With all the talk of LANE KIFFIN everywhere you turn on the internet, today’s jumbo package will give you a respite from the LANE KIFFIN HOT TAKES and focus on some less discussed topics for your perusal.
- Three of Alabama's mid-year enrollees were practicing - junior college defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs, athlete Chadarius Townsend and defensive back Kyriq McDonald.
-- Ben Davis is playing Clemson standout linebacker Ben Boulware on the scout team. Fellow inside linebacker Josh McMillon is playing Tigers linebacker Kendall Joseph, whose 102 tackles is second-most on the team behind Boulware. Xavian Marks is mimicking versatile Clemson wide receiver and punt returner Ray Ray McCloud.
-- Linebacker Keith Holcombe still has a brace and a wrap on his right knee, which he tweaked Dec. 20.
-- Defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand was practicing. Hand played against Washington, but was in a walking boot throughout the week leading up to the game.
This time last year, Jalen Hurts had just enrolled at Alabama and was simulating DeShaun Watson on the scout team. That practice time really gave him a leg up by the spring, and paved the way for the true freshman to win the starting job.
Particularly, I would not be surprised if we see a similar path from Isaiah Buggs. The JUCO defense linemen already has the age advantage and will be facing very little returning competition for Jonathan Allen and Dalvin Tomlinson’s old spots.
Five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon said Tuesday that Alabama's lead over other schools is a "pretty big margin" right now, but he's not close to making a commitment.
The 6-foot-3 Solomon, the nation's No. 31 overall recruit from Leesburg, Ga., is playing in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The game kicks off at noon CT on NBC.
Solomon, a one-time Michigan commit, has officially visited there and Alabama.
Speaking of bolstering the defensive line, Aubrey Solomon is possibly the Tide’s top still-uncommitted recruit. the five-star DT is a 6’3” 288 interior pass rush specialist in the prototypical mold of NFL stars Aaron Donald or Gerald McCoy.
In the past, Alabama’s defense has not utilized a pass-rushing 3-tech. However, we’ve seen Jonathan Allen fill that role on third downs quite often this year. As I stated above, the Tide needs all the reinforcements they can gather along the defensive line after Jonathan Allen, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Dakota Ball all graduate at the end of this year.
The fourth Jonathan Allen video that Daniel Jeremiah posted Tuesday morning went up with the message: "Apologize for all these Allen videos. Can't help myself."
The former NFL scout and current NFL Network analyst then posted two more Allen videos.
All six plays were from Alabama's win over Washington in the Peach Bowl on Saturday. Allen, the Tide's star senior defensive lineman and a top NFL draft prospect, had six tackles, two stops for a loss, a sack and a fumble recovery during the 24-7 win. His play was so impressive that Jeremiah shared those six videos Tuesday morning.
There isn’t a whole lot to say, but click this link and there is a nice compilation of Jonathan Allen highlights from the Washington game that show just how impressive of a player he really is. You really can’t overstate just how dominant he and Reuben Foster have been this entire season, and be ready to see that dominance reflected in the NFL draft later this year.
Landon Collins has emerged as arguably the best safety in the NFL this season, but a case can be made that he has also been the best defensive player overall.
The second-year New York Giants star ended the regular season as the only player in NFL history, at any position, to total at least 100 solo tackles, 2 sacks, 5 interceptions, and 12 passes defensed, per Pro Football Reference. Collins finished the regular season with exactly 100 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He also recovered a fumble and scored a defensive touchdown.
For comparison's sake, here's a look at how Collins' numbers stack up against former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu when he won Defensive Player of the Year in 2010:
2010 DPOY Troy Polamalu: 62 total tackles, 1 sack, 7 INTs, 11 PDs
2016 Landon Collins: 125 total tackles,4 sacks, 5 INTs, 13 PDs
Landon Collins has been absolutely amazing this year for an upstart Giants squad and is square in the middle of DPOY discussions. It was a crime when he dropped out of the first round two years ago, and now he’s on a warpath to prove everyone wrong.
But wait, I thought all Bama players busted in the NFL
"We'd be a good team my first year, he told me," according to Ingram. "He also said that we'd probably win the national championship during my second year. My first year we went 12-0 and lost in the SEC championship. The next year we went 14-0 and won the national championship. That man sat in my house and called that."
With the 10-year anniversary of Nick Saban arriving at Alabama in the vicinity, Bleacher Report put out a great long-ish form piece on the 2008 recruiting class. If you want a nice trip down memory lane and reminisce on old players, this is your link. The most interesting point is that the coaches/recruiters actually viewed B.J. Scott (remember that one) as the most vital recruit of that class. He was the first 5-star commitment, and was viewed as validation to the rest of the nation that Alabama was back in the scene.
Roll Tide, beat Clemson!