Congratulations to Katherine and AJ, who have welcomed into the world Alabama's 2034 starting quarterback, Tripp McCarron.
Alabama could add some more depth across the defensive line. Steve Tu'ikolovatu, a 6-foot-1, 320-pound defensive tackle who graduated from Utah recently, visited Alabama earlier this week. He had 28 tackles, six for loss with two sacks, in 13 games last season for the Utes. He also had four fumble recoveries, one for a 37-yard touchdown. He played in eight games in 2014 and missed the 2013 season with a foot injury.
USC is also in the chase for Tu'ikolovatu. Given the Trojans lack of depth and returning starters up front, playing time may be an attractive factor for the Ute grad.
Former Alabama running back and Green Bay Packers star Eddie Lacy took some shots for his weight last season, and apparently those jabs motivated the Pro Bowl running back to spend his offseason doing nothing but working out. The former Crimson Tide standout spent two months with P90X founder Tony Horton, according to a TMZ Sports video, and the duo stuck to an extreme training regimen in order for the NFC North tailback to get back in shape. “We went after it,” Horton said, via TMZ Sports. “We did P90X, X2, X3, 22-minute hardcore, proprioception, core, functional, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, boxing. He really got into boxing. He really kind of fell in love with that.”
This is excellent for the big boy out of Louisiana. Never one to skip the buffet line, Lacy had some weight issues last season which affected his performance and kept him in the doghouse. I suspect a leaner, faster Circle Button will again terrorize the NFC North (and make the front office very happy.)
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday the league's position remains that "recruiting should be done within the recruiting calendar established by the NCAA. Widespread satellite camps are not part of that recruiting calendar." And clearly the issue will be a hot topic once again at next week's SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida. "The concerns are still there," Sankey said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"When it was a relatively small practice, it was fine. Some will argue that there's a lot of instruction and development that occurs. Well, that may be true in some cases. But when I talk to our coaches who now have 10-15 calls a day, it starts to become an unhealthy activity. "And it really is about recruiting. I'm hoping that if the solutions are identified by Sept. 1. We'll certainly talk about different strategies next week that are attentive to the full scope of issues here."
This is not going away. The SEC and ACC do not want an expanded recruiting calendar: They want, and have always wanted, an early signing period. Sankey is at least calling it like it is -- these are recruiting camps and de facto visits in areas with greater talent -- nothing more, nothing less.
3. Drop goals make special teams more fun, so let's incentivize them Drop kicks are still in the American football rule book, but it might as well be against the rules. It's relatively risky compared to a standard field goal, and there's no reward for trying it compared to just setting up with a holder. Kids don't learn how to properly execute a drop kick -- wherein the ball is dropped and touches the ground before being kicked -- so it's just something that doesn't happen. However, in football's spiritual cousin, rugby, drop kicks happen all the time. People can drop kick with great accuracy, and it's been used time and again in high-pressure situations. One of the most memorable was this last-second drop goal by England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson to clinch the 2003 Rugby World Cup over Australia.
Pete has some good ideas (and a few ill-conceived ones) on how to make football more fun. I'm not wild about the overtime suggestion, and I don't think that the card system in soccer is really viable, without great pauses in play to determine intent via replay, but I really like the notion of the drop kick. I'd add number six, though: Call the game as the rules require. That may cut down on scoring, sure, but at the same time, you have a proper determinate of the better team.
The Tide win on top facilities ... and Clemson's up there again. Players really like Alabama's football headquarters in Tuscaloosa. We asked which of the schools recruiting them has the best facilities for football, and Alabama got another convincing plurality win. It's not hard to see why Alabama is so popular here. Clemson was competitive, and multiple players also gave plaudits to Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M and Oregon. One player apiece singled out LSU, Iowa, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Michigan and Nebraska.
The mothership polled 31 top 'cruits and got their input on a variety of topics (no, not uniforms) that can actually sway their decision, including best coach (Saban,) best staff (Clemson,) and many others. This is worth a click.
Best of the bunch: I don't think the gap between Scarbrough and Harris is as wide as some might lead one to believe. Scarbrough has the combination of size and burst seldom found in a back. But he also has an injury history that makes you wonder if he can handle 200-plus carries without being sidelined. Meanwhile, some already have Harris pegged as a complementary back. I don't see it that way. I'm not ready to say he'll be a consistent force between the tackles this season, but at nearly 220 pounds, Harris has the physical attributes needed to take on something more than a third-down role.
I agree completely with this analysis. Bo is going to get the publicity going into this one. But, I think we see a very balanced attack this season. Damien Harris was a monster in the Spring game: he's bulked up, worked on hitting the hole harder and more decisively, is a bit faster, and looks to be the all-around bowling ball, Ingram-esque guy we thought he might be when he was last year's No. 1 rated running back recruit.