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Jumbo Package: Say Goodbye to Kirby

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Recruiting, a lack of Smart, Henry, and SEC bashing. Everything you could want to argue about.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Despite performance, Derrick Henry may not be a can't-miss NFL prospect - CBSSports.com

While NFL scouts will appreciate Henry's toughness and production, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll overtake Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott as the top running back available in the 2016 NFL Draft, assuming both leave early as expected. Henry, in fact, could prove to be one of the more polarizing prospects in the 2016 draft. That's because for all of his production, many big backs like the 6-foot-2, 242-pound Henry have struggled against the greater speed of the NFL.

I'll start with a controversial one. They're right. Henry will be polarizing. His running style is not normal, and he doesn't do a lot of the things that top running backs tend to do. He gets by on just being bigger and faster than everyone else, and that won't work as well at the next level.

Yeah. All the exact same things were said when Henry was coming out of high school (including by me), and the man-beast proved all of us wrong. I think Henry will have to be on a certain style of team to be successful, one focused on getting him the ball in space rather than having him act as a bell cow back and avoid trash around the line of scrimmage. One thing is for certain though, who ever drafts him will have a heck of a third down back right out of the gates.

NFL draft feedback 'not a problem' for 2015 Alabama team

“Finish, that’s our motto. That’s all we talk about,” Ragland said when asked if players bring up last season's conclusion. “We’ve got a week left, really, of SEC play and we just have to keep working hard. We work hard and we do what we have to do to prepare the right way, we’ll be where we want to be.”

For that to happen, this year’s crop of juniors has to keep its eyes on the team prize and not let future individual accomplishments that will come once their collegiate careers are over cloud the view of their goal. With social media being so prevalent in most of their lives, it’s hard for them to tune the draft talk and projections out, but according to Allen, the defensive linemen have done a good job of that up to this point.

“I heard it, but it doesn’t really mean anything,” Allen said. “We really don’t care about that, to be honest with you. We want to win the national championship. We’re not worried about next year or how many people get drafted in the first round.”

Henry will likely head out early. Jarran Reed, A'Shawn Robinson, and Reggie Ragland all stand a good chance of being first round picks. Jonathan Allen and O.J. Howard are not far behind. Guys like Reuben Foster, Eddie Jackson, and Tim Williams could also be surprise early declares to the NFL. Dealing with all of that can be a huge distraction, as Coach Saban so kindly pointed out over the offseason. Its good to hear team leaders like Ragland and Allen facing the problem head on and trying to keep the team focused for the final 3-game stretch.

5-star Carver-Montgomery linebacker Lyndell Wilson won't commit this week after all | AL.com

Just like all of us, Lyndell "Mack" Wilson is watching the coaching carousel. Wilson, the 5-star linebacker from Carver-Montgomery, announced Tuesday morning on his Twitter feed that he would not release his top 5 today as originally planned and would not make his commitment on Friday.

Wilson cited "all the coaching changes" as a big reason. Florida and Alabama are thought to be the top contenders for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wilson, though schools like LSU, Ole Miss and Ohio State were others in his top 8.

Though not lacking in talented linebacker depth, the Tide could probably use one to two more to join Jaquan Yulee and Riley Cole to round out the class of 2016. Wilson is a 5 star, and debatably the best one in the state (with the other being Ben Davis). Alabama is in really good standing with both of these guys, and should land at least one of the two by National Signing Day.

Mark Richt to 4-Star Demetris Robertson: Don't Give Up on Georgia - Georgia - Scout

Robertson was in Athens for the Georgia Southern game and he had a great time.  Before that, he was at Alabama for their game against LSU.

At that time, the former Alabama commit may have started to lean back towards the Crimson Tide.  The buzz right now with the opening at Georgia is former Georgia Bulldog, current Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is the frontrunner.

If that plays out and Smart ends up in Athens, that only helps the Dawgs with Robertson.

Robertson was committed to Alabama a while back, and the borderline 5-star athlete is an electric playmaker at receiver and defensive back. At one point in time, both he and Shyheim Carter were committed to the Tide and it looked like Alabama was going to reel in another loaded recruiting class. With both of them decommitting before the 2015 season started, this recruiting class is still lacking in outside playmakers. However, Alabama is still very high in the running for both.

At this point in time while writing this jumbo package, I just learned that Kirby Smart is going to Georgia. Jaquan Yulee has already made public that he is firm with Alabama. This could affect the recruitment of both Lyndell Wilson and Ben Davis, the two mentioned above, as well as Carter and Robertson.

Kirby Smart of Alabama to be next Georgia coach, replacing Richt | www.ajc.com

Smart will hire his own staff, but is expected to retain some members of Georgia’s current staff, including running backs coach Thomas Brown and recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon.

Well, Smart is finally gone. I'm sure we'll soon know when he will be leaving the Tide, his new salary, and other information like that. There's a good chance Mel Tucker, one of the defensive assistants, or even Saban himself will have to call the defensive plays the rest of the season. This just got interesting.

One thing to keep an eye on is Jeremy Pruitt. The former secondary coach for Alabama was the DC under Richt at Georgia, and has a track record of improving defenses everywhere he has went. If Kirby decides not to keep him on staff at UGA, he could potentially be a candidate to replace Smart here in Tuscaloosa.

Q&A with five-star 2016 center Marques Bolden - Basketball Recruiting - Scout

Who is it really down to at this point?

"Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma"

Do you think you’ll do any more visits?

"Probably not."

Avery Johnson's first recruiting class is already shaping up to be a good one with Braxton Key, Ar'Mond Davis, and 5-star shooting guard Terrance Ferguson. Bolden is the top ranked center in the nation, and Ferguson has been trying to convince him to also come to Bama. Hauling him in too would have been a legendary first class for Coach Johnson, possibly on the level of Saban's 2008 class.

Unfortunately, it looks like Bolden has ruled the Tide out at this point. Alabama has three very talented players for this class already, but could use another big man. It will be interesting to see if Coach Johnson can pull in one more player before the next signing period.

In one stroke, ESPN analyst Damien Woody bashes Alabama, SEC QBs

Assuming "the one decent QB" Alabama played was Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, he's forgetting several others. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly leads the SEC in passing yards (3,740), total yards (4,167) and touchdown responsibility (37) while Arkansas senior Brandon Allen has flourished under Dan Enos' new spread-centric system.

And here's yet ANOTHER guy trying to bash on Alabama's strength of schedule. He figured out that judging our opponents by win percentage was a fruitless endeavor (since, you know, those numbers prove the Tide had a pretty solid schedule), and Woody instead decided to say that Alabama has not faced any good quarterbacks.

It is a fair point that the SEC is a bit down this year in the passing game, but both Prescott and Kelly were considered fringe Heisman candidates throughout the year, while Brandon Allen is currently 9th in the nation in passer rating. Not only that, but Josh Dobbs of Tennessee and A&M's Kyle Allen have also put together some pretty solid seasons. And to top it all off, Alabama just destroyed the preseason Heisman winner, Jeremy Johnson.