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Jumbo Package: Tide still seeking answers in secondary

That's going to happen when you enter fall camp down two cornerbacks and a safety.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports


Jedrick Wills Recruiting Update and Final Predictions - A Sea Of Blue

Jedrick Wills is a beast. At 6'5", 318 pounds and extremely quick feet, he is the perfect o-line prospect. In saying all this, unfortunately, I don't think Jedrick is going to be a future Wildcat. A few quotes from his CN2 interview spell it out for me.

"I really had many schools that I wanted to play for when I was little, whoever was best that year" shows he's never been a big UK fan. "Nothing wrong with being a hometown hero, and I'm not saying UK is out of the question, BUT mainly I just want what's best for me at the end of the day", his way of sugarcoating it. "I can always come back and visit my parents"...

He's gone. Can't blame Jedrick, best of luck to the Lexington native.

Wills is the No. 9 tackle in the nation and the No. 1 overall prospect from the Bluegrass State. He has Alabama and Kentucky as his probable top two, but it sure does sound like he's coming to Tuscaloosa, doesn't it?

Alabama, UAB basketball included in Alex Reese's top 5 |

Alabama. Arizona State. Georgia. Cincinnati. UAB. Pelham's Alex Reese, one of the state most sought-after high school basketball players, is likely to land at one of these college basketball programs. Reese on Thursday evening announced his top 5 schools, a collage which showcased his willingness to stay local, but openness to hitting the road for the next level of basketball.

The first step to winning the conference is to win the state.


College football rankings: Alabama leads preseason Top 25 |

1. Alabama  Don’t be fooled by the short list of returning starters on defense. Linebackers Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson and nose guard Da’Ron Payne played plenty as part of a ridiculously deep front seven rotation during Alabama’s national title run. With Jonathan Allen, Williams and Anderson, this may be the Tide’s best group of pass rushers in the Saban era.

Good stuff here on what separated Alabama from Clemson for yet another No. 1 preseason ranking by a major media outlet.

The Top 20 college football games of the year, ranked | FOX Sports

5. Alabama at Tennessee (Oct. 15) The Third Saturday in October has been fairly quiet for the past decade, but Butch Jones’ best Vols team to date may have a window of opportunity here.

Alabama also makes the list at No. 13 (USC,) No. 7 (Ole Miss,) and No. 2 (LSU.)

Meet the 10 best pass rushers in college football this season | FOX Sports

3. Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama Of every player in college football who was expected to declare for the draft but didn’t, there was no bigger surprise than Allen. Simply put, had he declared after his junior year, it’s almost certain he would have gone in the top 15 picks. Instead, he decided to take a crack at one more title run in Tuscaloosa. Whether Alabama gets back there or not, it will be hard for Allen to top his numbers in 2015, which included a team-high 12 sacks and a team-high 14.5 TFL’s. Simply put, if you’re leading Alabama in any major category (let alone two) you’re a stud. And that’s exactly how opposing coaches describe Allen.

Also making the list was No. 7 Tim Williams. Both gentleman are going to be obscenely wealthy by next April, but not after inflicting mass casualties in several backfields this season.

Meet the Top 20 players in college football for 2016 | FOX Sports

19. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama This could have been Alabama's Jonathan Allen or Calvin Ridley, but I went with Bama’s pass-rushing terror, who in limited action had 10.5 sacks. Folks inside the Tide program gush about about how instinctive the 6-3, 245-pound Williams is. He's both explosive and naturally strong but also has a great feel for time and space, evoking memories of Charles Haley.

Jonathan Allen also made the list, but the bigger surprise were the wide receivers who were listed ahead of Calvin Ridley. Methinks Feldman is going to regret that oversight around October or so.


Ugh, it's this stupid rule again. To the best of my knowledge, among SEC coaches only Butch Jones has personally taken an interest in the nonsensical ramblings of high schoolers -- hell, even Hugh Freeze hates it. Predictably, the coaches can't even figure out how it works, and the great majority seem to think it's silly as hell in any event (because it is.) But, this quote is both accurate and hilarious.

Rule change has coaches debating how often to retweet

"I'm sure they feel pretty good when a college guy is retweeting their stuff, but is it really the (coach) or are they putting someone else in charge of handling that stuff?" said Murfreesboro (Tennessee) Oakland High coach Kevin Creasy, whose team includes two seniors who have committed to Southeastern Conference schools. "I don't know a lot of Division I head coaches sitting around that have time to retweet what a 16-year-old is putting out there. I feel like maybe it's helping our unemployment rate go down because somebody's being hired to do that."

Practice notes:

The big news out of practice yesterday was the continued reshuffling at the Star position. During yesterday's practice, it was Averett's turn to show what he can do. Related to the secondary, Minkah Fitzpatrick is excited as kid on Christmas eve to finally be playing corner again. He states that he is a natural corner and is better and more athletic on the outside. That made me giddy. Can you imagine how ridiculously good this corner tandem will be if Fitzpatrick is being honest and he's even better on an island?

Tide defensive backs, receivers among the best in the country |

"We all work hard every day, because they’re going to talk trash and we’re going to talk trash, so everybody gets after it every day," Ridley said. "And it’s good competition, it makes everybody better."

Alabama practice report: Notes from the second two-a-day |

Running through some nickel defensive situations, Anthony Averett was working with the first team at corner when Minkah Fitzpatrick was at Star.

Freshman WR Trevon Diggs continued to shadow the safeties, this time Deionte Thompson.

Saban sees better depth at tight end - Dothan Eagle: University Of Alabama Sports

"That position was a concern for us a year ago," the coach said. "O.J. Howard always being an outstanding player and someone we could count on, but not having a second guy that could be a blocker and kind of a guy that could complement him.

"I don’t think that’s an issue (this year). And I like the way the young guys are coming along at the position as well. I feel a lot better about the tight end position."

One of Alabama's rising stars looking forward to showing his versatility |

A source texted after one of Alabama's 7-on-7 passing sessions this summer and said, "Minkah's looking good at corner." "Last year, I was kind of all over the place because it was more challenging mentally last year," Fitzpatrick said. "Last year, I didn't know the playbook. I was still trying to learn all that and get comfortable with it. Now, I'm completely comfortable with it, completely comfortable with the playbook and completely comfortable with my techniques and stuff like that. So now it's more about mastering my technique and mastering my position."

That's our JP for today. Kind of lame news out of practice, but we endeavor to serve.

Go forth to evil and Roll Tide!