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Jumbo Package: Gump Day

A lot of pure gump in today's links.

Mac Jones flips from Kentucky to Bama.
Mac Jones flips from Kentucky to Bama.

What makes Bama QB commit Mac Jones special?

"This is the kid who I think can do everything Nick Saban wants him to do. He’s really mechanically sound. I talked to a coach over the weekend at the Elite 11 who said he was just in the right place, knew what to do, great attitude and was really just a guy has all those tools and intangibles you look for."

The rich get richer as the Tide reels in second 4-star quarterback for the Class of 2017. Score another one for Brent Key.

What does Tua Tagovailoa think of Alabama adding another QB commit?

The decision to add another quarterback to the 2017 class did not come as a surprise to Tagovailoa. Before he committed, the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback was notified that Alabama would be taking two this class. With that being said, Tagovailoa isn’t worried about competition with any other quarterback.

"I’m not too worried about playing time," Tagovailoa said. "You’re always going to have to compete for your spot. I don’t see myself at any other school."

This kid has such a good head on his shoulders. I really hopes he sticks to his commitment to the Tide.

QB guru 'most impressed' with Tagovailoa

Whitfield went on to give his evaluation on what he believes makes the Bama commit special. "He does a real nice job of processing," Whitfield said. "Which to me means at the same time you can see something you can slow down the mechanism of what’s going on around you. Then when he gets the understanding of what it is, he’s decisive about making a move, making the throw, and he just throws with conviction – just impressive."

Like Blake Barnett a couple of years ago, Tua Tagovailoa is already making waves as an elite QB prospect. With a good showing at the Elite 11, Tag could very easily bring home a 5th star. When Jalen Hurts and Barnett both get drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft after their respective junior years, he should be ready to step right in and pick up the slack.

Alabama's Steady Use of Freshmen Regularly Overlooked | Bleacher Report

Freshmen don’t play. "You want playing time? Go elsewhere."Saying yes to Alabama means sitting and waiting for your chance. "You’ll never play there."

It all gets used against the Crimson Tide, yet Saban keeps landing top classes, having players named All-Americans and drafted, and winning championships.

Moreover, the numbers don’t quite back those sentiments up.

Even Bleacher Report occasionally puts out a quality piece. Christopher Walsh put together some fairly in-depth research on the numbers behind just how many freshman get playing time for Alabama. Starting with playing a ground-breaking 16 true freshmen in the 2008 season, Nick Saban has never shied away from putting the best player on the field, be he a senior or a freshman.

In fact, the Tide has had at least one freshman all-american in seven on Nick Saban's nine seasons with the Tide. Though the Tide will win, with or without you, if you're good enough, it will be with you. That's just another part of the allure to recruits of the glory of playing at Alabama.

Which SEC defenders will snatch five interceptions in 2016? - SEC Blog- ESPN

4. Eddie Jackson, Alabama: The electric cover corner was a quarterback's nightmare last year and took two of his six interceptions back for touchdowns. He had only eight passes defensed last season, which means quarterbacks hated throwing his way. Still, he found ways to get to the ball.

Eddie Jackson quietly had one of the best seasons of all the safeties in the nation last year. For whatever reason, he just never quite got the media attention that guys like Mark Barron, HaHa Clinton-Dix, and Landon Collins did, despite putting up stats that were equally, if not more impressive.

Another year removed from his knee injury and an another year of experience at safety, rather than corner, could allow Jackson to build on what he accomplished last season and cement himself as one of the top players in all of college football.

What makes Alabama's Tim Williams 'disruptive as hell'? Ex-NFL standouts weigh in |

Watching Williams' first sack against Florida in last year's SEC Championship game, Merriman laughed and said, "That's not even fair."

Lined up over Gators right tackle Mason Halter, Williams exploded forward immediately when the ball was snapped. Williams was by Halter almost instantly, looping around and sacking quarterback Treon Harris.

"That dude didn't even get out of his stance," Merriman said before joking, "He might as well of just waited there in that same stance and just waited for the end of the play."

Speaking of the top players in the nation: Tim Williams was never more than a situational player last year and is already being talked about as the best pass rusher in college football. Though there is nothing to suggest it, I worry that all the hype for a player who has never actually started may be a bit premature. Will he be able to keep reproduce his spectacular breakout season, or was he a one-year wonder?

Alabama has five of seven units ranked best in SEC football according to Athlon - Alabama - Scout

The magazine ranks Alabama’s three defensive units – line, linebacker, secondary – as best in the nation.

On offense, the receiver group (wide receivers and tight end) and the line were ranked second in the nation.

All five units were ranked best in the SEC. As for the other two units ranked, Bama was listed as having the fifth best quarterback unit (Alabama isn’t the only school where the quarterback has not yet been determined) and fourth best running back unit (again, even though the Tide’s starter is not yet known).

This team is ridiculously stacked and talented. On top of Alabama's usual dominance at linebacker, the usually unheralded defensive line and much maligned secondary have both worked their way to the top of the nation in preseason rankings. Personally, I think the secondary might just be the best of the entire defense.

The receivers are also the most talented overall group we've ever seen under Saban. However, ranking the offensive line as second best in the nation is a bit too much. The line was only decently above average last season, and that line lost a couple of starters, benched another, a fourth is changing positions, and the top returner was recently arrested.

Alabama and Western Kentucky Kickoff Set for 2:30 p.m. CT Kickoff on ESPN2 - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site

Kickoff for the Sept. 10 matchup between Alabama and Western Kentucky is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2, the network announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Crimson Tide and Hilltoppers will meet for the third time in series history, with UA owning the 2-0 all-time advantage. Alabama won the initial meeting by a score of 41-7 in 2008 before shutting out WKU, 35-0, in 2012. Both games were played at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama has already announced game times and networks for its first and third contests of the 2016 campaign. The Crimson Tide will begin its season on Sept. 3 with a 7 p.m. CT kickoff on ABC against Southern California in the AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Alabama also announced a 2:30 p.m. CT start on CBS in Oxford against Ole Miss for its first SEC matchup on Sept. 17.

The first three games of next season are set in the time schedule. As usual, summer will be rough, but we're closing in on football season again. It will be here before we know it.