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Jumbo Package: Thursday 16 April 2015

Alabama news and other notes.

This has caption contest written all over it.
This has caption contest written all over it.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama CB 'constantly' hearing criticism of Tide secondary, takes it personally |

"It's definitely something the secondary takes personally," Jones said. "We have a point to prove, and that's why we're going out there - and those guys out there are working hard right now to come out and try to prove their point when it's time to get back there on the field. And I know when I come back I'm going to be ready to prove all the doubters wrong. It's definitely personally to me." Jones, a senior, hasn't been able to affect much this spring. January surgery to repair a torn labrum sidelined him for the entire March/April routine. But he's vocal and watching practice closely from the sideline.

As the most prominent upperclassman, Cyrus would be the most logical candidate to lead the 2015 secondary. Good to hear him stepping up in that regard.

Live at 9 with Mike Herndon: What we've learned (and what we won't) from this spring |

What did we learn from Saturday's spring games about those competitions? Maybe that some of them are closer than we think. But if last year taught us anything, it's not to put too much stock in what happens during the spring. Blake Sims completed less than 50 percent of his passes (13-of-30) and threw two picks in Alabama's A-Day game last spring. Didn't matter. He ultimately won the job and was among the most efficient and productive quarterbacks in the SEC last year.

Something to keep in mind as we watch the A-Day game this weekend. Reality is that the starting lineup against Wisconsin will likely be different from the lineups you see Saturday.

Avery Johnson sure could use a 'signature' win from Alabama's Mr. Basketball, Dazon Ingram |

Every new coach needs a signature win, but before Johnson can take on and take down the likes of Kentucky on the court, he needs a "signature" win. He's got to show that he can keep the likes of John Calipari from crossing the state line and walking away with Ingram the way he did DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. It's hard to put a fence around the state, as Johnson vowed at his introductory press conference, in a week.

Coming in so late in the game, this recruiting season is a virtually impossible task for Coach Johnson. Keeping Ingram would be huge, but if he is the only recruit signed then next season will probably be tough. While the cupboard isn't completely empty, it's hard to envision last year's team sans Tarrant, Cooper, and Randolph playing better than .500 ball.

College football schedules are planned far in advance, and athletic directors are unhappy about it

Michigan and Texas have a series lined up for 2024 and 2027. Wisconsin goes to Hawaii in 2021. Texas A&M and Notre Dame are playing in 2024 and 2025. Will Jim Harbaugh still be at Michigan in nine years? Will Charlie Strong have Texas at the top again? Hirings, firings, transfers -- anything that happens to those programs between now and then has no bearing on their playoff résumés until game day. The College Football Playoff selection committee made it clear this past season that it has no sympathy for a weak strength of schedule - even if the opponent was a conference champion at the time the game was booked.

This is getting absurd. Twelve years out? Hopefully the committee showing that strength of schedule is a critical component to playoff selection will make this a thing of the past.

Alabama Visit Leads to Offer - Football Recruiting - Scout

Tutt spent a few hours in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tuesday and that is where he was offered by the Crimson Tide. "I went to Alabama Tuesday hoping for an offer and I got it," said Tutt. "I was talking with Coach [Kirby] Smart and he told me that he was impressed with my film and there is no doubt that I have an offer from Alabama. "It was pretty exciting because Alabama is a great school and I got the offer I was hoping to get on that visit."

Tutt is a WR/DB from Thomson, GA. Young man is only a freshman and already holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia. Will be one to watch.

Softball Battles to 2-0 Shutout Over NC State Wednesday - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Alabama (33-9) has now gone 34 straight innings without allowing an earned run, as Leslie Jury (7-3) threw the complete game victory in the circle, striking out six while leaving nine runners stranded on base. The two runs for Alabama came courtesy of a Marisa Runyon double and a Danielle Richard sac fly, which happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the third inning

The ladies are on fire.

After getting hit by line drive, Alabama pitcher could return for weekend series at Auburn |

Freshman Alexis Osorio was cleared by doctors Tuesday night after being struck by a line drive in the Crimson Tide's 14-1 win over UAB. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance, but she should be fine moving forward. She's "probable" for Alabama's weekend series at No. 7 Auburn, according to a statement released by the softball program.

Scary stuff. The pitcher's rubber is only 43 feet from home plate in collegiate softball. That does not give a pitcher much time to react when a ball is hit hard up the middle.

Alabama gymnast claims top academic honor at NCAA Championships |

For the sixth straight year, Alabama produced the NCAA gymnastics Elite 89 Award winner. Junior Lauren Beers took her second straight Elite 89, awarded to the athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the championship. Beers received the award Wednesday night in Fort Worth, where Alabama begins the NCAA Championships at 7 p.m. Friday.

This is Lauren's second win. She is another outstanding representative for the University in addition to her athletic talents. Congrats and Roll Tide, Lauren.

Map shows the states with the best college football recruiting situations -

Let's divide each state's average annual number of 247Sports Composite three-star-and-up recruits by its number of FBS programs, all over the last five classes. For states without FBS programs, the number is the state's average of such recruits per year.

Something something Texas, Georgia, Florida, and California.