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Jumbo Package: 2017 NSD Looks To Have Less Drama Than 2016

After a year where most top players were uncommitted until the 11th hour, next February looks to be sewn up by this Christmas.

Imagine if he had some help!
Imagine if he had some help!
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports


Oh, Vols.

AJC's recruiting site, SEC Country, does not permit embeds but Jonathan Kongbo, the top JUCO recruit and the star of Tennessee's recruiting class, still hasn't signed his LOI. The story for now is that his father is out of town and hasn't gotten around to it now (which seems weird, IYAM.) However, Kongbo did sign his financial aid paperwork with the Vols. That means, should Kongbo have a change of heart, not only with UT lose a star defensive lineman, but it will have committed an NCAA infraction as well. Story here:

Alabama 'would be like a second home' for elite Georgia cornerback William Poole III |

William Poole III, recently put Alabama in his top five with Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Clemson. "With Alabama, it's traditional coaching and a traditional team," Poole told last month at the Future 50 Underclassmen Showcase in Orlando. "I love Nick Saban. I've been down there and talked to them a lot. I love the campus and love everything about it. "I have family there so it wouldn't be a big transition to me from Georgia. It would be like a second home to me."

Poole also stated that Pruitt gives the Tide an advantage, as does the style of defense Alabama employs. The best part? He wants to skip the NSD drama and get his grades and conditioning ready to hit Fall Camp ready to compete. I love this guy already,

Alabama's top quarterback targets in 2017 class |

Jake Fromm (6-foot-3, 220, Warner Robins, Ga.) The four-star recruit committed to Alabama midway through last fall and is pushing top 100 national status in the 247Sports composite. He developed a bond with former assistant Kirby Smart, who is now at Georgia and offered Fromm. Fromm seemed very solid last fall, but early commitments are always ones to watch especially after coaching changes.

I wouldn't worry about Fromm's status. As we linked last week, QBs especially have to recruit earlier (and stick to those committments) much more so than do other players. Fromm is from UGA, but I don't think Kirby is going to rock the cabbage cart after having just sold his soul to help land (and then retain) Jacob Eason.

Alabama still leads for nation's top recruit Dylan Moses, according to ESPN |

Moses said at the time Alabama leads because of its defense and Nick Saban. On Monday, Moses told ESPN that Alabama is still his leader "because they are more structured." He added that his top schools along with Alabama are Texas, Georgia, Florida, UCLA and USC. Earlier this year, Moses planned to make a decision the week after Signing Day in 2017. Now, with his transfer to IMG Academy, he can graduate high school early and commit at the Under Armour All-America Game.

The NEXT BIG THING in Louisiana, if Moses actually lands at Alabama, you can't imagine that the seat under Les Miles will be cooling off. Like Poole, Dylan Moses, plans on being an early entry or at the least skipping the NSD drama. I am drooling imagining him in Crimson playing alongside the linebackers Alabama just inked last week.

How have 5-star recruits fared at Alabama under Nick Saban? |

Prior to the 2016 NSD, Nick Saban signed 35 five-star recruits at Alabama. Here's how they've done.

I still shake my head when I see Eddie Williams' name, the biggest What-If of the Skittles Four. Without too much hyperbole, I firmly believe that Williams not panning out set Alabama's secondary back two years.


How Derrick Ansley rose from D-III assistant to Alabama DB coaching gig |

"That's an art form, really," Turk said. "After you talk to a guy so many times on the phone, there's only so many things you can talk about. But he was able to extend that and build those relationships and relate to those guys in a way that made them want to come play." ... Turk remembers the considerable void Ansley left in the program's recruiting effort after being called up to Tuscaloosa.

Derrick Ansley is one of the fastest-rising names in college football. By all accounts, the former-Troy standout is a stellar recruiter, a gifted teacher, and is well-respected by the coaching staff, despite his youth. The proof will be in the pudding, though. Mel Tucker did a fantastic job this season, one that Ansley needs to aspire to meet; Alabama cannot afford a dropoff in the secondary again.

Alabama Guard Retin Obasohan Named SEC Player of the Week - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama men’s basketball senior guard Retin Obasohan was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday. It marks the first time a Crimson Tide player has won the honor twice in the same season since former standout Kennedy Winston achieved the feat during the 2004-05 campaign. Obasohan was earned the recognition after he averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in a pair of wins at Mississippi State and vs. Missouri last week. The Antwerp, Belgium native shot 56 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc in leading the Tide to back-to-back league wins.

I'm running out of superlatives for Oballsohard. His professional future may be in Europe, but his present is even more impressive: without Retin, it's hard to envision Alabama breaking double-digit wins this season.

