Defensive line coach Bo Davis visited Ben Davis, a five-star linebacker at Gordo whose father Wayne is Alabama's career tackle leader, on Wednesday night. "He told me what he's been telling me all along, that he needs me to come to Alabama," Ben Davis said. "If I decide to go there, I'll be able to play immediately. I'm going to have to play. They're losing some linebackers and they're very thin at linebacker. Same thing they've been telling me."
Make no mistake, Ben Davis is the catch of the year. Easily the best linebacker prospect in the nation, and a top-5 player nationally, Alabama cannot whiff on the nearby Gordo prospect. This is a battle that will be waged until his NLI is signed in February.
"Alabama is one of the greatest schools in the country," he said. "They have won 15 national championships. Coach Smart is my dude. He is like a father figure to me. I can talk to him about anything."
Ugh. Many recruits are talking about Coach Smart, and rightly so. He is one of the best recruiters and defensive minds in the nation. The loss of him on the recruiting trail cannot be understated...and not just in Georgia. The Atlanta wars between UGA-Alabama just got a lot more vicious methinks.
Hatin' on 'Bama is the new black
Alabama’s Derrick Henry is the Heisman frontrunner after a record-breaking performance in the Iron Bowl, but Matt Leinart thinks Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey has a shot.
I can't imagine why a PAC 12 guy would rep McCaffrey, who has faced five teams in the bottom 20 of total defense. #sarcasmfont
You read that #Hot #Take correctly. The headline is clickbait, but the underlying thesis is reasonably sound. The modern game is about the quarterback position. Still, there is room for excellent defense, running the ball, winning the line of scrimmage and turnover battle, and playing sound special teams. The same things win that have always won.
That said, the notion that the SEC only has Dak Prescott is a really dumb statement. Dak is the most high profile player, to be sure. But, Brandon Allen has been lights out for two years and has a pro future at some level. Joshua Dobbs is a smart, do-all guy that doesn't turn over the ball and has been bandied as a darkhorse Heisman candidate for 2016. Chad Kelly has been absolutely superb and will be making some mad-nasty NFL cash this April as well. Finally, when Will Grier
stops juicing returns next season, we can finally see what he looks like for a full season, in a pro-set offense. I suspect he'll be a very good one.
The most significant fallout would be to the SEC and the College Football Playoff. Alabama would most certainly be out after losing to a team that lost last week 27-2 at home to Florida State and needed overtime to get by FAU the week before. Did we mention that 9-7 home victory against Vanderbilt? As SEC champions, the Gators would play in the Sugar Bowl. Bad news for Mississippi. The Rebels are in the clubhouse at No. 13 in the playoff rankings and in good shape to get to the Sugar Bowl as the highest-ranked team after Alabama, assuming the Tide wins the SEC and makes the playoff. How far would Alabama fall with a loss? Maybe all the way out of the New Year's Six games. The Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl have three at-large spots available, with a fourth reserved for the best Group of Five conference champion (most likely the American Athletic Conference winner).
Should Alabama lose, or should some other prohibitive favorites fall, all hell will break loose in this farce we call a playoff. Worse for the Tide, Alabama could spend some time with Mickey in Orlando on New Year's day as their bowl prospects would drop precipitously.
Saban said that he had talked to his team about staying focused on the game. He said, "The coaches really care about the players and I think the players care about the coaches. And if you really care about the coaches and you know a guy's done a great job and and he's worked hard to create another opportunity for himself, you ought to be happy for him. You shouldn't be worried about it, you shouldn't be concerned about it. And you also should know that we've had these situations in the past and we always seem to bring the next best good coach in, so you'll continue to get good coaching and help you develop as a football player. "I think the players kind of get it so everybody's kind of zeroed in on what we have to do on Saturday."
Yes, this is about coaching, but, to an equal extent, it's about the Dec/Jan focus of players (as usual) and the focus of coaches exiting the program (less common.) We often call out players for having their minds in the pros before they handle their business in Crimson. Saban here provides a not-so-subtle reminder to staff which may or may not have their minds on a paycheck that they, too, have obligations beyond the next professional stepping stone.
I would hope that Reggie Ragland et al, and Nick Saban (as well as the individual consciences of the coaches) would keep everyone's minds right for just three more games. #GoodGump.
Alabama leads the nation in rush defense at 78.9 yards per game, but Tennessee managed 132 yards on the ground, second-most of any team on the schedule this year. "It's getting the dirty yards," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "For our players, it was understanding that sometimes a 2-yard gain is a good gain. Sometimes a zero-yard gain is a good gain. You can't have negative yardage football plays against Alabama."
Excellent piece here on how you attack the Alabama defense. Butch Jones nailed it -- to beat Alabama you have to win the small wars: generate negative or zero-sum plays on defense while at the same time realizing that you have to be patient for 60 minutes, and that what does not work for the first 50 minutes, may finally break the levee late in the game. And, he was right. Tennessee has been the only team to man-up the Tide and give this unit fits from a physical standpoint. I obviously hate Butch, but he is doing a very good job with the incremental rebuild in Knoxville and I am terrified of the road trip to Neyland next season.
The entire Alabama team pointed out the return man, but it didn't matter as Griffith's kick soared through the uprights. When the game ended the kicker who many remembered for his role in the "Kick-Six" now held the school record for made field goals in the Iron Bowl. "I had so much confidence in him, I ran down, but I felt like he was going to make it," Ragland said. "So coach told us to run down. I did my job. But in my mind, I felt like he was going to make it, and he did."
Good on Reggie for being the first man down. And, fantastic for Adam to rebound from a lot of negativity early (looking at some of you...like you could get out of bed, much less play American tackle football, with three busted vertebrae.)