Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama: Finding pass rushers was a priority for Nick Saban and his staff in 2014, and they landed one of the nation’s best in Hand. The 6-foot-4, 262-pound prospect, ranked No. 6 overall, can play both with his hand down on the line or in space as a rush linebacker. Regardless of where he ends up, he’ll make an immediate impact.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Between Humphrey and five-star Tony Brown, Alabama should be set at cornerback for the foreseeable future. The question is which one is more likely to play early this season? Brown has a leg up after arriving early, but Humphrey has the size and technical ability to come in and contribute right away.
I'm really looking forward to the competition between Humphrey and Brown. Youth and inexperience aside, these two guys have the makeup to be among the best to ever play the position at Bama.
6. C Ryan Kelly, Jr., Alabama: The transition from All-American Barrett Jones to Kelly shouldn't have been a simple one, but the fact that it occurred without a hiccup is a testament to Kelly's ability not just athletically, but intellectually. Injuries, however, caused him to miss four games last season. Now recovered, he has every shot to to win the Rimington Trophy.
First off, that is a really interesting way to summarize last season, since Chad Lindsay ended up splitting the playing time with Kelly almost evenly. It's also interesting that no other offensive lineman is ahead of Kelly on this list, which implies that Kelly is the best offensive lineman on this team. I'm not sure you'll find too many people that are eager to agree with that assessment.
The Crimson Tide is currently a 21-point favorite for its Sept. 20 game against Florida at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Gators went 4-8 in 2013, but have been ranked by many as a preseason top 25 team. With games at home against Idaho, Eastern Michigan and Kentucky to open the season, Florida likely will bring a 3-0 record into the Crimson Tide's SEC opener.
The line is much slimmer for Alabama's Nov. 8 trip to LSU, but it still favors the Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide will open as a 2.5-point favorite. Alabama was a 14-point favorite heading into last year's game, which it won, 38-17, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
My personal (and completely unprofessional) opinion? That Florida line is too high, and the LSU line seems generous. If I was picking today, I'd pass on the Florida game and lay some money on that LSU line.
According to ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.'s early position rankings, two Crimson Tide juniors could be poised to do the same in 2015 if they opt to leave a year of eligibility on the table. Both wide receiver Amari Cooper and safety Landon Collins are No. 1 at their respective positions among draft-eligible underclassmen.
Yawn. Another year, another crop of first-rounders. Enjoy the ride, everyone.
Several FBS coaches are concerned not that camps exist, but that the recruiting system is designed for potential abuse, or to create pressure for coaches to abuse it themselves. Putting high school or junior college coaches on the camp payroll to potentially steer players' campus visits could create a new arms race among high-resource schools.
There's no definitive limit on pay for on-field guest coaches, assuming everyone gets the same rate based on work they perform.
“Essentially what (schools) are doing is paying to bring prospects to their camps,” Arizona's Rich Rodriguez said.
Yet another look at the nasty underbelly of recruiting. There is so much grime involved that the average fan is completely unaware of. I really don't know what could be done to try to curtail this particular type of dirty play. I suppose you could try to mandate limits on pay, but it seems like that would be even more micro-managing for a body that's already stretched beyond what its capable of policing.
It started with a link of Andouille and a box of Cafe Du Monde beignet mix. The rest was history.
Make the beignet dough according to the box.
Slice your andouille into bite size peices.
Wrap andouille in dough.
Fry that little piggy up.
Maybe it's my empty stomach talking, but good Lord, that sounds delicious.
The Atlanta Falcons will be the featured team for the ninth season of HBO's Hard Knocks, which debuts Aug. 5
I still wish that the Falcons would pick up a few Bama defenders, so I could finally pick an NFL team (they may have lost me to the Packers), but regardless, I'm down with this.