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Jumbo Package: Hand Working to Get Back on the Field

While still limited, the senior was seen working with the first unit yesterday.

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. We’ve made it through the bye week and have a few compelling games to get you through the weekend, headlined by Penn State vs. Ohio State. Stanford had to barely eke by an awful Oregon State team last night, but they were missing their best player and they may have been distracted while testing some university research.

Practice report:

• Senior defensive end Da’Shawn Hand continued his comeback from an MCL injury. He lined up with the first-unit defensive linemen, alongside Da’Ron Payne, Joshua Frazier and Raekwon Davis, for an individual drill during the observation period. But he worked with trainer Jeff Allen during the subsequent period. Hand was in a black no-contact jersey and wore a bulky brace on his left knee.

Long way to go yet, but sounds like Hand has a shot to play against LSU. Great news for him.

“I think they have a development problem,” SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears said. “You go back to LSU. These quarterbacks have been highly-touted now. Top guys at their position haven’t panned out for whatever reason. This evolution of college football, you have to tailor your offense to whatever your guys do best. I think some coaches in this league, they have a philosophy and they want to fit guys into their philosophy and it just doesn’t work. You can’t come in and say we’re going to make you the guy in this offense that we already run.

Saban’s success has obviously been driven primarily by recruiting, but as we’ve mentioned in this space numerous times, it is his ability to adapt to stay on top that has separated him from the pack, and recruiting is no exception here. Guys who play prominent roles on the defense now may have been passed over in years past.

Teammates have started calling him "Touchdown City," according to cornerback Levi Wallace.

"Henry's a really great player," tight end Hale Hentges said. "And you guys notice whenever he gets the ball in his hands good things happen."

Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have all been too good to keep off the field this year as the Crimson Tide has adopted sort of a “three-in, three-out” type of rotation with the freshmen and veterans — Calvin Ridley, Cam Sims and Robert Foster.

The rotation has been unlike any Alabama has done in the past, and it makes sense. Alabama football will lose Sims and Foster, who are both seniors. Ridley, a junior, is likely to enter the NFL Draft after this season as one of the top receiver prospects in the country.

The experience the three freshmen are getting this fall will make them veterans when they step into even bigger roles in 2018 and beyond.

“Touchdown City,” eh? Let it be written.

This is another area where Saban has excelled to maintain continuity. He gets his young guys involved so that they are more ready for prime time when their turns roll around.

C.J. Mosley had himself a spectacular play in last night’s Baltimore Ravens blowout win over the Miami Dolphins:

Attaboy, C.J. Tim Williams has been nicked up but should be returning soon, and Marlon Humphrey is a full time starter at CB.

By the way, if you are looking for a unique Christmas gift for an Alabama fan, these folks have bobbleheads of Amari Cooper and Julio Jones in their Crimson unis for $40 apiece.

Last but not least, Mississippi can finally claim a national title. Well, among the contiguous 48 anyway (dang, Alaska!):

The year 2016 marks the highest number of new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia ever reported. Mississippi ranks high on each of those lists.

The CDC found the state ranks number one for gonorrhea, number three for chlamydia and seventh for syphilis based on the rates of infection per 100,000 people.

Alabama sits just outside the top 10. Here are the full rankings so you can adjust your travel plans. It probably isn’t a shock that Mississippi ranks so high, but it’s unclear how the numbers will be affected with Hugh Freeze leaving the state.

Come to think of it, when you combine this data with the Stanford study linking marijuana use to an increase in sweatin’ the sheets, “Baked Alaska” takes on a whole new meaning and you just pray that Brandon Chicken stays the hell away from Mississippi..

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.