4. Alabama: Talent and experience. Alabama has one but not the other, and you can probably guess which. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Vinnie Sunseri and Deion Belue are all gone. That fourth spot in the secondary? It was never settled to begin with. Getting Landon Collins back at safety, however, is huge, as the former five-star prospect has All-SEC potential. But who starts opposite him is up in the air with Nick Perry coming off an injury, Jarrick Williams entrenched at nickel corner/star and Laurence "Hootie" Jones early in his development. At corner, Alabama’s hopes are pinned to two freshmen -- Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey -- along with a slew of unproven prospects such as Maurice Smith, Jonathan Cook and Bradley Sylve.
Who knows, right? This is a unit with a lot of promise and not much other than hope (and Collins) holding it up right now. This seems like a pretty fair ranking to me.
2. Landon Collins, Soph., Alabama: It’s scary to think what he’ll do as a starter from Day 1. Alabama fans will remember that Collins was the backup to Vinnie Sunseri at strong safety last season and only became a full-time starter after Sunseri tore his ACL. Despite starting only nine games, Collins led the team in passes defended and finished second in total tackles. A heavy hitter as much as he is a ball hawk, Collins could easily develop into a first-round pick with a strong junior season.
Rank him higher.
10. Tony Brown, Fr., Alabama: The Tide had their ups and downs at cornerback last season, which is why they went out and got a five-star player like Brown they felt like could come in and play right away. He looked the part this spring after enrolling early and has the size (6-0, 190 pounds), cover skills and awareness to be a difference-maker as a freshman.
No offense to Brown, but in my opinion, his inclusion on this list says a lot more about the lack of positional depth conference wide than it does about him. He's a super promising kid, to be sure, but if a true freshman (who may not even start, as he'll be competing against another equally touted star freshman) makes the top 10, you might just be running out of options. Either that, or the folks at ESPN felt that including a Bama player was mandatory, and did the best with what they had.
6. Alabama: The Crimson Tide should rank higher on this list by season’s end. After all, they have arguably the SEC’s top return man in Christion Jones (second in the league with 28.7 ypr on kickoffs and second with 14.0 ypr on punts). But they also lost a dynamic punter in Mandell and a place-kicker, Foster, who was solid last season before melting down in the Iron Bowl. Perhaps Adam Griffith (1-for-3 on field goals) will take over the kicking job, but Alabama also has high hopes for signee J.K. Scott, who is capable of kicking or punting in college.
I don't want to talk about this one, okay?
Winston's father, Antonor, told AL.com that his family his expects the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to play two more seasons with the Seminoles.
"We want Jameis to succeed with one more year in baseball and two more years in football," he said. "We've never strayed from our plan that he is going to be in college until he gets that degree."
I'll believe it when I see it. To be frank, if he comes back in '15, Winston is an idiot. Unless he gets injured this year, or otherwise has some freakishly disastrous season, he's a first round lock right now. I have no idea what degree Winston is working on, but I am quite sure no diploma is worth +10 million guaranteed.
Add in the fact that the guy has had numerous brushes with the law (on a pretty wide spectrum of accused offenses), and it's a no brainer that he need to grab his money before his idiocy costs him.
Former Alabama cornerback Deion Belue has been waived by an NFL team for the second time in 24 days. The Pittsburgh Steelers waived Belue on Wednesday to make room on their 90-player roster for former Ohio State running back Jordan Hall.
The Steelers had claimed Belue off waivers on May 28. Belue had been waived by the Miami Dolphins on May 25 after participating in the team's rookie minicamp.