One of the gems of Alabama’s 2017 class, OLB / weakside DE VanDarius Cowan, has been exceedingly naughty.
BREAKING: Palm Beach Gardens linebacker and Bama commit VanDarius Cowan has been removed from the PBG football team.https://t.co/XAu2VZzkeJ— (((Lichtenstein))) (@ABLichtenstein) October 24, 2016
According to Lichtenstein’s scoop, Cowan was removed following a sideline altercation during his team’s loss which eliminated his program from title contention. Following the game, Cowan was kicked off the team. And, as a result, the US Army All-American Game has removed him from their roster, meaning no game and no USAAA designation (though, he is still ranked the 4th best OLB and will likely earn a 5th star.) Word is this morning that Cowan is appealing being suspended from the USAAA team.
The details of his behavior were, to say mildly, troublesome. But, Nick Saban has handled tough cases before, and I’m not going to rush to say he’s a head case or a problem child. Neither is the staff, where Andrew Bone is reporting that Nick Saban is not pulling Cowan’s offer (no story yet, but Bone is as credible as they come.)
On to (maybe) better news: With each passing week, and each big play, the drum beats louder to give Jalen Hurts Heisman consideration. He had perhaps his worst day in the air on Saturday against a very fast, athletic group of Aggie corners. But, credit aside, he did not play his crispest game. Alabama sees the best secondary it faces in two weeks, so those high percentage passes and easy throws need to be on the mark. I have faith.
Speaking of those self-same Tigers, LSU is riding a three game winning streak, punctuated by a roaring second half against Ole Miss that saw LF7 set the single-game LSU rushing record. And the yapping has begun. Call me foolish, but I’m still not sold on the new-look Tiger offense is particularly “back.” It is a more vertical offense, certainly. But, Southern Miss (67th,) Mizzou (109,) and Ole Miss (113) are hardly the measuring stick for whether that team can pound the ball and win against a quality opponent. Against Auburn (29th) and Wisconsin (10th) the answer was a resounding “no.” And, Alabama comes into this one, the same as last year, with the nation’s No. 1 rushing defense, giving up just 70 yards a game and a shade over 2 yards per carry. So, bring it Leonard. As for Danny Etling? This was a scrub that couldn’t win the job against Purdue, and only had other offers from a terrible Colorado team and an Iowa offense that hates quarterbacks. (Is it Nov. 5th yet?)
Yesterday, Josh gave you the news about new TE commit Major Tennison, a soft-handed physical blocker. Today, Drew Champlin has the “10 Questions” segment featuring Tennison. Welcome to the Capstone and Roll Tide, Major.
There was a lot of grief thrown Alabama’s way about Mack Wilson’s kill shot on Saturday (and trust me, it looked and sounded just as vicious in the stadium.) Nick Saban was asked about Wilson’s hit. The long and short of his response (with some elaboration)? “It was a great hit.”
If you’re going to annoy any member of the Alabama defense, probably the guy at the bottom of your list is Jonathan Allen. But, that’s exactly what all the talk about Trevor Knight did — it angered and annoyed him.
Speaking of, poor Trevor Knight has seen a few “lookout” blocks. But I doubt he’s seen four of them at once, combined with an OLB whipping a guy off the edge rush. And, no, this is not a screen pass:
Not great pass protection when four of your linemen are turned around and looking back at the quarterback pic.twitter.com/0RLlX0iaL8— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) October 22, 2016
It’s never to early or too often to hate on Auburn. They’ve looked really good for a month now. Bill C. breaks down why.
Less than 6 months ago, Eric Kiesau was an analyst at Alabama. Now he’s Fresno State’s interim head coach, and hopes to bring the Process out west.
I hate to close on a bummer, but Eddie Jackson will be missed. Fortunately, we can quantify that. Unfortunately, his contributions to the team (defensively and on special teams) have been worth about a field goal per game.
That’s all we have today. Go forth to evil.