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Jumbo Package: Monday, 16 February 2015

Your daily dose of Alabama doing things well (except for basketball.)

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"I don't know how I still have a job either!"
"I don't know how I still have a job either!"
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

As a hot mess of sleet, ice, and snow is about to descend upon Memphis, I give you all an extra long Jumbo Package. If I freeze to death, consider it my self-composed eulogy.

Watch double amputee Hasaan Hawthorne of Pelham win his third-place match at the state wrestling championships - al.com

Pelham double amputee Hasaan Hawthorne completed his inspiring journey at this year's AHSAA State Wrestling Championships on a high note. The junior defeated Oxford's Jacob Shake by a 3-1 decision in the Class 6A, 160-pound third-place match at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

This is just one helluva' good story and a great way to start your day. This kid is an inspiration.

Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey part of record-setting track performance | AL.com

Humphrey, a former Hoover standout who competes in sprints and hurdles, helped the Crimson Tide break a 9-year-old record in the 4X400 relay quartet at the Randal Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.

Besides bolstering track and field success on the whole, upgrading the facilities and throwing some money that way, has certainly helped in landing guys like Hump. Congratulations to the whole 4x400 relay team.

Alabama football notes

SN: 'Nicktator' should give Tide RB Henry ball more

Sporting News doesn't want to question Nick Saban, but wonders why Henry hasn't been a bigger part of the Tide's offense in his two years at Alabama.

Roll 'Bama Roll doesn't want to question Sporting News, but wonders why we can't get paid commensurate salaries for such hard-hitting analysis.

15 Athletes Who Don’t Belong in Their Sport’s Hall of Fame | RantSports

That [Superbowl] lives with him forever, but his overall playing career was mediocre.

Guess who the guys known for boobs and WAGs shallow analysis pegged as No. 1? While that pick has some merit, the blazing content re: John Elway and Troy Aikman is indefensible.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Spring Football is right around the corner. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RollTide?src=hash">#RollTide</a> <a href="http://t.co/bQi4A5Pi11">pic.twitter.com/bQi4A5Pi11</a></p>&mdash; Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lane_Kiffin/status/566305510174228480">February 13, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Spring Football is almost here!

Finally, if you're in the mood for an hour of football Gumping and anti-Gumping, in equal measure, as well as some dumping on the spread offense, TCU, Wisconsin fans, Clemson, LSU, Ole Miss, I sat down with Chase Thomas of Cut to the Chase podcast. I made two small errors, that I need to publicly correct. 1. Warmack's first name is Dallas (I could not recall it,) and 2. I lost his audio in a few spots, so I'm not really the idiot I seemed (though, I was not entirely sober either.) Still, Chase is an engaging funny guy and gives a good interview. Hopefully, he'll invite us all on when Fall starts.

National shenanigans

Rutgers recruiting candidate Jeff Towers is mystery $1M donor for coach Kyle Flood's salary | NJ.com

Jeff Towers, the booster who is on the verge of being hired by Rutgers coach Kyle Flood to a prominent role on his staff, pledged a $1 million gift to support the Scarlet Knights football program last year.

Congratulations to Rutgers on skipping the middle-man and bringing the bagman/booster right on to the staff. If any place had the cajones to do this, it would be mobbed-up Jersey.

Texas Football: Charlie Strong adds LSU assistant, HS coach to Longhorns staff | FOX Sports

"Brick is a guy we're so excited to be bringing to our staff. He has such a great reputation for developing defensive lineman and has developed so many great players over the years."

Of interest because, before hiring Steele, it was rumored that Brick could potentially be elevated to DC (or, at least be mentored into the role.) But, Miles ultimately brought in Steele, reassigned Brick upstairs to land Da' Coach O', and now Brick is gone (as are his recruiting skills, which belong to Charlie Strong.) Les Miles is going to sink or swim (or get fired in 2016) with the uncertain die he has cast this season. My guess is that with an iffy DC, a greater liability at OC, and nothing in the way of QBs, LSU maxes out at 9-3 the next two seasons.

SEC candidates who may overcome combine snubs - SEC Blog - ESPN

Sasser is a polished wideout who is productive enough to land a roster spot -- even if he has to go the undrafted free agent route to get there.

No Alabama players on this list, but there are a few surprises here; notably Sasser -- the SEC's second-leading receiver in 2014. The analysis with these snubs is spot-on.

Charlie Weis says ‘it’s highly doubtful I will ever coach again’ | CollegeFootballTalk

When it’s all said and done, Weis will be paid nearly $25 million by Notre Dame and Kansas for the non-work he performed after he was fired...That total would’ve made him the sixth-highest-paid head coach in college football.

Man, we're gonna' miss those decided schematic advantages.

2015 college football wedding planner: SEC edition | NCAA Football | Sporting News

It’s enough to induce cold chills. We’re here to help. If you’re planning a wedding in SEC country this fall, here are the best (and worst) weekends for your big event. Know when to say "I do" and "I don't."

