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Jumbo Package: NSD 2016 Draws Near; Obasohan The Tide's Leader.

As NSD 2016 approaches, we know more and more -- despite more players waiting until February 3 to announce.

SIIIIIICK dunk versus Tennessee, bruh!
SIIIIIICK dunk versus Tennessee, bruh!
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Class Act

Avery Johnson: 'I don't know where we'd be' without Alabama senior Retin Obasohan |

Avery Johnson was at Retin Obasohan's church as a guest on Sunday. Once the service ended, Johnson was approached and greeted by people wanting to share their love of Obasohan, Alabama's senior guard. "People were just coming up to me after the service just telling me that he's really a great example of leadership, and he is," Johnson, UA's first-year coach, said. "Every day in practice, he works hard on his game before and after practice. He's a model citizen. Great community guy. Smart. Articulate. I don't know where we'd be (without him)."

We told you before the season that Retin Obasohan would thrive in this offense, and he certainly has. It is the perfect fit for an athletic 'tweener with little other proven SEC talent in the back court. The guy is the Tide's leader and the best player on the team without a question

Senior Day

Examining Coker's NFL potential - ESPN Video

Phil Savage, Reese's Senior Bowl executive director, joins The Paul Finebaum Show to analyze Alabama QB Jake Coker's key developments needed in the NFL.

Savage, like most of us, sees potential in Coker. His measurables, arm strength, and athleticism can't be coached; they are gifts. Coker's deficiencies in decision-making and mechanics can be corrected. Someone will jump on this developmental player in the 2016 draft.

Alabama LB Reggie Ragland stands out in Mobile - NFL Draft

MOBILE, Ala. -- Alabama stud LB Reggie Ragland entered this week as the highest-rated Senior Bowl participant on our board. And after two days of practices here, he has only helped his stock.

There was almost no way that Ragland could have hurt himself in the draft by playing in the Senior Bowl. Instead, he's not only held steady in scouts' eyes, he has improved. That is phenomenal.

Alabama seniors trying to impress NFL execs at Senior Bowl | College Football

Drake was mostly overlooked behind Henry, but is a solid receiver and scored on a 95-yard kick return in the championship game. "I think he has a great future, because he's sort of a specialty back," Saban said. "He's a great receiver. He'll be a great third-down back. He can play receiver or play running back. He's a very good special teams player. Everybody's looking for guys like Kenyan Drake."

This is a very good article from the AP -- tons of quotes from players, scouts, and includes Saban's candid evaluation of some guys that are pro-bound.


The NCAA's new academic redshirt rule will leave some recruits ineligible as freshmen -

In 2012, the NCAA enacted a so-called "academic redshirt," starting with this upcoming recruiting class. Athletes who don't meet certain entry requirements are required to sit out a year of competition, though they are still permitted to practice. High school students still need to have at least a 2.0 GPA and complete 16 core classes to participate in Division I sports, but now, they'll need to have a 2.3 GPA and 10 of their core courses locked in by the start of their senior year to play in their first year without redshirting.

The beneficiary of these changes will likely be JUCOs, who will not longer have to scramble to see who is coming to fill their fall rosters, as well as the NCAA, who made this change to make enforcement of curricular shenanigans a bit simpler. The biggest losers are those players from schools with poor resources, or marginal poorer kids from bad backgrounds in failing schools -- which means most of the rural talent in the SEC and ACC if we're being honest.

Does Alabama interest boost a recruit's rating? Of course ... and with good reason -

In more than 15 years of watching cycles, I can say with confidence that the Bama Bump is a real thing. I can also say that there is, as Farrell kind of pointed out, a USC Bump, a Notre Dame Bump, an Ohio State Bump, etc.

The Bama Bump is real, but only to the extent that it forces recruiting services to break out of their echo chamber and reevaluate a guy.

Ole Miss is playing and recruiting like a program that can stay elite for the long haul -

Let Freeze tell you how important Nkemdiche has been to Ole Miss's progress. "I'm totally indebted to this guy. He helped change our program," Freeze said. "I look forward to sharing with NFL scouts and general managers his unique ability and talent."

Mother of god, these comments. Read them. I dare you.

Well, that's a bad look, Mizzou.

Ousted Missouri president Tim Wolfe rips football team in email

Wolfe said the players' stand, which drew even wider national attention to the situation, was the tipping point. "The football team's actions were the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a small fire," he wrote in the email. "Coach Pinkel missed an important opportunity to teach his players a valuable life lesson."

Former Aggie and Mizzou president Tom Wolfe penned a confidential multi-bulleted email in January regarding the Mizzou situation this past fall. If you recall, Wolfe and other administrators were (and it seems rightly) taken to task for their slow or nonexistent response to racially-hostile incidences on campus. The fallout, which included student hunger strikes (in which Mizzou players participated and which Gary Pinkel supported) resulted in Wolfe among others losing their jobs.

The recently-disclosed email here, which Wolf confirms, is just awful. His jeremiad strikes a peculiar form of tone-deafness, and is bottom-line focused, showing that he particularly didn't get (and still doesn't get) why black students would be upset with zero or minimal administrative response following racially-charge incidents involving several slurs and fecal swastikas on campus buildings.

This is shameful

I am on record as supporting competitive games between FBS and FCS teams. They are family friendly, give backups meaningful competition, are affordable, and are far less acrimonious than conference games. They support FCS teams' budgets and they all-but guarantee a win and a week off for Alabama.

That said, this one is shameful.

Mercer's football team was cancelled at the beginning of World War II, in 1941, and was only reinstated in 2013. In their third and most recent season as an FCS program, the Macon (GA) primarily in-state program went 5-6.

Enough is enough, man. Season ticket-holders deserve better, fans deserve better, players deserve better, and -- frankly-- Mercer does as well. This could not be tackier.