It's never too early to look at 2016

These 128-team projections suggest Big Ten football will take a step back in 2016 -

Considering how much Ohio State in particular is losing to the NFL Draft, how blandly much of the Big Ten recruited again (its West was by far the worst-recruiting Power 5 division), and how unimpressed all the computers were by AP No. 9 Iowa last year (No. 18 in Massey, No. 22 in Sagarin, No. 24 in SRS, No. 38 in F/+, etc.), would a quiet 2016 for the B1G be that surprising?

The dirty secret here is that in projected S&P+, the Big Ten doesn't drop that much from 2015 to 2016, it's just that the league's standard-bearer Buckeyes / Spartans lose so much that there's no one else you can point to as a nationally-elite team.

Alabama, LSU and Clemson lead the way in 1-128 projected 2016 rankings -

To come up with preliminary projections, I create projected S&P+ ratings based on each factor -- recruiting impact, returning production*, and recent history -- and then blend them together. The projection based on returning production gets the heaviest weight, followed by recruiting, then recent history, which only carries a little bit of weight.

* Note: the Returning Production ranking you see below is based on the impact of returning talent on last year's S&P+. So while LSU is No. 1 in the amount of its returning production per the link above, the Tigers rank third below partly because Clemson and Alabama were that much better last year.

Now, there are two conferences that take a huge leap forward next season: The ACC and the SEC. The top three in Bill C's projected S&P+ rankings do lose a lot, Alabama on offense and Clemson on defense. He notes that those two teams were so clearly ahead of the field in 2015 that it's hard to see how there's not some carry-over. I disagree with that assumption. The 2015 team was nothing like 2014. And, I suspect 2016 will look nothing like either of those squads. We know that Alabama and Clemson are 11+ winners over the past 5 seasons, but I doubt that has anything to do with the crossover effect from one season to the next.

Steve Spurrier breaks down SEC Football - ESPN Video

Former South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier joins The Paul Finebaum Show to discuss the state of SEC football.

Only Steve Spurrier would call Nick Saban and troll him for having to score a bunch of points to win a game.

Oh, goodness.

Prosecutors seek to restore Penn State officials' charges | College Football

The attorney general's office said it was making a sealed filing to ask the full Superior Court to overturn last month's decision throwing out several of the more serious allegations against Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley. A three-judge panel ruled that grand jury testimony by Cynthia Baldwin, then the university's general counsel, violated the three men's right to legal representation. That ruling dismissed charges of perjury, obstruction and conspiracy, but left in place charges of failure to report suspected child abuse and endangering the welfare of children, as well as a perjury count against Curley.

The more the associated Sanducky criminal cases wind through the legal system, the more foul Penn State looks. This was a top-down conspiracy to cover up decades of systemic child rape. There is no other way to state it. Happy Valley, and would-be hagiographers of Joe Pa's legacy, cannot move forward until there is some intellectual honesty on this score.

Jim Harbaugh talks potential 'unfinished business' in the NFL | FOX Sports

Dan Patrick wondered Friday if there is any sense of "unfinished business" in the NFL for the coach. "I've never looked at the unfinished business thing," Harbaugh said. "It's new business. It's proving something for a new time in a competitive way -- for anybody. Whether it's Derek Jeter or Michael Jordan or Pete Carroll, people who have done it at the highest level, even though you have done something 1,000 times, now you're doing it again. And that's all that matters is what you're doing right now. "The unfinished business thing has never really resonated with me. It always feels like there's a new game, there's new business. Win the next game, that's the goal."

Anyone get the feeling Harbaugh's head is still half in the NFL? Me too. I think he'll be at Michigan long enough to restore the progam, but I can't see him there as the long-term solution for the Wolverines.

Finally, something awesome and inspirational

Even now, the 1946 Army-Navy game worth remembering | College Football

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Admiral Chester Nimitz were at the game, both giving up their seats for veterans who were wounded in World War II. More than 100,000 fans showed up, and IRS investigators were scattered outside the stadium to tax those who were re-selling the $3 tickets for nearly 20 times face value. "This game goes beyond the final score," said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph P. DiSalvo, the Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command in Miami. "I venture to guess you go to any Alabama alumni or whatever six months from now and ask them what they recollect from the game with Clemson and you'll get some but not much. You ask any West Point or Navy graduate about any game, any year that they personally experienced, it could be 70 years ago or one year ago, and they forever remember it."

This is as good a story about a football game as I've read in a long time. The first Post-War Army-Navy game was a classic by any definition with so many compelling underlying stories. Go read this. You'll be glad you did. #GoNavyBeatArmy