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Jumbo Package: Guess Who’s Back?

Tua isn’t throwing yet but he’s back at practice. Meanwhile Jalen Hurts is squatting houses and we really shouldn’t sleep on Mac Jones.

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Congratulations to the women’s basketball team on a thrilling win over Georgia Tech in the WNIT on a last second layup by senior Meoshonti Knight, sending them on to a quarterfinal match at Virginia Tech on Sunday. On the diamond, Coach Brian Bohannon and the baseball team travels to Knoxville this weekend while Coach Pat Murphy’s softball team hosts Ole Miss in the first SEC action since top player Alexis Osorio went down indefinitely after getting struck by a line drive. It was also day two of spring practice, and Tua Tagovailoa was back out there.

-- The quarterback was not doing the normal drills with his teammates but was off to the side working with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen. It looked like they were testing Tagovailoa’s ability to grip the football since the injury was suffered on his throwing hand. He replicated a few play-action roll outs with the ball in his left hand. At one point, he rolled over toward where Jalen Hurts was standing and they high fived. Tagovailoa used his right (uninjured hand).

Tua’s no dummy. He knows Jalen would be aiming for that thumb.

No, not serious for those slow on the uptake...

The first offensive line group had Jonah Williams at left tackle, Josh Casher at left guard, Ross Pierschbacher at center, Lester Cotton at right guard and Jedrick Wills at right tackle.

At one point, Brandon Kennedy came on at center with the first group, which moved Pierschbacher back to left guard.

The second offensive line group has Alex Leatherwood at left tackle, Dallas Warmack at left guard, Kennedy at center, Richie Petitbon at right guard and Scott Lashley at right tackle.

The safeties were led through one drill by Xavier McKinney and Deionte Thompson. McKinney looked huge when I saw him. He’s listed at 6-1/197 but I would have pegged him closer to 210. They were followed by Daniel Wright, Kyriq McDonald, Jared Mayden and Slade Bolden.

Ben Davis was practicing with the inside linebackers.

Behind the walls protecting the Tide football facility, Jones is also showing progress as a passer entering his second season in Tuscaloosa.

”I think he gets lost in the Jalen and Tua hype, guys that have played this year “ Alabama running back Damien Harris told before the Sugar Bowl. “But I don’t know if people understand he’s going to be a big-time playmaker someday. He has a strong arm. He has a great mind for the game and I think he’ll really be successful one day once he gets his opportunity.”

Pierschbacher indeed got the first look at center. Saban has mentioned that a few guys can play inside or outside, and Wills was one of those. It will be interesting to see if he moves over to left guard when Matt Womack gets back. Casher is a senior who has never been able to crack the starting lineup, but he was recruited as a center. If you recall, Pierschbacher was running first at center all camp with Bradley Bozeman at left guard in 2016, but the two were flipped for the season. This will be something to watch for sure.

Ben Davis was back at inside linebacker, but he was running third team with VanDarius Cowan, behind a second grouping of Markail Benton and Joshua McMillon. It has to be concerning that two younger players, Benton and Dylan Moses, have passed him up. Mac Jones is indeed a guy to watch. The young man is known for the touch and accuracy he puts on the football. It won’t be surprising at all if he spends a year or more as the starter before his career is done.

He can’t do this though.

Jalen is strong enough to play just about anywhere on a football field.

Coach Saban seems to be very happy with his coaching choices, calling them a “home run” in the next article.

The dominoes really started tumbling six days after Alabama claimed its 17th national championship. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll skipped off to the Buffalo Bills. Kuligowski’s predecessor, Karl Dunbar, left to take the same job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The man Scott succeeded, Derrick Ansley, jumped to oversee the Oakland Raiders’ secondary. And long before those departures, former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was lured to Knoxville to shepherd Tennessee’s woebegone program.

Pretty incredible when you see it summarized that way. Three assistants from last year’s squad got NFL jobs and another got a head coaching job in the SEC.

“He drives himself, he works harder than everyone else in the building regardless of whether it’s a 25-year-old or not,” Kiffin added. “I think him stopping would only be because by choice if he wanted to . . .

”He ain’t going to slow down.”

Let’s hope not, Lane.

It’s worth mentioning that the SEC will have no representation in the Elite Eight after Kentucky and Texas A&M both went down in flames last night.

Uninspired. Embarrassing. Sad.

Pick a word to describe Kentucky’s upset loss to Kansas State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.

The best way to summarize it is by putting it bluntly: Kentucky choked, big time.


The south region will now come down to a must-see-TV matchup of Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago for a trip to the national semifinals. Let that sink in, all ye who stump for CFP expansion.

Last, be rooting for this one to pass, folks.

Apparently, there is a group out there that has been resistant,” the American Football Coaches Association’s executive director told The Athletic this week. “It’s powerful enough where some of the administrators have concerns whether it’s going to pass or whether we should even propose it. You can’t bring it up again for another two years.”

The proposal, which first began gaining steam more than a year ago, would allow football players to participate in up to four games in a season without burning their redshirt year.

Oddly enough, nobody seems to know the identity of the resistant group. It stands to reason that a rule like this helps the most powerful programs the most from a recruiting standpoint, since virtually every blue chip freshman will get a little taste of game action as a true freshman. Perhaps Auburn and Tennessee some of the second-tier programs are against the idea. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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

Roll Tide.