Cecil is right: We've witnessed something special
"Everybody has 100 percent confidence in her," Murphy said. "That's a rarity in a player. And she can go 0-for-4 or 4-for-4 and people have that same feeling, that she's going to get it done. "Michael Jordan was like that. Lisa Fernandez for USA Softball has it. But there's not very many like that. Haylie has that 'it' factor. Defensively, she's the same way.' "We always say the two C's, 'confidence' and 'competitiveness', will take you a long way in college athletics and she has both." McCleney also has the perspective a great player has to have. She's already been drafted by a professional softball team, but has remained in the moment on every at-bat, every fly ball.
McCleney's contributions have been unreal: career leader at Alabama in walks, batting average and on-base percentage, top 10 in slugging percentage, hits, runs, triples, stolen bases and stolen base percentage. She has three of the top 10 single-season batting averages and on-base percentages in program history. In 2015 she set a single-season record at Alabama with a .588 on-base percentage. To that, she was just recognized as the SEC's female scholar-athlete of the year, across all sports. Hats off to her and this team.
Good news on the diamond
Henry has made 20 consecutive starts as Alabama’s first baseman, dating back to April 5. He batted third all weekend against Auburn and saved a likely extra-base hit in Sunday’s 8-1 loss, snagging a ground ball in the sixth inning that likely would have tap danced down the first base line and into the corner if he hadn’t gotten to it. “He covers some ground and has a good arm,” head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “That’s one thing you see with a lot of first basemen – they can bang it a little bit but they’re not good defenders. He’s kind of the other way. He’s a guy that can really pick it over there. He works hard at that part of his game. When he got here last year that was an area he really needed some work and he’s put in a lot of time to become a much better defensive player.”
Cody Henry has picked it up at the plate and his fielding is, as Gaspard notes, superb for a first baseman. Whether Mitch is the coach or not next season, Henry has been a revelation for a team that is otherwise fielding at a fairly mediocre clip this season.
Shyheim Carter is a new favorite
"Nah, I just don't like 'em," he said. "There's something about 'em I just don't like. I mean, LSU's a great school, phenomenal school, but it's just something personal I don't like about 'em." Nick Saban, given his track record, is a coach just about every high school recruit wants to play for. Carter will get the chance to do so this season, and had Saban still been at LSU, things would have changed. "LSU wasn't even top three," Carter's mother said. "If [Saban would] have went back to LSU, it would've been the No. 1. I'm serious. He would follow that man."
Carter built a fantastic relationship with the head man. Just as importantly, he enters the Alabama program with a huge chip on his shoulder. Alabama may have had another recent defensive back with a personal grudge against the Tigers, and he may have turned out to be pretty decent -- and especially jacked during the LSU-Bama game.
How does he still have a job?
"Last week, one of our assistant coaches, Aaron Moorehead, abused the privilege of social media and the result reflected poorly on Aaron, on our football program and on Texas A&M," Sumlin said in a statement. "He has apologized publicly and privately for his actions, and I am confident that he understands the expectations moving forward. However, there are consequences for actions and Aaron has been disciplined and the details will remain private. We will use this as a learning tool for all our coaches, staff and student-athletes, and we are now moving forward as a program."
I cannot fathom Nick Saban retaining a coach on staff whose reckless, totally unnecessary actions on social media chased off two five-star wide receivers and a four-star running back. It's a clown town in College Station, and, like all clowns, this is more unsettling than funny.
The NYT map (which you can also zoom way into and explore in detail) is surely the most accurate, but it doesn't make it very easy to discover pockets of weirdness from afar. While there's no way the state of Maine is actually torn between the meager UMass and the otherworldly UCLA (as on the Reddit map) when it's got a perfectly good FCS program, it's still cool to be able to wonder about the oddball bursts of fandom far away from a particular school's campus. Maps are fun. Here are 25 maps that explain college football.
If you are bored at lunch or in the "family reading room," these are very neat maps that trace football fandom across a variety of improbable factors.
DB1: Marlon Humphrey (2014; Hoover; .9940 Composite Rating) One of three in-state five-star cornerbacks the Crimson Tide have signed since 2009 (Dre Kirkpatrick, Dee Milliner), Humphrey's .9940 247Sports Composite Rating trumps all. The state's only other five-star cornerback over the last 16 recruiting cycles was B.J. Scott out of Victor in 2008.
Yes, it's a gallery, but the BOL article isn't just a picture and a name; the Top 27 5-stars from Alabama also have neat tidbits interwoven in the caption (as above RE: BJ Scott.)
Rudolph is a defensive end from Rock Hill, S.C., who picked the Tigers over a slew of offers from big-time Power 5 programs, including Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Presumably, he will major in '80s movie parodies and/or advertising, given how well he can replicate the exact ethos of an Old Spice commercial.
Alabama lost a recruit to Clemson, and, yes, it's a recruiting antic. But, in an era of lame demonstrative announcements, there is room for some that are still very clever and funny. This one certainly is.
According to MLive.com, Harbaugh’s satellite camp total is now up to 26 with a new camp at USF with Willie Taggart was announced on Monday. The USF camp was previously cancelled but is back on, which means one more stop for Harbaugh down to the Tampa area. Harbaugh took Michigan’s football program down to Bradenton, Florida for spring practices over Michigan’s spring break. Harbaugh will step foot in 14 different states in addition to his many camps within Michigan, spanning from Connecticut and New Jersey down to Alabama and Florida and out to California with stops in Texas along the way. Throughout those spots, Harbaugh will be representing the Michigan program along the side of programs like Georgia, Ole Miss and Mississippi State (that should be interesting), Baylor and more.
Keeping track at home? That's 26 camps in 14 states. As a twitter follower from Georgia noted the other day, there is a reason coaches at P5 schools are teaming up with Harbaugh -- it's to keep an eye on their commits while Harbaugh is in town. Kirby knows what he has in Atlanta, for instance; at this point it's making sure that the Harbaugh Hype Machine keeps it to coaching and nothing else. That's honestly as feasible a guess as any I've heard as to why Ole Miss would team up with Dadbaugh.
Almost nine months since being diagnosed with ALS, Goode has a positive outlook. "I'm going great," Goode said after the trophy ceremony. "Still fighting the fight." At this point, Goode said he wants to carry on the legacy of former Crimson Tide star Kevin Turner. He passed away in March after fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease since 2010. "I'm doing good," said Goode, a Tide running back from 1983-87. "It's day to day. I'm just out here right now trying to bring awareness to the disease as Kevin did and see if we can get more funding from the government to find a cure."
ALS has already claimed Kevin Turner. And, Kerry Goode is fighting the same progressive, painful, terminal illness -- raising awareness through not only his struggles, but Kevin's as well. What a terrible disease, but what a helluva fight Goode is waging for fundraising and education.
Finally, GREAT news
The news doesn't come as much surprise as BamaOnLine's Tim Watts recently reported that all signees, including Robinson, were expected to qualify barring any unforeseen circumstances. The Deerfield Beach (Fla.) native surprised many this past National Signing Day when he flipped his commitment from Florida to Alabama, ultimately signing with the Tide, during a ceremony at his high school. Robinson a 6-foot-1, 178-pound prospect, is rated the No. 57 cornerback and the No. 647 overall player in the country, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
Aaron Robinson, Alabama's surprise DB commit has fully-qualified academically. But, that somewhat buries the lede: Per Tim Watts, EVERY Alabama signee from NSD '16 has now qualified or is on pace to do so, meaning the Tide will have no casualties this season. Roll Tide!