Happy Friday, everyone. It was a fine week for Alabama fans as Saban and company hauled in yet another top class. A few wrapups:
Yeah, I know, shocking right? Alabama was a big winner during the early signing period. The Crimson Tide currently have the top class (again) on the 247 composite and got even stronger on Wednesday.
There was a period in time in early December in which it looked like Alabama could sign the No. 1 recruiting class of all-time. Some important pieces did not fall its, way, however, so it will have to settle for locking up the No. 1 class which is simply very elite, as opposed to the all-time best.
“It’s just an opportunity for me and my family and for my brother to just come under and learn from me, learn from our coaching staff,” Tua said at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility. “I mean, it’s just a great opportunity for him to be here. To have my brother here, it’s awesome.”
However, Tua said there’s no competition between the Tagovailoa brothers.
Out of 23 commitments, the Tide signed exactly one that wasn’t a blue chip on the 247 Composite: three-star kicker Will Reichard who is the #1 player at his position. This class is loaded, particularly with offensive linemen and secondary players, with attention paid to the front seven plus The Next Great Alabama RB in Trey Sanders. Sanders had been considered an Alabama lean for the entire recruiting cycle before Kirby swooped in and tried to take him at the eleventh hour.
Speaking of Kirby, there is buzz that he’s being a bit less than ethical on the recruiting trail with what he’s telling some of the prospects. Jimbo Fisher was not amused by his antics.
”Some of it is gamesmanship,” Fisher told reporters. “Some of it is unnecessary and ridiculous because it is trying to trick a kid. I think you ought to give them the information so they can get their future set.”
The thing about kids that get “tricked” is that they tend to transfer, as Justin Fields and top freshman TE Luke Ford apparently will. Freshman DT Jordan Davis missed the first practice after signing day as well. The beat writers are speculating that he has an injury, but none has been reported previously and nobody could confirm.
Oh, remember when we mentioned that, despite his lofty ranking and proximity to Alabama’s campus, none of the Tide’s coaches bothered to make an in-home visit with Clay Webb? Let’s have a look at Clay blocking 2020 five-star Alabama commit Jayson Jones out of Calera, shall we?
December 21, 2018
Some things kind of speak for themselves.
A couple more Orange Bowl previews dropped.
There might be only so much Heisman winner Murray can do to keep the Sooners in this for the entire game. Even if Murray plays well, the Sooners probably won’t have enough on defense to slow down the Tide — and that’s even if Tua isn’t 100 percent.
Alabama 42, Oklahoma 28
The extreme imbalance has combined to turn several games into crazed thrill rides: A 48-45 loss to Texas. A 51-46 win at Texas Tech. Against Oklahoma State (48-47) and at West Virginia (59-56), head-spinning escapes.
Quinnen Williams, Alabama’s All-American defensive lineman, watched the Sooners outscore the Mountaineers, and his head started shaking. Or maybe aching.
“I just thought about, ‘No defense,’” Williams says. “I’m a defensive person. I like less points.”
Me too, Q. Me too.
Hey, Saban finally won an individual award!
It’s the second time in his career he’s won the award, receiving it in 2008 as well. This is the first major coach of the year award he’s won since 2008 and his only one so far this season.
The Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award is voted on by FBS head coaches and sports information directors. The same organization named Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as its player of the year for the season earlier this month.
Congrats to The Man who should have many more of these on his mantle already. Special Teams coach Jeff Banks took home some hardware as well.
Jeff Banks, in his first year as the Crimson Tide’s tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, has been named Football Scoop’s Special Teams Coordinator of the Year.
Under Banks, Alabama is ranked fifth nationally in punt return defense, ninth in punt return average and 25th in kick return average.
People are laughing about this due to the kickers, but Alabama’s return and coverage teams have been exemplary this season.
Maria Taylor said what we all know about Saban’s future.
“I really see him riding off into the sunset at Tuscaloosa.”— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 20, 2018
-@MariaTaylor on Nick Saban pic.twitter.com/sz65sKQeuL
The man owns Tuscaloosa. Crazy to think he’d leave that to go freeze in Green Bay.
Kareem Jackson had an outstanding season for the surging Houston Texans.
Through 14 games, #Texans CB/S @ReemBoi25 has recorded a single-season career-high 82 total tackles, team-high 14 passes defensed, five TFLs, two INTs, two FF, one fumble recovery and 1.0 sack.— Texans PR (@TexansPR) December 20, 2018
Since 2000, no other NFL player has recorded this stat line in an entire season. pic.twitter.com/aRUaxye6Hq
Jackson was named as a Pro Bowl alternate. He also loves some food.
On this episode of InstaChef, Cliff @Skighwalker takes Kareem Jackson (@ReemBoi25) of the Texans on a play-by-play food tour of Houston. https://t.co/PoetgyyUsz— Thrillist (@Thrillist) December 19, 2018
Don’t watch that if you’re hungry, folks. It’s twenty minutes of mouth-watering stuff.
Mark Ingram continues his annual tradition of giving back.
.@MarkIngram22 held his annual holiday shopping spree for children of incarcerated parents on Tuesday #WPMOYChallenge | #GoSaints pic.twitter.com/k6287zacs5— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 19, 2018
As anyone who watched the 2009 season on CBS knows all too well, Mark’s former NFL WR father did some time.
Last, check out the speech from this high school coach who stayed on the sidelines through the state championship while battling a terminal lung disorder.
In August, Newton head coach W.T. Johnston told his team he might not make it through the season.— ESPN (@espn) December 21, 2018
Thursday, he delivered one of the most powerful postgame speeches you'll ever see after his team won the Texas High School State Championship. pic.twitter.com/YK3ksrMZKi
Fantastic stuff, and there is no way to quantify the impact he made on those young men for the rest of their lives.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.