First, 'Bama On-Line tweeted that Alvin Kamara has been given his release from the team.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Sources confirmed by <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanBartow">@RyanBartow</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/BamaOnline247">@BamaOnline247</a> state Alvin Kamara has been given his release by Alabama can go anywhere outside the SEC</p>— Tim Watts (@TimWatts_BOL) <a href="https://twitter.com/TimWatts_BOL/statuses/424313527201853440">January 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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This news shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who closely follows the program. Kamara never saw the field in 2013 yet was suspended multiple times and also had lingering "behavioral" issues throughout the year.
Kamara, a four-star prospect from Norcross, Ga., never saw the field during his freshman season. He was hampered by a knee injury during the preseason and was mostly relegated to scout team duties throughout the season. Kamara missed a week of practice in November and was not on the sidelines for the Crimson Tide's victory over LSU because of "behavioral reasons."
Whether he never bought in to the process or just wasn't a good fit, Kamara was never able to reach his full potential at 'Bama. Reports are that he's likely headed to the ACC (Clemson or FSU) and regardless of where he lands, I wish Alvin the best and hope he has success in his future endeavors.
Kevin Norwood on 99.1 The Game: "Then you have the guy coming in from Florida State"
In case you missed it, last night Kevin Norwood was a guest on 99.1 The Game in Tuscaloosa and provided a bit of insight to the struggles of 2013, his legacy at 'Bama, playing for Nick Saban, AJ's role in the offense and who may be the QB to replace McCarron. If you'd like, you can listen to the entire interview here.
Most of the focus will be on his comments about Coker, which I'll touch on in a second, but I would be remiss if I ignored his thoughts on the pressure of three-peating and how the team reacted after the loss to Auburn.
I'm paraphrasing here, but basically he said after the "devastating" loss to Auburn a lot of players weren't able to shrug off, not only the loss itself, but also that fact there would be no three-peat after-all. He didn't mention names but hinted that this certainly had an effect on how the team prepared and eventually played in the Sugar Bowl.
This is just further proof the 2013 team was dealing with more than just cornerback and offensive line shortcomings...By the way, have you seen this?
Apparently this is hanging in the players lockers. #RIPCollegeFootball
Norwood hinted at what everyone has been hoping— Jacob Coker may very well be headed to Tuscaloosa once he graduates this Spring/Summer. - note Spring OR Summer.
At this point, no one, outside of UA and Coker, knows when he will graduate and when he plans on joining the team (if that is indeed what happens). So, allow me to speculate...
If Coker joining the team is the plan, a guy of his talent level isn't coming in to sit on the bench.
"I've never had anybody with his size who throws it as well as he does," said FSU QB coach Randy Sanders who's been around big-time programs since his days as a Tennessee player in the mid-80s with the Vols star-crossed quarterback Tony Robinson. "Jake has a really quick release with tremendous arm strength. Rarely does it not spiral or not go where he wants it to go."
Asked if Coker's arm is even better than Winston, the resident Heisman winner, Sanders paused for a few breaths before saying, "Coker's arm is kind of at a different level. Jameis has a very special arm, and this isn't any knock against Jameis, but Jake's probably the best I've seen in 25 years at throwing it."
Go ahead, try and hold back the gump....
Coker will have two years of eligibility remaining and even with only a few months to prepare, if he does land at Alabama, will likely be the starting quarterback against West Virginia. Sims, Bateman, Morris and Cornwell will battle it out this Spring but again, you don't bring in a guy of Jacob's caliber and ask him to sit and watch.
Lastly, if Coker does join the team, expect more transfers from the QB ranks. I expect Cornwell to stick around to see if he can hold on to the #2 spot once Ricky Town signs next year but don't be surprised if both Bateman and Morris decide to take their services elsewhere.