Spring Practice Schedule Released
Pack away your tears from January 9th; it’s a new year, with new guys, and similar goals. The Tide begins Spring ball on March 22nd and concludes on April 22nd with the nationally-televised A-Day game.
Battle for Centerfield
Alabama has played a ton of guys this year owing to the Tide’s youth, Goff learning the roster, as well as his OCD preference to play to matchups. It has backfired at times, sure, but the experience is undoubtedly good for the newer guys. Most of the position battles are settled, but one emerged this weekend at centerfield between two young players, Soph. Gene Wood and Fr. Logan Carey.
You get a pretty similar player with both of them," sophomore right fielder Chandler Taylor said. "Both of them swing the bat with the left side, pretty consistent, line drive-type, handle the bat guys. They can bunt. I think his ideal centerfielder right now would be somebody who can hit in the two hole and somebody who can handle a bat for the guys that are coming up behind them."
Takes from the Combine
One of the coolest parts of the Combine are the player-on-payer scouting reports. Jonathan Allen summed up what many of us have sai thought for the last two years -- DesShaun Watson is the best player in the game. This a game-respect-game quote:
“Just his composure (is impressive). We hit the guy, I can’t even count how many times, just trying to put him out. We were trying to crush him. And he just came back tougher. Just his competitiveness. He’s the best player I’ve ever played in college by far.”
“A lot of guys who play the quarterback position, by the end of the game, they’re not really going through progressions like they did at the beginning because they’re worried about the (pass) rush. DeShaun Watson played exactly the same in the first quarter as he did in the fourth quarter.”
This is just devastating. Jackson, coming off of one all-American campaign was working on another one when disaster struck versus A&M. The defensive captain went from a no-worse-than-second-round lock to the 95th player in the Draft and just a 3rd or 4th round selection. The quotes in here may damn well make you tear up; no one wants to think of Eddie on the sideline of the LSU game crying because he can’t get in there and contribute. If there is any one player in the Draft I am pulling for, it is Eddie Jackson (and the criminally-overlooked Ryan Anderson.)
After returning for one final season, Jackson is considered the No. 4 strong safety and No. 95 overall prospect after sustaining his injury, per CBS Sports. He is projected to be drafted in the third round of April’s NFL Draft after 24 tackles, two punt return touchdowns and one pick-six during 2016.
Tim Williams had a few drug tests not come out in his favor at Alabama (so, maybe it wasn’t Brandon Chicken’s weed, huh?) But, he’s been very forthright addressing his recreational smoking and trouble he got in to in Tuscaloosa. That has impressed a lot of teams, as has his selflessness. The No. 3 OLB may be the best pure pass-rusher in a Draft that is filled with fantastic pass-rushers. His history in Alabama is not as storied or productive or as all-around excellent as a guy like Derrick Thomas, but he may be the best pure athlete at the position in Tuscaloosa since No. 55 was stalking the sidelines. You can’t coach his physical gift: He’ll get a first-round phone call — weed aside.
“I’m not a bull rush guy. I’m not a finesse guy,” Williams said. “Some tackles don’t know what I’m going to do when I get up there. I can drop. I’m an all-around competitor. It doesn’t matter how many plays you give me. You can give me two plays, three plays. I’m not going to pout about it.
“I’m still going to go out there and perform because the game of football is bigger than me. The organization is bigger than me, and we’re all out there trying to win the game.”
Reuben kissed and made up with NFL teams. Him losing his temper after being jerked around all day isn’t going to chase anyone away. He’ll be the first linebacker off the board (unless we’re calling Myles Garrett an OLB,) and is a mortal lock for no worse than a 13th overall selection.
Want a sleeper? We know what Ryan Anderson is capable of, but big Dalvin Thomlinson is attracting a lot of attention too.
Alabama is working on signing the nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback for a second year in a row, now that its offered five-star Ohio State commit Emory Jones.
Emory Jones was just a backup last season, yet the 5-star already regarded as the best dual-threat QB in the 2018 class (don’t ask me how they ascertain such things.) Jones is committed to OSU, but it is believed to be a soft commit at the moment. That said, given Alabama’s young QB situation, with two early-enrollee freshmen and an incumbent true sophomore, I’d be surprised if he commits to ‘Bama — and the same can be said for Ohio State which also has three very young guys in the wings.
It’s not a mortal blow to Alabama, but FSU has re-hired Dameyune Craig. Craig is a superb recruiter in the Gulf area and is known to be one of the better chaotic evil agents of negative recruiting out there. Call him Black Kirby Smart (or call Kirby the White Dameyune Craig, they’re 1 and 1A in college football. Of course, since Craig is an Auburn Man, he has more than a little cheating in him too.
Welp, that’s it for this morning. Be sure to check out CB’s Random Thoughts, Spring Teaser edition on the front page. And, there’s always a gigantic comment section below for you to work your keyboard voodoo. Go forth to evil.