillis. Some in the organization want to try and keep him, while others want to part ways and draft Alabama’s Trent Richardson. I think the draft option will win out, but no one knows for certain just yet."

Retailer says BCS Championship merchandise sales down from '09, '10 |

"This year was really so different in so many ways from 2009. One of the biggest differences is that the 2009 game was on a Thursday night. A lot of people took the following Friday off, which gave us an entire weekend of strong sales. This year, the game was on a Monday which meant that the day after the game, not many fans had time to run out to the stores to buy up merchandise right away. The week following the game was a very solid stream of sales for us but it wasn't quite the same level we saw in that weekend after the '09 game." Also factoring into the decrease, according to Huber, was the month leading up to the game, usually a time for fans to buy t-shirts and hats anticipating a championship. December sales weren't quite as strong for Bama Fever this time around. "When Alabama beat Florida in 2009, everyone felt so confident that they were going to win in the BCS game that they went ahead and bought up their championship gear. I think Alabama fans were a little bit less confident heading into this game."

Missouri Fans to Find SEC Life More Expensive - Team Speed Kills

Yesterday, Missouri AD Mike Alden published an open letter to the university's fans regarding the move into the SEC. It's very upbeat about the challenges and opportunities in the new league. In particular, it outlines five ways that the program plans to "step up", to use Alden's term. The school fully funds all scholarships, and it will continue to do so as costs rise. It spent a lot of money and energy to catch up in the Big 12's facilities race, and it plans to keep up in the SEC's facilities race as well. A new marketing campaign will be going live soon to raise the school's profile "nationally and internationally, and within the SEC footprint". Along with that will be a campaign to get SEC fans to visit the state more often. Finally, Alden wants to continue investing in such a way that the athletics department is self-sustaining during this time of university funding cutbacks. The common theme of all of these: we're going to need more money.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide player Kevin Turner is battling ALS - ESPN

Kevin Turner was supposed to be a shell of himself, nothing like the bruising University of Alabama fullback who went on to play eight years in the NFL. Kevin Turner was supposed to be feeble, deteriorating even. Kevin Turner was supposed to be dying. Kevin Turner wasn't supposed to be walking up to me with a smile on his face.

Using the QB Score to Rank College Quarterbacks' Efficiency in 2011 - California Golden Blogs

The SEC has some decent QBs, but it is outclassed by the Big 12 and Pac-12. Tyler Wilson leads the way while A.J. McCarron and Aaron Murray also post respectable scores. I admit, I did not know the name of Alabama's starting QB until I compiled these rankings. I watched a few Alabama games too!

Crimson Tide Roll to Victory at Puerto Rico Classic -

The Alabama men's golf team finished off both a team and individual victory Tuesday afternoon at Puerto Rico Classic on the 6,902-yard, par-72 River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club. The Crimson Tide fired its three-lowest rounds of the season (276, 279 and 279) for an 18-shot win at 30-under-par 834. Freshman Justin Thomas also secured his second collegiate victory with a 10-under-par total of 206. The Tide's 54-hole total of 834 is the fifth-lowest in school history while 30-under par ranks third in relation to par in school annals. Clemson finished second at 12-under-par 852 with Purdue in third at 856, Georgia Tech in fourth at 861 and North Carolina State rounding out the top five at 1-under-par 863. "I am very proud how this team played," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said following Tuesday's round. "We had all five guys finish in the top 20, four in the top 10 and Justin (Thomas) was the medalist - that is the formula for winning golf. When we get all five guys in the match we are as good as anyone in the country."