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Jumbo Package: Desperate SEC Coaches Pull Out All the Stops

The gulf between Alabama and the rest of the league keeps getting wider, and rival coaches are searching for answers.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama
You don’t have to rub it in, Coach.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Another year, another top class in the books, and another great line from the extraordinary Cecil Hurt:

Also, it's not correct to say that Alabama got everyone it wanted out of Louisiana. The Crimson Tide didn't sign Emeril Lagasse, or any of the Duck Dynasty dudes, or Lil Wayne. Everyone else Alabama wanted – especially if you include Baton Rouge native Dylan Moses as the real No. 1 Louisiana prospect, despite his year at IMG Academy – Alabama signed.

Bam! Saban is going to regret missing on Lagasse when he gets a hankering for some creole, and I had no idea Lil’ Wayne was from Louisiana. Huge misses there, but still tough to complain about the haul.

Speaking of Louisiana, Coach O got terribly offended by Phidarian Mathis’ assertion that he never heard from LSU DL coach Pete Jenkins:

If there is one thing Ed Orgeron is sensitive about, it’s anybody besmirching the name of veteran defensive line coach Pete Jenkins, who is the closest thing he has to a family member in the industry.

The only time Orgeron got cross with a caller to his radio show last season was when a failed comedian dialed in and asked if Jenkins would be appointed to copy then-Houston coach Tom Herman’s pregame routine of kissing players on the cheek.

So, when LSU defensive tackle target Phidarian Mathis cited Jenkins’ lack of attention as the reason for choosing Alabama the night before signing day, it raised Orgeron’s ire...

“We got the guys we want. The guys we didn’t want, we’ll play against them,” Orgeron said. “Pete Jenkins is a great coach. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

So, a top Louisiana recruit leaves the state and flat-out states the position coach as the cause, and Coach O runs to his defense. The Tigers also whiffed on top DL Marvin Wilson.

Meanwhile, a coach who has been a hot commodity in recent years is on the outs after only one year with the Tigers:

Craig, a Mobile native, starred at Blount High School before playing quarterback at Auburn from 1994-97. Following a 5-year pro football career and one year as a high school assistant coach, he was hired as a graduate assistant by Nick Saban at LSU in 2004.

Craig then went with Saban to the Miami Dolphins as a special teams assistant for one season before spending two years at Tuskegee. He was at South Alabama for two seasons before landing the quarterbacks coach job at Florida State.

Sounds legit.

Hmmm, a great recruiter with strong ties to the fertile Mobile area who has previously worked for Saban at multiple stops comes available as Alabama has a couple of openings? Stay tuned.

“What we want are guys like you. We need to have guys like you. We have to have more guys like you. You are the prototype we want to have. If we could sign five DeAngelos, then we would recruit and sign all five DeAngelos. We’d sign as many guys as we could like you and figure out numbers and where everyone plays later’ and they said that and I could tell they meant that.....”

(I’ll add one quick reality check: Alabama might have signed up five of those “DeAngelos” this year, too. Maybe even 10.)

Mainly added this one for the last line, but Kirby’s pitch was outstanding. They didn’t mention, however, that ‘80s child Smart wore a blonde wig and a pair of Mary Beth’s yoga pants to the restaurant and serenaded Gibbs, Coverdale style:

Hey, whatever works, right?

“We’ve spoken about the competitive nature, and I think that’s really, really big in today’s world,” Jones said. Everyone gets into the whole two-star, three-star, four-star, five-star thing. The only five-star that we even concern ourselves with is a five-star heart.

“We want five-star hearts and five-star competitors.”

What a tool. Guess five-star hearts are required to win those coveted Life Championships, eh?

Rumors that Butch is a regular caller into the Delilah radio show are not yet confirmed, but he is a sappy sort. To be fair though, I get a little emotional watching Alabama do unmentionable things to Butch’s Hearts. It’s just so beautiful.

Of course, you heard that Hugh Freeze was upset with some of his rivals’ tactics:

"It was ugly," Freeze said, via Brian Scott Rippee the Daily Mississippian. "I didn't enjoy it. You take great pride in who you are and how you do things. Again, that's not to say that we've been perfect, but I know the value that I place on this job and my name and our coaches' name and our administration's name. I'm the leader of the program so everything is directed pretty much at you.

"Some of it was personal with some people probably. I don't talk about other schools in recruiting and I won't do that, and our staff is in charge to do the same. Unfortunately they were several others that they thought it was a prime opportunity to use that in recruiting, and that's the route they go. I won't forget who they are."

Be on notice, SEC: Freeze and his #35 recruiting class are coming after you.

Things are looking kind of bleak, Hugh. Might be time to stage another funeral or something.

Moving on, Tua has been on campus for a while now, and has had an opportunity to sample some southern cuisine:

He misses the kalua pig but fell in love with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. They're both faith-centric communities, though. That helped the transition, but there's one major difference that caused his startled reaction.

"It's pretty crazy," Tagovailoa said. "People are willing to cross the road when it's a (red) light just to come and say hi to you. It's like whoa."

Welcome to Alabama, Tua.

Sounds like somebody’s been introduced to City Cafe.

"Me being a sleeper in my class? I just have to prove a lot of people wrong," Robinson said. "That's' all that is. If I was the No. 1 player, I would just have to live up to the expectations. So, I'd rather be the underdog."

He's no lightweight, either.

Robinson was still the No. 8 running back in 247Sports' composite of recruiting rankings. The owner of a 447-yard game -- a Class 6A record -- was pursued by Auburn, Georgia and Ole Miss.

Alabama was always the goal, though, and he never wavered on his commitment.

Got a great feeling about this kid. He will be heard from before his career is done.

Ruggs said he heard from nearly Alabama's entire staff earlier this week. He mentioned getting several calls from defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. That made him feel more like a priority, and he noted how Saban and the Alabama staff made it a mission to develop a relationship with Ruggs' entire support system.

"It reached outside of immediate family," Ruggs said. "Anybody they saw around, they wanted to meet. Pretty much, everyone who is somebody to me has a relationship with one of those coaches."

It’s well known that Henry has speed to burn, but check out these hops:

What an athlete. Need to get this young man the football.

But with all that behind him, does he ever see himself being the face of a college football program ever again?

"Sure, I'd love to ... a lot of work to be done before that."

In the meantime, Sark says he's "lucky to be at Alabama and work for Coach Saban."

Sark is only 42 and seems to have Saban’s respect. If he stays clean and does a great job, he will get another shot.

The university called Briles’s team culture a disciplinary “black hole,” where “reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared,” according to ESPN.

Briles’ college coaching career is dead.

Well, until Auburn finally gets tired of Gus, anyway.

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

Roll Tide.