Happy Monday, everyone. Congratulations to former Alabama player Mo Williams on winning the NBA Championship last night, ending a 52-year pro sports drought for the city of Cleveland. We have all kinds of links from the weekend, starting with an interesting tidbit on potential offseason rules changes:
NCAA may partner with NFL to sponsor satellite football camps | ODU Blitz | pilotonline.com
Other potential rules changes:
High school football players who are rising seniors might be able to sign binding letters of intent after July 31. This would eliminate the early February signing day. If this rule takes effect, there is a proposed provision allowing players who have signed with a school to be released without penalty if the head coach leaves.
Report: How the NFL could help college football reform satellite camps - CBSSports.com
The first is a drastic change, which would eliminate team-sponsored joint camps and instead create NCAA-sponsored camps that would be hosted at NFL training facilities or high schools; any coach would be allowed to attend. Camps on college campuses would not go away, but coaches from other schools would no longer be able to attend them.
The NCAA doesn't appear to be done with the satellite camp issue, but that first nugget about an extended signing period beginning on July 31 is particularly interesting. Players would be able to enjoy their senior seasons in relative peace, and would still have an out in case of a coaching staff change. On the flip side, schools are taking an injury risk by accepting the NLI before the player is done with high school football. The main concern with this rule is that some coaches may play hardball, telling a prospect to "sign now or I'm moving on" before the player has had the opportunity to take all of his visits. This would affect your three-star type prospects since the five-stars will always hold an offer most anywhere they want to go. What are your thoughts on the proposals?
Under-the-radar Alabama wide receiver Derek Kief continues to improve | AL.com
Kief's 40 time during the spring was just 4.71, but he posted good numbers in exercises that test leaping ability and lower body explosiveness. His vertical jump was second-best among Alabama wide receivers (32.5 inches). His broad jump was third-best among receivers (9'8"). "He's (tall), and he's got great hands," said Kief's high school coach, Tom Grippa, currently the offensive coordinator at Mount St. Joseph, a Division III school in Ohio. "He's got great subtle moves. He knows how to get open. He catches the ball in traffic. He's tough. He'll block. And he's unselfish. He didn't care whether he had 10 catches or one catch as long as we won the game."
Kief is a big target in the red zone, but he is going to have a hard time getting on the field considering the depth at the position.
Alabama football Dalvin Tomlinson Nick Saban LeBron James Kyrie Irving Avery Johnson Dustin Johnson
54 DE Dalvin Tomlinson 2015 season: Top reserve saw action in all 15 games. Led all defensive linemen in pass breakups with six. Also recorded 34 total tackles and four quarterback hurries. 2016 spring practice: With Jonathan Allen sidelined, Tomlinson joined Da'Shawn Hand as a first-team end. In the spring's first scrimmage, the senior racked up eight total tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups. In the A-Day Game, Tomlinson recorded two total tackles and a quarterback hurry. Billy Neighbors Defensive Line Award recipient.
Tomlinson is going to be a critical player in his senior season as a guy who has routinely lined up both inside and outside. While the defensive line subbed in waves last season, expect to see at least two of Daron Payne, Allen, Hand, and Tomlinson on the field at all times in the bigger games. While Joshua Frazier and O.J. Smith can play the nose, the returning roster has basically nothing else at DE. JUCO transfer Jamar King will likely be counted on right away, if he qualifies as expected. Otherwise the Tide will be perilously thin up front.
Pair of in-state standouts earn Alabama offers Saturday | AL.com
Kyriq McDonald, a defensive back, became the third member of the James Clemens defense to pick up an Alabama offer when the Crimson Tide came through for him. Alabama has also offered defensive end LaBryan Ray and linebacker Monty Rice off the Jets' defense.
Three Alabama offers on one high school defense? If you live around Madison, you might want to check out a James Clemens game. They may not allow a yard all season.
Derek Dooley shares vivid details about Nick Saban's maniacal work ethic | FOX Sports
"I absolutely, as a young coach, loved the environment because it made me better. I knew I was getting better. I knew when I didn't perform to a standard he was going to confront me. And even though I would get upset, sometimes when he would confront me, there was very few times where at some level he wasn't right. I could have done this (one thing) better. "That environment was perfect for a guy like me. It is not good for many other coaches who didn't like it."
Interesting interview. Working for Saban has to be difficult, but those who do come out better for it.
'Kind of lost' as an NFL rookie, Landon Collins plans to be 'a great player' | AL.com
"Being in the right position is my biggest concern, because last year I was not. I was always kind of scattered all over the field and didn't know where to do things at, and now that I know where to be and how to help and so on, I'll be able to see more and then not just key on what I was trying to key on." With the mental part of his game catching up to the physical, Collins thinks he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
Collins led the Giants in tackles last season, but got lost a few times in pass coverage. He has a promising future.
Gene Stallings-era players say his presence still evokes nerves as they recall first meeting coach | AL.com
So at the annual summer football camp in Tuscaloosa, Hape paid attention to every small detail -- ran everywhere full speed. A staffer approached him eventually with an invitation to ride in Stallings cart. "Patrick, I don't care if you can play a lick of football," Hape remembered Stallings say to him. "But I see how you're working out there and we can make a football player out of you." Hape went on to star at Alabama and played eight seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2004. His tribute was one of many former players gave in the weekend filled with memories.
Coach Stallings will always be revered as the man who brought Alabama football back to the top, if only for a short time. To a man, his players respected him like a father.
Friday Five: The easiest schedules in major college football for 2016 - CBSSports.com
2. Clemson: This one may come as a bit of a surprise. Clemson is again one of the favorites to reach the College Football Playoff, and they have the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in Deshaun Watson. Also, the Tigers' nonconference schedule does feature a road game against Auburn on the first Saturday of the season. The rest of the nonconference schedule, however, is Troy, South Carolina State and a South Carolina team that went 3-9 last season.
That's right, folks. A true road game in Auburn is the key non-conference tilt on the second easiest schedule in the country. Point and laugh at will.
That's about it for today. Have a great week.