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Jumbo Package: Tuesday 3 February 2015

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes...

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The glasses are something of a trademark for young Lester.
The glasses are something of a trademark for young Lester.
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Top Alabama recruit Lester Cotton carries hope of Central High School

Then Lester went home and found his mom:

"Mom, you need to come back to the camp with me."

"Why?"

"Because we're going to have a meeting with Coach Saban."

"Boy, stop playing."

They all met that evening. Saban said he wanted to look at some more film but thought that, if Lester kept up his grades, Alabama would offer him a scholarship. Word got out about the camp, and other schools jumped in to recruit him. Alabama made its offer, and so did lots of others. The suitcase in the closet filled up with letters. Lester tore the meniscus in his knee and missed half his junior season. Alabama's offer held. In February 2014, at junior day -- when a group of junior prospects visit the campus together -- Lester committed to the Tide. That's when people he had never met started coming up to him at the grocery store.

Great story about a very promising player who clearly bleeds crimson. Recruiting nationally is great, but there is something about the local guys who grew up loving the Tide. You have to wonder if they tend push just a little bit harder.

Alabama sets date, kickoff time for 2015 A-Day Game | AL.com

The school announced the annual A-Day will be played April 18 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage will kickoff at 2 p.m., but the television information will be announced at a later date. Admission is free. A crowd of 73,506 attended the 2014 game in Bryant-Denny Stadium. That was the eighth-largest crowd in A-Day history. It was also televised live on ESPNU.

Finally! Now CarrotTop4 can open up his tablet on the beach and book his plane ticket before all the good deals are gone.

Saban's Most Memorable NSD Moments

Since Alabama football coach Nick Saban took over the Crimson Tide in January 2007, his program has seen its share of drama right up to the very end of annual recruiting cycles. Big dogs often walk late, and in the case of Alabama, the Tide has brought in several program-changing recruits on the first Wednesday in February. In this feature, BOL takes a stab at Saban's top five most memorable National Signing Day moments along with accompanying video of those moments that helped the Tide to three national championships under Saban's watch.

A nice summary of Saban's annual tradition of trolling Auburn each February. All joking aside, Julio will forever be recognized as the game-changing recruit. In case you missed it, he finished third in the NFL this season with 1,593 receiving yards.

Alabama's recruiting success resonates far beyond signing day

"It's never happened before," said J.C. Shurburtt, national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.com. "USC had a nice run in the mid-2000s and Florida had a run there," Rivals.com's national analyst Mike Farrell said. "But Alabama, if they do it this year, would have the No. 1 class seven of the last eight years. That would be unheard of."

Youth will abound, but next year's roster will, once again, be loaded with talent. Hopefully the reshuffling of coaches on the defensive side will address the deficiencies we saw there last season.

Football recruiting: Georgia transfer's prep, JUCO coaches back Tide's signing of him - The Anniston Star: Sports

"He is a very passionate person, a very kind person," Conley said. "He ended up following instead of leading, and it got him in trouble over there at Georgia. What (Georgia coach) Mark Richt told me is that he was not dismissed from the football team, he was dismissed from the university. They (the football team) would have loved to have him back. He’s a good kid. "The domestic violence stuff, I’m not going to get into because that’s not my place. But it’s not that he just beat somebody up. That’s not the case, and I’ll leave it at that."

I know many were uncomfortable with the Jonathan Taylor signing, but it is important to remember that there are three sides to every story. Obviously Coach Saban felt comfortable bringing him in, which should say a lot. Sounds like he has others in his corner as well.

The Crimson White :: :: Tide prepares for new season in new location

Coach Mitch Gaspard’s team will begin play on Feb. 13 with a weekend series against Maryland Eastern Shore. The team will play its home games at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium while Sewell-Thomas Stadium is renovated. "Looking at the big picture, we’ve been prepared for this," Gaspard said. "We knew this travel was going to be part of the year, but also it’s a great opportunity to play in a beautiful 
ballpark like the Hoover Met."

Has to be odd to have to travel that far for home games.

Additional Baseball Ticket Packages on Sale Now - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

The University of Alabama Athletics TIDE PRIDE/Ticket Office announced today that single-game tickets, mini-plan packages and group seating options are now available for the 2015 Crimson Tide baseball season sponsored by Hibbett Sports at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

For those who live around Birmingham and would like to watch a little hardball this spring.

The Crimson White :: :: Men's rugby emphasizes community, sportsmanship

Schick said rugby is a social sport by nature and the club does its best to reflect that. He said rugby takes the concept of good sportsmanship to a new level – opponents are treated with respect during the game, and everyone competes hard but not at the expense of sportsmanship.

A little primer for those interested in rugby.

9 Alabama Track & Field Athletes, 1 Relay, Rank Among Collegiate Top 20 in 8 Events - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

University of Alabama senior Alex Amankwah leads all collegiate runners in the men's 800 meters, leading a group of nine Crimson Tide athletes in eight events (plus the men's 4x400-meter relay unit) that rank among the nation's top 20 through Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.

Roll Tide, folks.