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Jumbo Package: Bye weeks have Gump Day too

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Bye week lives matter

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, it’s easy to use the fact that Alabama isn’t playing a football game this weekend as an excuse to actually get out into the world and spend time with friends/family or working on other productive ventures. But you forget clause 16 of article 25 in the contract you signed when joining Roll Bama Roll— thou shalt continue to devote your life to the art of Gump, even when the football team is no longer playing. Nick Saban never rests, and you shouldn’t either. Now, on with the news!

Alabama makes move, do Buckeyes still lead for 5-star Carman?

Carman has long said he has Ohio State at the top of his list. Other schools he has mentioned over time have included Michigan, USC and Clemson. Bucknuts asked Carman where the Crimson Tide would be now that he has visited Alabama?

“Top five,” Carman said.

When also asked if Ohio State remains at the top of his list, Carman was quick and to the point.

“Yes,” he said.

Carman’s long list of scholarship offers includes Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin and many others.

The 6-foot-6 and 290-pound Carman is a 5-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He is the country’s No. 17 overall prospect, the No. 3 offensive tackle, and the No. 1 prospect in Ohio.

This week, CB, Matt Speakman, and I have all been focusing on bringing recruiting updates. Jackson Carman is a 2018 prospect, so there is plenty of time to move to the top of the 5-star’s mind.

It’s also a reminder of just how big last weekend was. A huge chunk of 5-star recruits was at Bryant-Denny for the Texas A&M game, and got to watch an Alabama defense absolutely dominate in a legendary fashion. The Tide keeps rolling.

Nick Saban: 'Experimenting this week' with Alabama's DBs

During the one media viewing period Tuesday, Fitzpatrick practiced with the safeties, taking reps behind Ronnie Harrison and Hootie Jones in individual drills. The sophomore defensive back played some safety during his high school days at St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey and tweeted “Challenge Accepted” on Monday after Saban met and watched film with the defensive backs.

If he is the player to replace Jackson as the signal caller of the secondary, it’s because of his meticulous approach to the game and attention to detail that will allow him to be the quarterback of the defense in the regular season’s final month.

With Fitzpatrick likely leaving his Star spot vacant, it will be another former five-star cornerback in Tony Brown to step in with the nickel and dime packages. Brown spent some time at Star last year when Fitzpatrick sustained an injury.

Both Fitzpatrick and Brown have some experience in their potential new positions, and their teammates have produced praiseful comments about the sophomore and junior, respectfully. And veteran cornerback Marlon Humphrey pointed out the time Jackson missed in the spring because of a different leg injury as a learning experience for players moving around to other positions.

Erik talked about this yesterday, but I wanted to give my own thoughts. Minkah Fitzpatrick actually worked at safety some in the spring. Tony Brown, Marlon Humphrey, and Jared Mayden have also all spent some time back there. And don’t forget wide receiver Trevon Diggs, who opened the season as the backup free safety.

I think it will come down to this: Is Hootie Jones better at playing safety than Tony Brown is at playing Star? I think Minkah will be just as good at Star or corner, so the real battle is between Brown and Jones.

Making the case for this being Nick Saban's best defense yet at Alabama

Sophomore corner Minkah Fitzpatrick is typical of the Alabama DB who earns time playing in nickel packages before he gains Saban's trust. In two seasons, Fitzpatrick has four career touchdowns, three of them Pick Sixes.

That's two fewer touchdowns than the SEC's current leading rusher, Auburn's Kamryn Pettway, has in his career (six).

This quote. I like it.

Also, check out the entire article. CBS breaks down the difference in this defense and the earlier defenses of the Saban era, and gives the case for why this one might be better, even if it allows more yards and points.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Browns get Jonathan Allen -- and Deshaun Watson

1. Cleveland Browns

Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama: The quickest way to turn around a franchise is to find a star quarterback, but as fans in Cleveland know all too well, early picks invested in the position are far from a guarantee of success. On the other hand, Allen -- the best player on the best team in college football -- might just be the safest prospect in the draft. The 6-foot-3, 292-pounder offers unique position versatility to go along with the production and intangibles the current regime prioritized in draft picks last spring. Stout against the run and a proven pass rusher with 18 sacks in his past 23 games, Allen would help solidify a defense that currently ranks 31st in the NFL in total yards allowed.

Jonathan Allen going first overall? It’s unlikely, as he’s not a QB, LT, or edge rusher, but his DE/DT hybrid position is in that next tier of position value. If he keeps playing as well as he did against A&M (minus that one missed tackle in the backfield), then he might actually have a realistic shot.

CBS Sports also has Cam Robinson going 6th to the Jaguars, Tim Williams 7th to the Saints, Rebuen Foster and Marlon Humphrey at 13th and 14th to the Titans, and O.J. Howard at 18th to the Giants.

Of those, I think that Reuben Foster is truly the only lock other than Allen to be a first round pick. Tim Williams still hasn’t shown to be an every down player (plus I suspect he won’t test as well athletically as his game speed would suggest). Cam Robinson still has the stigma of being lead-footed and penalty prone (though the first is no longer accurate now that he’s healthy). Marlon Humphrey has displayed all the talent but not quite yet the consistency— expected, as he’s only a sophomore. And O.J. Howard, well, is barely even used on his own college team. He’s as much of an enigma as anyone.

They all have a shot, but I wouldn’t expect to see all of them in the first.

Baketball

If you have 22 minutes of spare time, give Coach Avery Johnson a listen. This man makes me more and more excited for basketball every time I listen to him talk.

Alabama hoops coach Avery Johnson says Lane Kiffin is best basketball shooter among football coaches

On Tuesday, Crimson Tide men’s basketball coach Avery Johnson gave his thoughts on how the football coaches stack up on the hardwood. Alabama’s football staff has certainly shown off its basketball skills in the past.

So when Johnson was asked who he thought the best shooter among the group was, he went with the Tide’s offensive coordinator.

Not only is Lane Kiffin our dreamy offensive coordinator, but he’s also a three-point sniper.

Lane Kiffin for next Alabama head coach?