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Jumbo Package: Alabama early enrollee Dylan Moses is Parade’s High School Player of the Year

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The last Parade AA Player of the Year turned out okay...Derrick Henry.

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Dylan Moses smiling after feasting on the corpse of an All-American running back...Maybe.
Hudl, used by permission

Crootin’

Moses was named Parade Magazine national player of the year for the 2017 signing class. The Baton Rouge product is already enrolled in Tuscaloosa in advance of next Wednesday's National Signing Day.

Moses is one of three Alabama early enrollees to make Parade's first-team high school All-American list. Running back Najee Harris and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood also made the cut for the team that'll appear in the Feb. 5 issue of Parade Magazine. Athlete Jaylond Adams of Minor High School also made the first-team offense.

If you’ve gone to the front page of RBR the last day or so, you’ve noticed the Recruiting Central hub for NSD2017. I suggest you read through those selections if you’re just now getting up to speed or want to refresh your memory -- and particularly CB’s “Best ever” article. This Alabama class is exceptionally gifted, even by Alabama standards. Be very, very excited. Next Tuesday is going to be a wonderful day.

The truth is, fewer of these lower-ranked players are ending up at Alabama these days. There hasn't been a consensus two-star player since Saban's first class signed a month after he was hired in 2007. There were 21 players that season who had at least one rating below four stars.

This year? Four.

A look back at Alabama prospects who came in as 3-star or lower and had outstanding careers. Among the misses? Terrance Cody, Marcell Dareus, Chance Warmack, Mark Ingram, and many others. But, it seems as though the staff is taking fewer chances on the merely very-good: nearly two dozen members of the 2017 Class will be blue-chippers.

Current team ranking: 1 | Dream ranking (ceiling): Best of all-time

Dream finish (targets): DT Aubrey Solomon, WR Henry Ruggs III, WR Devonta Smith, DL LaBryan Ray, S Todd Harris, DT Phidarian Mathis

How it could happen: Alabama isn't looking to climb in the rankings. It's looking to climb into the history books. A close with the names listed above would put Alabama into contention for the best recruiting class of all-time.

Speaking of blue-chippers, as fantastic as the present class is, it has the potential to get even better.

Miscellany

A statement from the San Diego Bowl Game Association said Tuesday that the board of directors will "amend its focus and produce just one post-season college football game in 2017." That, of course, will be the Holiday Bowl. As such, the Poinsettia Bowl is no more, effective immediately. BYU won the final edition of the game over Wyoming, 24-21.

I’m kind of sad about this one. The Poinsettia bowl usually had some decent games, if not obviously decent matchups. The “too many bowl” people have one less to hate, I suppose.

Certain lightning rods are more entertaining that others. Auburn is a good place to start then, breaking down a recent curious and confusing run of coordinator hires.

Good piece by Dodd. There have been a lot of weird coordinator moves. The story about Lindsey to Auburn is absolutely surreal. Anytime you’re comparing a situation to the Houston Nutt end days at Arkansas, you’ve got a potential volatile situation.

Long snapper Cole Mazza: Offense: Sophomore offensive tackle Jonah Williams, sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts and sophomore running back Josh Jacobs

"I just feel like Jalen's going to get better and better, and I feel like Josh Jacobs is going to have a better year than last year. He's hungry. I love that kid. He has the right mindset. Anyone who has a solid mindset and a great work demeanor is highly favored."

Nearly every ‘Bama player at the Senior Bowl predicts great things from Hurts and Jacobs next season. And, judging from the flashes of their great play we saw this season, other names mentioned included were Dion-Hamilton, Jonah, Anthony Averett and others.

Another mock draft, this time from PFF. While Pro Football Focus knows their stuff, I think they’re kind of spotty in their armchair GMing: for instance, Leonard Fournette to Cleveland? Nah, fam. That ain’t happening.

Still, I like any mock that has six Alabama players in the first round.

I love these men so much

Not succeeding in sports year-round means there’s money being left on the table. And that’s exceedingly Un-Bama behavior.

That doesn’t mean Johnson is suddenly on notice. If anything, it means focus and effort (read: money and promotion) will be put into Bama basketball like never before. In the desert, lackluster fan support was a problem on Saturdays in the fall, not January and February. Byrne and his team engaged in an aggressive effort to educate and reform truant Wildcat fans. Imagine the basketball education initiative he’ll undertake for Tuscaloosa’s RV crowd.

Good writeup by Kirk at the mothership on the practical effects of having Greg Byrne’s presence in Tuscaloosa. This university is all about the money; and that money comes from butts in seats; and those butts arrive after success. Alabama is going to see a rebuild in several areas, hopefully including capital projects for basketball and more student-friendly policies across the board.

But, the first step is winning. And, there are two people I wouldn’t want to be over the next two seasons: Baseball’s Greg Goff, an unpopular-to-less-than-inspiring hire that seemed as though Bill Battle was mailing it in. The fanbase is, as Roger notes, very much in a wait-and-see mode, and even more so after the loss of some high profile commits. Second, you can bet that Gym’s Dana Duckworth will get a close look. Some have called it a lazy legacy, in-house hire (I’m not saying that, by the way.) Still, the results are what they are and the squads have underperformed relative to the talent on-hand. Attendance is significantly down and the program has fallen behind not just Florida, but also LSU and the other traditional powers (Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, etc.) A loss this weekend to Auburn in Birmingham would officially put her on the hot seat.

But, more than those people, I would not want to be senior admins who have gotten very comfortable doing their own thing because it’s the way things have been done since Coach Bryant. You get the feeling underperformance or going through the motions is not countenanced by the aggressive Byrne.

We shall see.

I know this is going to just absolutely shock you, but Uncle Brent, one of the last of the mildy-intoxicated, sometimes-lecherous, legendary broadcasters is retiring in two weeks to take up...sports handicapping in Vegas. You couldn’t write a sentence that cliched in fiction and have it be believable.