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The Jumbo Package | 03.07.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Can Dalvin Tomlinson (#52) bounce back from knee injury this year?
Can Dalvin Tomlinson (#52) bounce back from knee injury this year?
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Thomas on College Football Hall of Fame ballot for fourth straight year |

Could this be Derrick Thomas' year?

The former Alabama linebacker is back on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. He's one of three from Alabama along with center/linebacker Paul Crane and running back Bobby Humphrey. But the headliner is Thomas once again. He's been on the ballot for the past three years, but was snubbed each time.

This is absurd.  Do the right thing and put the man in.

Dr. James Andrews says no issues with Cyrus Kouandjio's knee -

During the combine NFL Network reported that the junior was failing physicals and referred to the surgery and the status of his knee subsequent to it as "ugly."

"I wrote a letter to send to every team about his true medical history," Andrews told "I'm trying to put out fires that aren't even justified and to clear the record, I guess, is the best way to put it. It came out he had a failed ACL surgery -- that's not even close to the truth. His performance at the combine had nothing to do with his knee situation, and that was blown way out of proportion and that's not fair to the kid.

"First of all, at the combine, there are 36 independent doctors and trainers making their own conclusions in a numerical system about how they rate each player relative to their previous injuries and concerns. There is no way in the world someone could say Cyrus failed the physical. He has some wear patterns on the knee that are consistent with someone who is that big, and who plays that position and who had the procedure Cyrus underwent. That surgical procedure was anything but a failure. I examined him again this week after he was working out and he's able to do all the work outs and everything since the bowl game and he's had no trouble with his knee."

It is interesting to see Dr. Andrews taking such a proactive and positive stance here.  I'm sure it will be enough to make teams that had previously written CyKo off take pause and rethink their decision.

Mekhi Brown recruit scouting report: Length off the edge -

When it comes to conversations about the best players in 2015, you can expect that they will likely include Columbus (Ga.) Carver's Mekhi Brown in some way.The 6'6, 230-pounder has already earned an early five-star rating on the 247Sports Composite, marking him as an elite recruit.

Bud Elliot has done a couple of scouting reports for some guys that are committed to Bama.  Check them out.

Deionte Thompson recruit scouting report: Safety or wide receiver? -

Deionte Thompson is one of the most highly coveted secondary players in the class of 2015, as the talented safety is one of the top players in the state of Texas.

Thompson attends Orange (Texas) West-Orange Stark High School. He is a multi-positional athlete, but he is widely expected to play safety at the next level (while also listed as a wide receiver at 247Sports). He's listed at 6'2 and 181 pounds. Rivals, 247Sports, Scout and ESPN each consider him a four-star prospect, resulting in a four-star ranking by the 247Sports Composite. Scout, 247Sports and ESPN each rank Thompson as one of the top five safeties in the nation, and the Composite rates him as the fifth-best safety in the nation and the ninth-best player in Texas.

For those wondering about the long-term depth at the safety position, this young man will likely have something to say about that.

Anfernee Jennings says Tide will help him 'become the man I would love to be' |

After picking up an offer from Alabama on Saturday, the Dadeville defensive end committed to the Tide on Thursday.

"I just felt like it was time," Jennings told "[Alabama] is the place that suits me and where I fit in the best. Not only will they help me become a greater football player, but become the man I would love to be later on in life.

"I kept praying about it and will continue to."

Jennings is a three-star DE/Jack prospect.  Expect his profile to start to raise a little bit as people learn more about him.  Not sure what to make of the "and will continue to", but that line coupled with his remarks about how he thought Auburn would offer him soon have to make you wonder about whether Jennings is in this one for the long haul.

Breaking down the rebuilding Alabama defensive line entering spring practice |


It's hard to say how Tomlinson will respond after his second knee injury in three years. He tore his ACL in September just as he was expected to make an impact at end. A torn ACL was also suffered as a high school senior playing soccer. After redshirting his first season in Tuscaloosa, he played only in the opener before suffering the second injury a week later.

I am pulling for Tomlinson so hard.  This kid has something special, and if he could just stay healthy I know he's going to get the opportunity to show that to everyone.

Teams no longer penalized for overturned targeting call - ESPN

Teams no longer will be penalized 15 yards if officials overturn an ejection for a targeting penalty, the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel voted Thursday, sources told ESPN.

The change will go into effect this season.

Well, at least one of the common sense rule changes made it through this week.

NCAA considering early signing period for football - ESPN

"I think everyone wants an early signing period," Peal said this week. "It's just trying to nail down what's the appropriate date for that."

The National Letter of Intent is governed by the CCA, a 32-member panel of Division I conference commissioners. The group will meet in June to review an agenda that includes an early signing period.

I don't know about this.  I can't imagine when that date could be that it wouldn't be problematic.  Early December?  What value is derived in two months?  And do you really want to have to worry about locking down early signees during the end of the regular season?

You can't go earlier without cutting into the regular season, and I can't imagine anyone would support signing kids before they play their senior year.  I really don't see any benefit from having an early signing period.