Moses named Alabama his leader at the end of 2015 after decommitting from LSU earlier in the fall. After an unofficial visit to Texas earlier this spring Moses named the Longhorns his leader with the Tide coming in at No. 2. Co-defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi is the primary recruiter on file. The Baton Rouge native is currently enrolled at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Standing at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Moses is rated the No. 1 outside linebacker and the No. 2 overall player in the 2017 class, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. UA is recruiting Moses at inside linebacker.
We'll start with some recruiting news. Dylan Moses released his five official visits. He starts on October 1st by coming to visit Alabama when the Tide plays Kentucky at home. With this bit of information, I would say that the Tide's chances of landing the freak-of-nature linebacker have decreased. Humans tend to be a very out-of-sight, out-of-mind species, and by the time Moses has finished up his visits to Ohio State, UCLA, Texas, and Miami, he'll likely have forgotten some of the luster of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
An interesting note, though, is that he is not going to visit LSU. Personally, I still think Moses ends up with the Tigers, and he knows it. He's already so familiar with the school that he's using official visits to travel to every corner of the United States.
Without Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, Texas A&M hasn’t been competitive against Alabama, losing its last two games against the defending SEC champs by a combined score of 100-23.
But don’t count out the Aggies just yet. Alabama’s Oct. 22 date at home with them could be tricky, seeing as it comes at the end of a five-game stretch against SEC opponents, the last two of which are on the road against Arkansas and Tennessee. With Alabama returning for some home cooking and a bye week on the horizon and LSU to follow, A&M could catch the Tide sleeping. What’s more, the Aggies will be led by former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight, one of only two active QBs to beat Alabama.
I really hope Tim Williams, Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson, and Co. absolutely pound Trevor Knight into the ground. There are not many players left from that wrenching defeat to Oklahoma in 2013, but much of the senior-laden starting front seven were there. And you know they all want Trevor Knight's blood.
I'm going to go off the beaten path a bit on this one and say that Alabama has success with a transfer wide receiver for a second straight season. Last year it was Richard Mullaney who caught 38 passes, including five touchdowns, and this time around I expect former Bowling Green wideout Gehrig Dieter to be a difference-maker. He certainly has good size (6-foot-3) and a good pedigree (he had 1,000 yards receiving in 2015). What's more, the guy has excellent hands. Look at this grab where he shows he has a little Odell Beckham Jr. in him.
I will continue to iterate and reiterate my point: Gehrig Dieter is very different and much more explosive receiver than was Richard Mullaney. He's big, fast, and a tremendous sideline threat. Throw him in the mix with Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, Robert Foster, and O.J. Howard, and the signal-calling job for the Crimson Tide will be the source of envy of quarterbacks across the nation.
With Smith gone, the Tide may have to move Fitzpatrick inside to play nickel back when it goes into its nickel and dime defenses.
The reason: Alabama looks for its nickel back to have both cornerback and safety characteristics. You need to be able to cover, ideally have decent size, have to hold up against the run, need to be an aggressive outside blitzer and have to understand and be able to play zone coverage.
There are limited options on the roster with Smith gone, especially with junior cornerback Tony Brown, the second-team nickel back during the spring game, facing a suspension that would sideline him for part of the season.
Man, neither of these transfers make very much sense from an outsider's perspective. Smith looked to have a prominent role in the starting defense, and Burgess-Becker was a significant special teams player as a true freshman (which typically will soon lead to significant play time for Saban).
It will be interesting to see how the secondary shakes out now. We know that Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison will be the starting safeties while Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick will be the corners.
But how will the nickel look? Will Fitzpatrick slide inside while Kendell Sheffield, Tony Brown, or Anthony Averett play outside? Will one of those men lockdown the nickel role? Maybe Harrison will slide down to the nickel while someone like Hootie Jones or Deionte Thompson fill in as a deep safety. Or maybe one of the talented freshmen will wiggle their way in to one of those areas. Either way, I'm not too worried about it. The talent there is ridiculous.
They're as worthy of recognition now as they were of Heisman votes then. Don't just take my word for it. A month before the 2009 Heisman ballots were due, someone asked Ingram to pick the one player who would get his vote if he had one. Ingram chose Rolando McClain. Naturally. No one recognizes and appreciates a great linebacker quite like a great running back.
Rolando McClain was the caliber of linebacker that we rarely see in any level of football, and he was a pleasure to get to watch in crimson uniform. Not only was he of prototypical size and athleticism, but he played the game with phenomenal football IQ and incredible reactions. He set the standard for Crimson Tide middle linebackers, a position in which no school in the nation has come anywhere near the quantity of quality players that Alabama has.