Happy Friday, everyone. Some interesting discussion this morning, starting with AL.com's list of the top 100 players in Alabama history. It's an interesting series that considers all players with ties to Alabama, even those who played college ball outside the state. Scarbinsky believes that those who compiled the list are jumping the gun a bit on Derrick Henry:
Greatest Alabama Players: Derrick Henry has miles to go to catch Shaun Alexander | AL.com
That 1996 night at LSU, as a little-used redshirt freshman who'd barely broken a sweat to that point in his college carerr, Alexander carried 20 times for 291 yards and four touchdowns in a 26-0 shutout. His touchdowns came on runs of 12, 17 , 72 and 73 yards. He ran for 274 of those yards in the second half. That's 3 more yards than Henry's career-best full-game 271-yard effort last year at Auburn.
Afterward, Alabama coach Gene Stallings uttered the most Gene Stallings quote ever: "Shaun is going to be a good player. It's just a matter of time."
It was just a matter of playing time.
That was an unbelievable individual performance by Shaun Alexander, and as the article mentions he went on to become a perennial All-Pro and even won an NFL MVP award. While he didn't bring home a Heisman, it does seem a bit premature to put Henry ahead of him. Interestingly, both men are ranked just ahead of superstar LT Chris Samuels, who was a true freshman LT in 1996 who helped pave the way for Alexander's big night.
So, what say you? Should Derrick Henry be ranked ahead of Shaun Alexander at this point? Vote and discuss in the comments, and enjoy the video of that fantastic performance 20 years ago:
Jameis Winston reacts to Alabama player rankings, asks if he's ahead of AJ McCarron | AL.com
As the interview wrapped up, Winston had a question. "Is AJ McCarron before me?," he wondered. When he was informed no -- McCarron was No. 83 -- Winston nodded in approval and said "Okay."
Rumors that Jameis was munching on stolen crab legs while sipping Pepsi from a ketchup cup during the interview are unconfirmed.
Thursday Morning Thoughts: BamaOnline
"Jamar's taken over 20 units each of the last two semesters, the fall and the spring, to give himself a chance to get to a school like Alabama" Espy said. "It's not like he's failed or anything, it's more or less a GPA issue. He's retaken some classes to get a higher GPA so he can be there in the fall."
"He's done a lot of academic work. He's a good student, he really is. He's just got a couple of courses he's retaken."
"He'll be there in time for fall camp."
Watching him on tape, King brings to mind Wallace Gilberry, another Saban era end who was relentless in his pursuit of the football. "It jumps out to me again and again, just watching that guy get around the field," Espy said. "He's all go, 100 percent from whistle to whistle. If the ball goes away from him he's going to try and chase it down. He believes he can make every play on the field and he's going to try and do so."
Word has been consistently positive on key juco signee Jamar King's chances of qualifying for the fall, and he is needed in a big way. As of now, Alabama has four legitimate 3-4 DEs on the roster: Jonathan Allen, Da'shawn Hand, Dalvin Tomlinson, and true freshman Raekwon Davis. It could be that Josh Frazier is going to get some looks outside, but he is definitely more of a space eater who would be a better fit inside. Hopefully King stays on schedule and comes in ready to contribute.
Can Alabama sign 5 blue-chip receivers? We ask QB commit Mac Jones - SBNation.com
The Tide already have a commitment from Texas four-star receiver Tyrell Shavers, and it is in on four other superstars: Florida four-star Jerry Jeudy, Alabama four-star Henry Ruggs III, Louisiana four-star Devonta Smith and Alabama four-star Nico Collins. Who does Jones think the Tide will sign? Watch the video to find out. Landing all five would be an incredible haul for a QB. And if it happens, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Tennessee fans won't be too happy.
Why Michigan is real threat to Alabama in recruitment of state's top prospect Nico Collins | AL.com
The top prospect in the state of Alabama has inked with the Crimson Tide in the past four seasons, but Clay-Chalkville receiver Nico Collins could buck that trend. The 6-foot-5 Collins recently made his second trip to Michigan in six weeks, and could go back for a cookout on Aug. 6. Collins, who is ranked as the top prospect in the state in the 247Sports composite, has family in Michigan. His father, Don, grew up in the state and is a Wolverines fan, but he's not using that to affect Nico's recruitment. Collins' paternal grandparents also live in Michigan, so he'd be close to some family if he chose the Wolverines.
To be frank, I won't be too happy if Alabama uses 20 percent of the scholarships in a class on WRs. Nico Collins is an important one, though, if for no other reason than keeping him in-state. I wasn't aware of the Michigan family ties. Might be a tough one.
16 for '16: College football’s fastest players | NFL.com
6. Tony Brown, DB, Alabama The Alabama cornerback, a former five-star recruit, ran a 13.81 in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Track and Field Championships earlier this month to earn All-America honors. The football program has timed him at 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash. The Tuscaloosa News has reported Brown is facing an indefinite NCAA suspension that the school has appealed.
Something tells me Marlon Humphrey would like to race some of these guys.
College football teams equivalents to the European Championship final eight
Alabama: No matter what, deep down you feel like these are the teams to beat. Germany just won the World Cup and Alabama just won the national championship. Both are loaded with talent, their defenses are suffocating and they both have overcome slow starts to hit their offensive strides late. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (the best in the world at his position) can pretty much be linked to just about every middle linebacker Nick Saban has coached at Alabama. Germany has seven combined World Cup and Euro championships, while Alabama claims roughly 151 national championships.
Full disclosure: I hate soccer. Some who don't may get a kick out of this though.
Rolando McClain suspended for 10 games by NFL | AL.com
The suspension indicates that McClain has failed a drug test in Stage 3 of the NFL's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. The policy reads: "If a player's first positive test result after advancing to Stage 3 is for marijuana, the player shall be suspended without pay for 10 regular-season and/or postseason games." Players in Stage 3 of the program can be subjected to testing up to 10 times per month.
Oh, Rolando. At this point it's fair to wonder whether he will grow up while he's still young enough to play ball.
That's about it for today. Have a great weekend.