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Jumbo Package: Fall practice update; DB rotations; Haylie McCleney leads Team USA to Gold

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Haylie McCleney Softball

There is not a thing about this story I don’t love:

Four-time All-American Haylie McCleney guided the USA Softball Women’s National Team to a gold-medal finish this weekend at the Pan American Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Team USA was on the verge of elimination after a Friday loss to Mexico, but bounced back with four-straight wins over the weekend...

. . .

McCleney . . . led the national team offense from the leadoff position, hitting .613 (19-31) with 17 runs scored and seven walks. She had multi-hit performances in six of her 11 starts, including a 3-4 game against Venezuela on Aug. 8 where she was a triple away from hitting for the cycle.

Congratulations to the women of Team USA, and Roll Tide, Haylie!

Great interview here with Minkah Fitzpatrick on what was learned in the first scrimmage and how the offense and defense are progressing:

Fitzpatrick said the offense is still coming together under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, but Jalen Hurts still puts on a lot of pressure on the defense in practice.

“One of the biggest challenges? Definitely having a mobile quarterback to practice against every single day is definitely a benefit for us but it’s a challenge at the same time. Because we can cover. We can have a great rush, fold the pocket, and then Jalen just busts out of it and starts running.”


After yesterday’s practice, the team’s 10th, the DBs were the story of the show.

First, we have some concrete evidence that Trevon Diggs has improved vastly since his forgettable appearance in Spring Ball. I don’t think it’s an insult to Trevon though to question whether he can be a number one guy on the outside. Offenses are certainly going to test him and steer clear of Anthony Averett, a projected first/second round star-in-the-making. And, I think we’re still all holding our breath about his ability to do so. The fortunate thing is that Alabama has good corner depth again, even if its relatively young, so there is a fall-back in the wings.

Michael Casagrande noted some interesting DB pairings in yesterday’s observation period:

-- When practicing in the dime formation, Minkah Fitzpatrick was the dime back (sixth DB) while Hootie Jones was back at safety in his place.

-- With the second group, Daniel Wright and Bo Grant were shadowing at safety while Keaton Anderson was shadowing at nickel/dime. Levi Wallace was at corner with that second unit.’

It’s being called the “Year of the Super Quarterback.” And, while it benefits Alabama, it is also going to be a trying one for the defense.

Also from practice, it looks like those freshmen tackles that were so highly praised by Saban are shooting up the depth chart. In the second team, Jedrick Wills is at RT while Alex Leatherwood was working the blind side.

Coach Gene Stallings suffered an other minor stroke yesterday, said his long-time friend, Pat Dye. Again, our best wishes to Coach Stallings. And, yes, I promise that one of these countdown pieces will pay proper respect to him.

Two Alabama receivers were cut by their respective teams after injuries: Kevin Norwood and DeAndrew White. On the other end of the spectrum, five Alabama rookies started in their NFL teams’ preseason games.


Check out this kid, 4-star DB Josh Jobe. He is presently a Miami verbal, but Alabama and Michigan are hot on his heels, with the Tide aggressively pursuing him. Comparisons to Jabrill Peppers are not too far off as a utility player.

We have a cpoule of more stories coming for you later. Till then, you know what to do.