Ignore the "no fall wedding" pap, a meme that is as obnoxious and shallow as it is redundant; the article at least hits on those decent weeks to have a bender and which ones to take in a game.

Commentary: No Tide in premature CFB Playoff predictions

Alabama. The Crimson Tide not only lost its best two players in receiver Amari Cooper and safety Landon Collins, but they have too many questions at quarterback and in the secondary.

Ready for some TCU-apple polishing? Like it or not, they're the OMG! NEXT BIG THING! With respect to Alabama, "questions at QB and secondary" are pretty much identical to 2014, no? Perhaps discounting the Tide is going to be the new "but can X beat Bama?"

Pressure on Brian Schottenheimer in Year 1 - SEC Blog - ESPN

The Rams' offense, which did endure some tough injuries, ranked 28th in the NFL in total offense last season, and his bouncing around the NFL has been met with mixed reviews.

If Schottenheimer sucks, as our friends who are NFL fans assure us that he does, I would not be surprised one bit to see Mark Richt take a more hands-on approach to the offense. In Richt's tenure at Georgia, he's still the bet offensive coordinator the 'Dawgs have had.

Nebraska coach Mike Riley doesn't like post-signing day coaching moves - ESPN

“I think it is unfortunate for the student-athletes. I think they feel somewhat deceived, and I think that’s bad for our game in general.”

If any area is ripe for exploitation it's this so-called "loophole." There is a way to get around the problem, of course, and that is to let a staff develop a reputation of not caring for its guys. That will correct the issue PDQ. See also, Derek Dooley.

'Crootin'

Never let it be said that our pithy cracks and a steadfast refusal to refund your money is all we do. As you may have noticed, we're beginning to focus on year-round recruiting. Btbama22 and CB969 are absolutely killing it. DYK: You can also go to the "sections" portion of the website and review all content by subject area? Recruiting is, in fact, one of those areas.

Alabama's top defensive line targets in 2016 class | AL.com

Rashan Gary (6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Scotch Plains, N.J.) Gary is the No. 1 prospect in the nation in some circles and the No. 2 overall in the 247Sports composite. He has high interest in Alabama and National Recruiter of the Year Mario Cristobal is on him.

This would be a huge get. Saban has had some success in the beknighted North, but Harbaugh and Meyer are both hot and heavy after Gary, as well...so is every other team that wants a dominating, pass-rush end with the size to go inside (think Marcel Dareus.)

Alabama's top offensive line targets in 2016 class | AL.com

Willie Allen (6-foot-7, 300 pounds, New Orleans, La.) Allen is one of the top offensive tackles in the country and is a five-star recruit, much like Louisiana product Cam Robinson was in the 2014 class.

As with the DL prospects above, Aiiiieee Elllll dot com is a big fan of the 247 "Crystal Ball," which like most of the for-profit, whole-cloth bullshit 'crootin' industry seems less than empirically sound. Fact is, it's hard to quantify a gut instinct. With respect to the monster Willie Allen, it is safe to say that some in Baton Rouge, after too many high-profile misses, see him as a must-sign for Les Miles. It is equally safe to say that all the stops will be pulled out by Nick Saban and Co. for the 6'7" nimble-footed, left tackle. Given Saban's ability to selectively poach the Pelican State, this will be a heated battle for the next 11 months.

Yes, there was a basketball game

Vanderbilt shakes off loss to Tennessee

Vanderbilt (14-11, 4-8 SEC) had been 0-5 in SEC road games, but took over a tight game in the final four minutes.

See that? Alabama imploding down the stretch? Nah, that's not old-hat or anything. But...

Anthony Grant hopes his Alabama team realizes 'opportunity that was wasted' after Vanderbilt loss | AL.com

Mistakes at the end of each half cost the Crimson Tide. Alabama had two turnovers on back-to back possessions near the end where Vanderbilt stretched its lead to six with 1:49 left, but a sequence at the end of the first half hurt as well.

It is rare we see DOUBLE end-of-half implosions. Again, same song and Grant. His days are clearly numbered after this putrid loss, announced attendance in the 3000 range for Mizzou, all-time fan disinterest, and a general chorus of deserved hellraising. Even Athletic Director Bill Battle can't be so tone-deaf as to retain Coach Grant. BTW: read the interview in this article: Nothing like a subpar coach pinning the blame for this one on the players.You blow a close game 2-3 times? That's on the players. You blow 6-8 close games, consistently, for six years? That's on you, pal.

Michael White Bio - LA Tech Official Athletic Site

ESPN's Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman recently named White as the No. 1 up-and-coming head coach in college basketball, and rightfully so. White has re-energized the program and the fan base both locally and nationally with multiple conference championships and postseason appearances which played a huge part in him agreeing to a new six-year, $3.6 million contract extension on April 3.

Coach White from LaTech got a new contract...one which now pays him one-third of Grant's salary. Not sure if Coach Battle peruses the JP while in the family reading room, but he could do far, far worse than take a look at this guy.