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Jumbo Package: Can a new-look Alabama staff open recruiting pipelines in Big 10 country?

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Gattis, Enos, Locksley and Pannunzio all have ties to the Rust Belt’s stomping grounds.

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WR Coach Josh Gattis

Under Armour’s Cleveland camp was held this week, and there was a bevy of talent on display. As you’d expect in Big 10 country, the most impressive unit was the offensive line. SBN’s Alex Kirshner broke down some of the prospects, and Zeke Correll in particular stood out to me, as the Tide can really use a stud center/utility guard going forward:

Offensive linemen

This was best position group at the camp.

Zeke Correll, a four-star guard from Cincinnati Anderson, is a stud. So is Nolan Rumler, a four-star center/guard Archbishop Hoban in Ohio. Rumler is a Michigan commit.

Correll has offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Penn State, among others. “Those are some of the schools I could see myself playing at most, as of right now,” he told me. He could conceivably move to center but, at 6’3, says he’s too short for tackle.

Correll and Rumler were the only players to earn Under Armour All-America Game invitations, though others could get them later in the year.

There’s a lot of good stuff here on some 2019 guys from the Mothership’s recruiting hub. With Alabama’s new-look coaching staff featuring five coaches with ties to the Rust Belt, the Tide may gain some inroads into the talented Cleveland and Detroit areas.

Basketball travels to Auburn tomorrow for its return trip to the Tigers. While there, Alabama’s SGA president has to return the ODK-Foy trophy given to the Iron Bowl winner. I am concerned about the safety of people in Auburn, and I sincerely hope that the glare from Alabama’s College Football Playoff National Championship rings doesn’t harm the eyes of anyone on that 2018 Peach Bowl-losing squad.

As for the game, Alabama’s chance to exploit a small Tigers’ team in the paint got even better. While you don’t wish injury on anyone, Anfernee McLemore’s season-ending injury comes at a propitious time for the Tide. McLemore has 73 of Auburn’s 155 blocks. With him in the lineup, the Tigers were 8th in the country in blocked shots. Without his 50% contribution, the rest of Auburn’s interior defenders come in at just 222nd. It’s going to be a tough game in a hostile environment, but a short-handed ‘Barn team made even thinner should help the Tide.

I’m amazed at how little attention is paid by NFL front office types. Take this gem from former Colts GM Bill Polian re: Lamar Jackson:

Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian appearing on ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” and stumping for Lamar Jackson to make the move to wide receiver before the combine.

Polian was asked specifically if Jackson needs to be a wide receiver or quarterback and went with wideout because “the accuracy isn’t there” and Jackson is “short” and “slight.”

Jackson is 6’3”...and he weighs 213 pounds. Now, Polian does have a point about LJ’s accuracy (sub-60% for his career.) And nothing about Jackson’s performances against top flight defenses inspire confidence. But, he’s not a WR. And, Polian’s comparison of Jackson to Julio Jones was just asinine. Jackson, like so many other spread option quarterbacks do, will sink or swim in camp.

Coach Avery Johnson has no time for FOGs, specifically those who are calling for his firing:

“We’ll see how we respond after the players talk to their family and friends,” Johnson said. ”And for those that are on social media, because one day, they shouldn’t have been recruited, one day the coach should have been given their walking papers. That’s how it goes, man.”

The takeaway? The Internet either attracts the dumbest among us or it is summoning forth our inner dumb. This is the best season of Alabama basketball since 2008 (and arguably 2004.) The Tide will make the tourney, and, unlike ‘Bama’s last appearance in 2012, no one wants to see this team on their side of the bracket.

This is a horrible story:

A Mississippi State signee has been charged with a felony after an injury accident that allegedly occurred as he was drag racing another teenager.

Nate Watson was arrested and charged with traffic violations and first-degree felony assault. He was allegedly racing another student from Maplesville (Alabama) High School.

The passenger suffered numerous broken bones, including a crushed pelvis. This is really bad news for Watson; he’ll almost certainly do some time for this one. Chilton County? Spurred local schools to go to ‘State? Yeah, he’ll do time. Still, what really surprised me is that that they were able to find a place to drag race at all in Maplesville...that place is crawling with cops.

ICYMI: Alabama softball’s pitching has been as advertised. The 9th-ranked Tide blasted the first six opponents it faced. However, ‘Bama did suffer a setback in Hattiesburg, dropping a 2-1 decision to No. 11 Baylor. If you’re going to beat this team, you better hope the Tide bats are cold. It’s awfully tough to generate runs against them.

Travis Reier interviewed Coach Murphy to talk about the hot start and the upcoming Easton Bama Bash.

Here’s a story we’re keeping an eye on. It looks like Bama may reach into South Beach and grab one of the very best defensive line coaches in the biz:

The college football coaching carousel always takes one final spin post-National Signing Day. Unfortunately for Miami, that carousel has taken one of the Hurricanes’ top assistants with it.

Bruce Feldman reports that assistant head coach/defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski is leaving the ‘Canes to coach the same position group with Alabama, proving once and for all that even the Crimson Tide can catch a break from time to time.

There’s no official word on Coach Kool yet, but he is an excellent recruiter. More importantly, his development at Missouri and Miami, among others, has been exemplary: he is a difference-maker.

Finally, I leave you with the best story ever:

Around Christmas time and tax time, thieves go on the prowl for other people’s packages, hoping to score something valuable, but one porch pirate in California didn’t get that and must’ve been pretty surprised with what was in a box he swiped.

Unfortunately for the robber, he stole a box from an entomologist’s home. If you don’t know, that’s someone who studies insects. Inside the box were 500 live cockroaches.

Karma is a bitch.