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Jumbo Package: Friday 6 February 2015

We're living in CeCe's world right now.

The latest great recruiting saga.
The latest great recruiting saga.
Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

Questions you wouldn't ask Nick Saban (so we asked an amazing impersonator) | AL.com

Nick Saban press conferences can be intimidating. So rather than ask the real Coach Saban silly questions we talked to his impersonator Mike Romano. Watch the video above to see how Romano as Nick Saban handles the interview. Romano does more than 25 voices, but has really studied Nick Saban. He says he knows of only one other person who does Saban as well as he does.

This guy is really talented. I found it to be hilarious.

Five-star CeCe Jefferson's decision to Florida Gators on hold - ESPN

Whatever the reason for Jefferson rethinking his decision, a resolution might not be coming any time soon. "We don’t have a timetable," Leo Jefferson said. "CeCe could change his mind about everything." Jefferson, who still favors the Gators, made official visits to Ole Miss, Auburn and Alabama during the recruiting process, as well as a number of unofficial visits to Gainesville.

The longer this drags on, the more Gator nation squirms. Odds are he ends up in Gainesville, but there is still hope for several schools. It's a long shot to be sure, but if he did end up choosing Alabama the 2015 class would be cemented among the best of all time.

Signing Day indecision? Don't make your college choice on live television | SI.com

Why did these players announce their decisions on television without being 100 percent sure of their choices? Because that was their chance to announce on TV. Minutes of airtime had been slotted. Satellite uplink time had been purchased. Smith and Cowart had volunteered for an early exposure to the fact that major college football is -- for the most part -- a made-for-TV product, and they needed to announce because those were their scheduled times to announce.

National Signing Day continues to be the silliest of sports' silly seasons. Great advice here to players who haven't made a final decision yet.

Another No. 1 class doesn't guarantee Alabama another national title - ESPN

It’s why the secondary took a step back last season and is not guaranteed to get better in 2015. Because though you could say that signing cornerbacks like Sheffield and four-star Minkah Fitzpatrick will help, you have to at least acknowledge the year before when five-star freshmen Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey had little impact. For that matter, neither did sophomores and former four-star recruits Maurice Smith and Anthony Averett. That is not to say those players won’t become starters with time, only that you can’t get carried away with what happens on signing day. At least you can’t when it’s Alabama and you’ve watched it carry home the recruiting trophy four years in a row.

Warning: #HotSportsTake incoming from Alex Scarborough. Yes, Alex, we are aware that there are no guarantees and that there will be other elite teams also competing for the title. We also know that having the best talent in the country gives you a much better chance. Get it?

Ranking the SEC's top returning players: CB

9. Cyrus Jones, Alabama: Jones didn’t perform as well in late-season games against Auburn and Ohio State, but all in all he remains one of the more capable corners in the conference. He lacks tremendous size and must ensure he’s in the right position at all times to limit his opponent’s touches, but another offseason of development with Kirby Smart should help in those efforts.

Cyrus showed a ton of improvement last season and will likely be asked to lead a young but uber-talented group of cornerbacks.

Safety Deionte Thompson opens up on choosing Alabama early, spurning Texas schools | AL.com

"They have great players and great things around the facility," he said. "The football team is winning and they produce athletes in the NFL and has the highest graduation rate in the SEC. That's some of the things they put on the table, my family liked it and I decided it was the best school for me." He'll have a chance to earn his way into the rotation right away. Alabama lost three safeties to graduation and Thompson will be able to participate in spring practice. "It's going to take hard work and dedication," Thompson said. "I just know that playing time isn't given, you have to earn it. If I really want it, I have to dig deep and grind hard every day to get a chance for playing time."

Deionte is another example of a big time prospect who was willing to spurn other schools' promises of immediate playing time to come be a part of the process, compete with other elite talents, and leave as the best player he can be. Sounds like a lot of character within this young man.

Rece Davis Is Perfect Pick to Replace Chris Fowler on College GameDay - Team Speed Kills

Few people exude positive passion for college football like Davis does, and his work on the basketball edition of GameDay has been excellent. He's the perfect pick for replacing Fowler and keeping the tradition of the football GameDay going. Considering that GameDay is far and away the best sports pregame show, replacing one of the main characters is a huge deal.

Congratulations to Bama grad Rece Davis on his new gig. Let the conspiracy theories begin.

Marry Your School | The Players' Tribune

I went to a game in Tuscaloosa to experience what it would be like to be a part of that team and that history, and they did it up. I ran out of that tunnel with the team —against LSU, no less — and it was electrifying. Fans were screaming, my name was up on the jumbotron, it was crazy. I felt like I was a part of something bigger than a football team, like I made it to the NFL already. The whole stadium had an attitude about it. Everyone had a swagger. I felt like it was my time. I knew right then that Alabama was the place for me. I even took one last trip to LSU to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but after that, I was like, "I’m not taking any more visits. It’s a wrap." So I was a Louisiana boy who picked Alabama. And that just goes to show you, it’s not all about location. Heck, it’s not even all about football. It’s about finding the school that has a little bit of everything, no matter where it is. And Alabama was a perfect storm. It was like a dream come true.

Impressive write-up by DJ Fluker offering advice to blue-chip recruits who are taking visits and trying to decide where they will spend their college years. I have to wonder if the person who sent the Clemson letter with his name misspelled still has a job.

Interactive Map: SEC 2015 National Signing Day - Good Bull Hunting

With National Signing Day 2015 in the books, let's take a look at which schools were able to keep their talent close to home and which ones had success pulling recruits out of other states. You could hop from recruiting site to recruiting site looking it up, but sometimes it's just easier to look at a map. Good thing we made one!

This is a pretty cool little gadget. I was particularly amused by the troll mode.

Alabama rallies to 2-1 win over South Alabama

Looking to avoid its first opening day shutout loss since 1998, Alabama came back in the top of the seventh inning as a clutch two-run hit by Chandler Dare set up the 2-1 Crimson Tide victory. Dare's hit came after six tough innings for the Tide (1-0), as South Alabama (0-1) starter Farish Beard (0-1) was effectively wild, holding the Tide scoreless despite hitting six batters. That ties an Alabama school record for the most times hit by a pitch, which was originally set in game two of the 2012 Women's College World Series against Oklahoma. Leslie Jury pitched 5.1 innings to start the game but freshman Alexis Osorio (1-0) was credited with the win, throwing 1.2 relief innings with four strikeouts in her collegiate debut.

Great comeback win. Roll Tide!

SEC track and field weekly notebook


The Crimson Tide men's team is ranked No. 12 in this week's edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Monday ... the Tide men were 13th in the USTFCCCA preseason rankings and were ranked 11th last week ... the Tide men are ranked fourth in this week's South Region rankings ... the Crimson Tide women are 29th in the nation in this week's survey, and rose three spots to No. 4 in this week's South Region team rankings