"It's going to be easier to officiate," Rogers Redding, the NCAA's national officiating coordinator, told CBSSports.com of the proposal, noting that the 3-yard area causes many defense to read run before the quarterback throws at the last minute. Some well-known examples were Nick Marshall's 39-yard touchdown pass to Sammie Coates in the fourth quarter of the 2013 Iron Bowl and Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters' 62-yard TD pass to Glenn Gronkowski against Oklahoma last fall.
This basically aligns with the NFL rule, but the greater concern is the enforcement of the rule already in place. The video clip shows a play featuring linemen who are well beyond three yards when the ball is released. Hopefully this rule passes and also becomes a point of emphasis for the officials.
Say your team ranks No. 25 in recruiting. Your freshmen rank ahead of 100 or so FBS programs, most of which they'll never face. That's great! But your No. 25 class ranks behind five conference rivals, which they will face yearly or so. (Good thing your coaches are excellent developers and tacticians.)
Interesting metric that brings into focus just how difficult life is in the SEC. The SEC's 14 programs averaged an absurd 17th in this year's recruiting rankings, including five of the top ten. No other conference averaged higher than 32nd. While Alabama finished #1 in the composite, it finished only #12 in terms of out-flanking its conference. Remember that one the next time someone offers a #HotSportsTake on how #1 classes mean Saban should win the national title every year.
One of the biggest keys for Tucker in his first year in Tuscaloosa will be helping the secondary improve in terms of takeaways. Tucker managed defenses that led the NFL in takeaways in his time in the league, so he clearly knows the keys to creating turnovers. He also worked with Charles Tillman in Chicago, the master of the forced fumble, and he’ll hopefully have picked up some of that technique in his time there.
Tucker has a reputation for running ball-hawking secondaries. If he is able to work his magic in Tuscaloosa, he will have been Saban's most important recruit of 2015.
S Deionte Thompson, Alabama The ESPN 300 prospect has good size (6-2, 180) and speed and the advantage of being an early enrollee. Thompson, the nation's No. 3 safety and the No. 65 player overall in the ESPN 300, is a versatile athlete (he was a talented high school track and field athlete) and given the departures at safety for Alabama (two graduated plus Landon Collins declared for the draft) there will be spots available. Don't be shocked if Thompson works his way into one of them and plays well.
On film Thompson looks the part of the rangy center-fielder that the Tide secondary was missing last season. Let's hope he can pick things up quickly, win the job, and do his best to impersonate...
Thanks to Clinton-Dix's presence on the field, Burnett experienced a bit of a rebound year. He's always been at his best with a competent safety next to him (Charles Woodson) so the fact Burnett was able to elevate his game speaks volumes about what Clinton-Dix brought to table.
Oh, to have had HaHa in the playoff game this season. The run defense looks a lot different when you have an elite free safety who can be trusted to play single-high.
"He gets a feel for how we do our business here," running backs coach Burton Burns said before the Sugar Bowl. "We have a chance to see Bo work out with us for the first time. So it was fun and it was a good experience for both sides ... You have to adjust to the routine of whatever team you're on so I think he adjusted well."
Sky is the limit for Scarbrough. He is huge for a RB, fast, agile, and has great hands. Definitely a player to watch in the spring.
2014: 95 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry, three fumbles recovered, one forced fumble, three pass breakups and one interception in 14 games Ragland is the SEC's only All-Conference linebacker that returns for the 2015 season. The hard-hitting inside backer is Alabama's top returning tackler from a season ago.
Reggie's ability to take the reins and lead what will be a veteran group, but green where playing time is concerned, will go a long way toward determining the success of the 2015 defense. Having him return to school for his senior year is a boon for Kirby Smart's unit.
The state of Alabama will have a pair of five-star prospects at the position, but the Crimson Tide have a better shot at landing Davis, the son of Alabama's all-time leading tackler Wayne Davis. Ben Davis is rated as the No. 26 prospect in the country in the 247Sports composite. He's listed as an outside linebacker and though Alabama appears to be an overwhelming favorite, don't count out Auburn and other top SEC schools.
It's never too early to look forward to next season's recruiting. Davis sounds like a good one.
"What he did in-state with (Daron) Payne and (Lester) Cotton - that's impressive," Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell said. "But he went into South Florida and landed the No. 1 receiver in the country in (Calvin) Ridley, and his teammate (Shawn) Burgess-Becker. Then he went up to New Jersey and took (Minkah) Fitzpatrick when everyone was recruiting him."
Cristobal continues to be honored for his recruiting prowess. The man's territory is basically the entire country.
The former Spain Park standout, now a junior, has found his way on many preseason lists. The biggest one came earlier this week, when White was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list. The award, given to college baseball's top player, has just 50 on its preseason watch list.
Roll Tide, Mikey!