Da’Shawn Hand was once the No. 1 player in the country throughout the 2014 recruiting cycle, but when he showed up to Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide had multiple defensive lineman ahead of him.
There was A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Jonathan Allen and Dalvin Tomlinson, to name a few. Those guys are all gone, and Hand is a lock to be a starter at this point. He’s one of Alabama’s most experienced defensive lineman, along with rising junior Da’Ron Payne.
When given the opportunity, Hand has performed well. He has 7 sacks for his career. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he topped that number this season, given his natural abilities.
Look for Hand to have a breakout year in his senior season for Alabama as he hopes to prove to NFL teams he can be a game-changer at the next level.
Da’Shawn Hand might be even more important of a cog than the countdown here gives him credit for. Though a career backup, the quality of the defensive line in 2017 almost entirely depends on him finally living up to the potential he’s had ever since being named a #1 overall recruit.
If he succeeds, the Tide will have 2 spots along the defensive line fortified, with a rotation going for the 3rd (which is often occupied by a linebacker at any given time anyway).
If he fails, then suddenly Da’Ron Payne is the only lineman of note, and Alabama will be solely relying on a bunch of new players.
"Savage writes that Kiffin said into his headset 'dumb players make dumb plays,' which all the Crimson Tide coaches heard," Creg Stephenson of AL.com wrote after seeing an advanced copy of the book. "Saban snapped back with 'no, dumb offensive coordinators call dumb plays.' There were probably a few expletives left out."
You’ve likely seen this one already, but I’m throwing the link in anyway.
We all assumed Nick got mad at Lane for calling a cute play that went poorly in the late moments of a game already well in hand. Yet now it looks like it wasn’t necessarily the play call Saban was mad about—though I’m sure it irked him-- it seems that it was really about the fact that Lane was passing the blame onto to players.
A leader passing off the blame to his underlings is sure to be something that Coach Saban will not stand for.
Grier transferred to West Virginia from Florida after being slapped with a one-year suspension by the NCAA for a positive PED test midway through his freshman season in 2015.
Since he sat out all of last year as a transfer, the Mountaineers pursued a waiver with the NCAA so that Grier would be eligible for the opener instead of sitting out until Game 7.
Another name in the crazy carousal that has been the Florida quarterback room since the Tim Tebow days.
He’s an easy one to forget, especially after having disappeared over the last year.
But for us Alabama fans, Grier holds a small, yet special, place in our hearts. In 2015, he had by far the best game of his career, going 24 of 29 for 271 yards and four TDs, and led Florida to the win against Ole Miss... A win that kept Ole Miss from passing Alabama to win the SEC west crown, which in turn allowed Alabama the path to the 2015 National Championship.
It’s not surprising that Alabama’s success in football has generated additional state revenue. The Tide’s home games became a hot ticket early in Nick Saban’s coaching tenure and haven’t slowed down since.
According to the university, UA home games during 2015-16 had a total statewide impact of $175.5 million, an average of $25.1 million per game.
Next time someone complains about how much money Nick Saban is being paid, remember that he’s bringing in 175.5 million dollars per year to the state. Want proof of how he’s impacted the community? Just go look at the ridiculous amount of growth in Tuscaloosa over the last 10 years. He’s made this entire state a better place.