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Jumbo Package: Locksley is “family” to his players

Some insight on the decision to promote Mike Locksley to OC, and other Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The Combine is the main news of the day, but we’ll open with a nice story from Charlie Potter about Mike Locksley.

“He helped out a lot,” Ruggs told BamaOnLine in New Orleans. “He kind of doesn’t let me get down. He knows what kind of guy I am, he doesn’t let me get too far down, he keeps me up. He keeps the spirit up and never lets anybody have a bad day.”

And the wide receivers attempted to return the favor when tragedy struck the Locksley family.

Locksley’s son, Meiko Locksley, was shot and killed in Columbia, Md., on Sept. 3, 2017 -- one day after Alabama’s 2017-18 season opener against Florida State. He was 25 years old.

“We’re all family,” Ruggs said. “The team is a family, but the wide receivers stick together. When he went through that, we kind of just kept it up for him, and we all told him we’re his kids.”

Tragedy often draws people closer, and it sounds like this happened with Mike and his players. None of them will ever replace his son, but acting as a father figure with his work sons has to be somewhat therapeutic for him. We don’t know what the offense will look like just yet, but there seems to be a special bond between the coach and his men. ]

On to the Combine:

The on-the-field work at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine starts on Friday with the offensive linemen, running backs and specialists hitting the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

NFL Network will televise the workouts from the annual event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST Friday.

The scheduling breakdown for the 14 former Alabama player who were invited is as follows:

Friday: RB (Bo Scarbrough), OL, PK, ST (JK Scott)

Saturday: QB, WR (Robert Foster, Calvin Ridley), TE

Sunday: DL (Josh Frazier, Da’Shawn Hand, Da’Ron Payne), LB (Rashaan Evans, Shaun Dion Hamilton)

Monday: DB (Anthony Averett, Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Levi Wallace)

Tune in to see Bo show his chops today.

Speaking of Bo, he provided some sound bites.

Scarbrough had other thoughts.

”I think they should have had an opportunity in the playoff because they didn’t lose a game just like any of these teams that had one loss,” he said. “I still think they should have had an opportunity but it is what it is. They had no control over it.”

I appreciate the candor, Bo, but any honest person with any sense about these things knows that UCF had no business in the playoff.

While Diggs will be in contention for one of the two outside positions, Shyheim Carter has an opportunity to emerge as more than a bit player at Star. He played 71 snaps last season and the rising junior should be comfortable enough in Nick Saban’s defense to handle this all-encompassing job.

Lots of good competitions to look forward to this spring.

Hey, who wants to talk some player compensation?

Even if the NCAA can’t figure out how to actually “pay” athletes, there should be no reason why they can’t use their likenesses to profit from their names and skills.

If an athlete wants to make funny videos on a YouTube account to make money or sell T-shirts with their faces on them, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do it? That’s the part that’s never sat well with me.

That would make too much sense, Marq.

Hey, look who made a top 100 list of draft eligible players:

95. Levi Wallace

A great story, Wallace was a walk-on at Alabama, and went from flag football to starting for the Crimson Tide in just a few seasons. His one season of extensive playing time was excellent and he didn’t allow a single touchdown across 68 targets. He wasn’t beaten for a catch longer than 30 yards all year. Although, he did struggle at the Senior Bowl during practices and in the game, and is a very lightweight player that may be overmatched at the NFL level.

Great to see Levi on here, disappointed to see Hand left off. Da’shawn just never quite developed into the monster he appeared to be.

Avery Johnson has another solid group coming in.

Congrats to Diante. The knock on him is the level of competition, but the young man can certainly score the basketball.

Last but not least, Damien Harris is a really funny Twitter follow.

Somebody stuck their nose where it didn’t belong, got embarrassed and probably lost a job in the process.

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

Roll Tide.