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Jumbo Package: Last Week of Spring Camp

Soak it up, folks. The long, hard offseason begins on Saturday.

Alabama Spring Game Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. It was a brutal weekend on the diamond as the baseball team was swept by Texas A&M and the softball team lost the first two of a three-game set at Tennessee, both in heartbreaking fashion, to fall to 5-7 in true away games this season. To top it off, the Gym Tide made the Super Six only to bumble to a last place finish once they got there. Let’s just put this weekend behind us and focus on the last week of spring football, shall we?

Some of Alabama’s other running backs being banged-up has created additional opportunities for Robinson, who continues to take advantage and make standout plays.

The four-star freshman from Tuscaloosa had two nice-sized gains Friday against the Tide’s first-team defense.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Robinson is big, physical and impressing to the point that at least some at Alabama feel like he could see playing time as a freshman, even with as deep as the Tide is at running back.

Najee Harris gets all the buzz, but Brian Robinson has been blowing it up since he walked on campus. The two are sized very similarly.

“Shifty,” senior Cam Sims said about the younger receivers. “There’s nothing like it. I don’t got what they got. So, I like seeing what they got.”

Saban also referred to tight end Irv Smith as having a lot of potential and called sophomore Miller Forristall “O.J.-like” in terms of catching the ball like the Crimson Tide’s former tight end O.J. Howard.

“I’m not quite O.J., and I know that,” Forristall said.

“O.J.’s a great player, a great guy and I respect him a lot. So it was a compliment.”

By all accounts, Robert Foster has been dominating, which should mean that he sticks around for his senior season. Sophomore T.J. Simmons caught seven balls in the last scrimmage and Jerry Jeudy has made several big plays as well.

“We should have just eliminated two-a-days and just kept the practices a little less, because it’s a long season for these players,” Saban said. “I mean, we’ve played 15 games two years in a row.

“It’s tough to get them back and get them ready for the offseason program, spring practice. It’s a lot of ball. Our format for how we do playoffs, where you’ve got a month between games, then you’ve got another game in 10-12 days, that’s tough on players, too, because they have to keep practicing all that time.”

This is a great point by Saban. The teams that make the CFP title game will actually play and practice longer on the calendar than the average NFL team.

“I guess it’s the paranoia that we all have that someone else is doing something that I’m allowed to do. Everybody else is allowed to do it, but you choose not to do it. Just like when I used to go on the road in the spring. Everybody could have went on the road in the spring. Urban Meyer and I were the only two that went out every day like assistant coaches. So everyone else complained about it, but they could have done it. It wasn’t against the rules. So, they just don’t want to work?”

Love this quote. People look to outlaw things that they don’t really want to have to do to keep up.

“Ansley helps big time,” Averett said. “He texts us all the time, he always keeps us together. Ansley plays a big part."

Averett described Ansley as being “very hands-on” and said the assistant stays on the secondary during practice, making sure players execute their coverages until perfection. While Saban’s fiery approach has been caught on camera, players say Ansley brings just as much passion to the field.

"Oh yeah, he's always fired up,” Alabama safety Hootie Jones sad. “Coach Ansley's something else."

As long as he is at Alabama, Coach Ansley will be working with young depth in the secondary. It is a fact of life at big programs that are able to attract the likes of Landon Collins and Marlon Humphrey who are able to leave early and pursue NFL dreams. The players certainly seem to respond to him.

“It’s been really exciting. I get here usually somewhere between 6-6:30 in the morning – when I’m in town – and I get a chance to try and read and answer some emails. … And I try to get a workout during that time. I’ve really been impressed with the coaches, I’ve been impressed with the staff. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the student-athletes. And I’m easing into that, that’s not something you do a little bit at a time. The reception from the Alabama alums, and fan base and supporters has just been, you couldn’t ask for it to be any better. So we’ve been to Birmingham multiple times, Huntsville once, a couple of things in Tuscaloosa. I’m going to Mobile and Montgomery later on, and we had a nice event up in Nashville. I’m trying to get out and meet everybody, too. One of the things I feel strongly about is we’re here to serve as an administration, we’re here to serve our university, we’re here to serve our coaches and student-athletes, and we’re here to serve our fans. Those are the three constants that have to be here for all this to happen. And I feel very fortunate to get to do that on a daily basis.

It has to be exciting for the coaches to have a young guy with this type of work ethic running the department. Of course, it is probably a little stressful for those who aren’t performing to standard. That is a good thing.

Lastly, Collin Sexton made a couple more highlights at the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday:

Granted, this was an all-star game. If he tries this kind of stuff in Tuscaloosa, Coach Avery will probably have a coronary on the sideline. The kid is fun to watch, though. He finished with 11 points and two assists.

John Petty got stuck on the other team and didn’t make much of an impact with 2 points, 2 boards, and 2 assists. He showed what he can do at practice, though.

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

Roll Tide.