Happy Monday, everyone. With the NFL Draft approaching, the University wanted to put out a reminder to current and future Alabama players:
Seventeen first-round draft picks in the Saban area. That is simply amazing, folks.
It was a mixed weekend on the diamond, as the softball team took two of three from Kentucky while the baseball team dropped two of three to Texas A&M. The ladies are well-positioned for a potential deep run in the postseason, while the men still have their work cut out for them. On to a few football notes for you this morning:
NOTE 2: I am excluding Ohio State's Urban Meyer from this discussion. Meyer has 154 victories and three national championships at age 51. If he never coached another game, he'd still be considered one of the all-time greats.
The "next Nick Saban" eh? That's asking a lot to say the least, but which one of the six names mentioned has the best chance at approaching Saban's stature? Vote and tell us why in the comments.
I genuinely believe it’s easy to get lost in all the hoopla surrounding his accomplishments and forget just how much of an anomaly Saban is in the coaching world. His closest match is Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, an excellent coach in his own right who has three titles to his name: two at Florida, one at Ohio State. Still, so far Saban has proven he can sustain excellence at one place, while Meyer has yet to do so (he left Florida before he could ever try to establish another dynasty there).
Remember back when everyone said that Saban was a hired gun who'd be jumping within three years? Good times.
The worst tornado in Alabama history created more than $2 billion worth of damage and Saban wanted his team out helping those suffering from the traumatic event. He told them even being out in the community could help lift the spirits of a town that supports Alabama football with all its might. With the help of sports psychologist Dr. Kevin Elko, Saban focused on a phrase to guide his players: "I'm not looking for blessing to come to my life; I'm looking to be a blessing in someone's life."
We will have several posts marking the fifth anniversary of the worst natural disaster Tuscaloosa has ever seen. It does seem that Saban gained a bit of perspective in the aftermath, perhaps realizing the reach of the impact the Alabama program can have on the community.
RG — Alphonse Taylor (6-5, 345), Sr./Brandon Kennedy (6-3, 302), R-Fr. Here’s the big flip, with Taylor likely regaining his starting spot from a year ago after being relegated to the second-team line throughout spring practice after coming in overweight. The move was no doubt a way to motivate Taylor to drop some weight, a challenge Saban made explicit after the A-Day game. Kennedy is a former four-star prospect who has shown progress in year two.
RT — Jonah Williams (6-5, 288), Fr./Korren Kirven (6-4, 308), Sr. A five-star early enrollee, Williams is the early favorite at right tackle. Williams, who many envision will take over for Robinson at left tackle once he leaves, has impressed teammates with his intelligence and natural fundamentals. Kirven is a versatile veteran who should provide needed depth across the line this season.
The offensive line battles will be fun to watch in the fall, trailing only the QB in terms of fan interest. Rare is the true freshman who can win a starting job under Saban. If Williams is able to pull that off, we'll know we have a good one.
Tagovailoa will tweet his decision on May 2, a week from Monday. Alabama and Auburn are expected to be finalists, as the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tagovailoa recently visited those schools, along with Ole Miss, on an SEC swing. UCLA and USC are also in the mix for Tagovailoa, who is ranked as the nation's No. 59 overall prospect and No. 2 dual-threat quarterback.
With the decision of Jake Fromm to go to UGA, Tagovailoa becomes an important prospect for a program that certainly doesn't want to be without a solid QB prospect for a class.
In one of the more bizarre twists to the bottomless satellite camp debate, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott uttered this memorable line about UCLA AD Dan Guerrero's vote on the league's behalf to ban those off-campus camps: "He didn't vote the way he was supposed to." Wow. The Pac-12 spring meetings should be entertaining.
The Pac 12 commissioner claims his representative went against the grain in voting against the satellite camps. You can't make this stuff up.
Quinn came to the Falcons after serving as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner was the anchor among the flashier members of the Legion of Boom for Quinn's defense in Seattle. Could Ragland be Quinn's Bobby Wagner in Atlanta? Ragland also played outside linebacker at the Reese's Senior Bowl and has maintained he can play there in the pros. The Falcons have veteran Philip Wheeler, who started two games last year, at strongside linebacker right now.
Personally, I'm not seeing a great fit here. In fact, poor Reggie may fall a bit because his greatest strengths run contrary to the current NFL game. Sadly, downhill run stoppers aren't a particularly hot commodity these days. Reggie is flexible enough to warrant consideration as an every-down leader, but his coverage and pass rush skills are far from elite.
The contract that running back Trent Richardson signed with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday was a one-year deal worth $675,000. But to collect any of that money, the former Alabama star will have to make the team's regular-season roster, reported Tom Pelissero, USA Today's NFL writer. Pelissero reported Richardson's contract included no guaranteed money. The base salary in an NFL contract is usually paid in 17 installments during the regular season.
Talk about a last chance contract. Most NFL contracts include some semblance of a signing bonus, even if it isn't much. Trent got nothing in that regard, and will get nothing if he fails to make the team. Here's hoping he has it all figured out - we will be rooting for him.
That's about it for today. Have a great week everyone.