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Jumbo Package: Friday, 6 May 2016

Crimson Tide news and notes...

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. It will be a busy weekend on campus as the softball team hosts UGA to close out SEC play while the baseball team hosts Auburn. As usual, we have a few links for you to peruse:

Nick Saban talks potential Alabama-UGA recruiting battles with Kirby Smart

"I don't know if I said it would be fun," Smart said, cutting the reporter off. "I don't look forward to that because I know Nick does a great job in recruiting and they've got a great product to sell."

In the end, Smart said it's bigger than just him versus Saban.

"It's not me against him," Smart said. "It's very rare that Georgia and Alabama are the only two teams recruiting a kid. We're on a kid, everybody in the SEC's on a kid. But never me against Saban."

It will be interesting to see how the Smart-Saban recruiting battles go in the years ahead. Georgia is a recruiting hotbed.

Alabama has interviewed multiple candidates to replace Bo Davis as DL coach | reported last weekend that Alabama expected to hire long-time NFL coach Karl Dunbar as its next defensive line coach. Saban said Alabama has interviewed candidates but didn't specify any names.

"We are working on it," Saban said. "We have interviewed a few people. Now is not really a great time for people to be looking for work and out of jobs, and not a good time for anyone to leave the job they're in."

Someone clearly jumped the gun on the Dunbar news. While he may very well be a candidate, no decision has been made.

Tua Tagovailoa commitment another sign of Alabama's offensive shift |

Saban made what he deemed a necessary move to become more uptempo on offense, and his recruiting signifies he views that as the long-term strategy for his program. After years of quarterbacks such as Greg McElroy and John Parker Wilson, Tagovailoa is the new normal at Alabama.

Yep. On a roster that includes Cooper Bateman, Blake Barnett, Jalen Hurts, and soon Tagovailoa, David Cornwell seems like an odd fit, and previously committed Jake Fromm did as well. In the end, everything worked out well for everyone involved... assuming no one else de-commits, of course.

Alabama playing Samford would beat the Crimson Tide camping there |

What else do Chattanooga and The Citadel have in common? Like Samford, they both play in the Southern Conference. Bottom line, that means Alabama is hurting Samford by pumping money into the budgets of its league rivals. Which include Mercer, which has games scheduled at Alabama in 2017 and 2021. Fortunately for Samford, Mississippi State didn't mind inviting Hatcher's Bulldogs to Starkville this season.

This is an interesting point. Hard to figure why Alabama wouldn't give a school like Samford the exposure. It isn't like a local FCS program is going to be a long-range threat, even if one should have beaten Auburn.

College football rankings: Oklahoma leads too early Top 25

You can be concerned that the Crimson Tide offense didn’t score a point in the first three quarters of its spring game, but I’m not. Alabama’s defense is so loaded, especially after Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Eddie Jackson and Jonathan Allen all returned to Tuscaloosa, that its offense will be merely the first of many to struggle to score against the Tide. Left tackle Cam Robinson’s return from injury should help the offensive line regain its form, and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has earned the benefit of the doubt with his ability to develop the Tide’s next starting quarterback.

Has anyone ever been more perpetually overrated than Bob Stoops's Oklahoma?

Nick Saban: Titans' pick Derrick Henry 'breaks the mold'

"I was, because I have a completely different opinion and bias for a guy who’s been so productive and done so much for us," Saban said during a radio interview Wednesday with ESPN 102.5 The Game. "I knew there was a lot of sentiment out there about style, doesn’t fit the mold of some of the runners," Saban said. "And you know how people in the league are. They want to sort of categorize everybody. These are the guys that had success in the past so let’s find another guy like that. Sometimes there’s somebody that breaks the mold out there, and I think Derrick Henry is that kind of guy."

Henry certainly had a few warts in his game at the college level, Heisman notwithstanding. He won that award based on supreme durability, carrying the mail time after time during the championship stretch. In today's NFL, the power back has been marginalized to a large degree, but with a backfield of Henry along with Jalston Fowler and Demarco Murray, the Titans seem to be committed to pounding the ball.

More than a football coach: A Throwback Thursday look at Nick Saban's jobs |

Sure, everyone knows about his years of coaching, his national titles, his SEC titles and his time in the NFL (Hey, losses can be part of The Process too). And at various stages in his career he's written a book and done motivational speaking. But as he gets older and keeping an eye out for the end of his career on the sideline, he's branching out with car dealerships, commercials, even collaborating on the design of a high-end van through his Mercedes-Benz dealerships.

There is some good video at that link of all of Nick's commercials. Funny stuff.

Beers, Karam named SEC Community Service Award winners

Lauren Beers, Gymnastics, Alabama:

• RISE Center Volunteer - hosted children in gymnastics facility to allow them to play on equipment

• Project Angel Tree - gymnastics team point of contact for purchasing gifts and a night of snacks and games

• Druid City Regional Hospital Cancer Center - spent time with cancer patients while they received treatment

• ReadBAMARead - promoted childhood literacy by engaging students at reading events

• Shut Out Human Trafficking Campaign - participated in video campaign to bring awareness to this issue

• Northport Funeral Service Day - interacted with children and their parents for the afternoon

• The Color Run 5K - participated in setup, assisted during the event and helped with tear down

• Verner Elementary Reader - volunteered for afternoon of reading and spending time with kids

• Habitat for Humanity - helped build homes for less fortunate individuals

• Soup Kitchen - served food, engaged in conversations with the homeless and helped clean facility

• Sprayberry Elementary - read to children and provided encouraging message about reading and growing minds

• "Suds for Sully" - washed cars to raise money for medical bills for a child with physical disorders

Is there anything Lauren hasn't done? In addition to all of the above, she is a three-time All-American and an Academic All-American. Her parents have to be proud. Roll Tide, Lauren.

That's about it for today. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Roll Tide.