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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

More news and Saban sound bites from spring practice

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Pretty much all the noteworthy stuff out there at the moment comes from Nick Saban’s press conference after yesterday’s practice session.

What we saw of Tua Tagovailoa at practice, other Alabama notes

A few observations from the media viewing period.

-- Tua Tagovailoa continued to do some drills with the quarterbacks. He was second in line behind Jalen Hurts doing a few warm up exercises.

-- When they went to a drill where they were throwing QB to QB, Tagovailoa went off to the side to work with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen.

-- Moving to the full QB-to-WR passing routes, Tagovailoa participated at the end of the line. He still put good zip on the ball with the heavy tape on the index finger he broke a week ago Tuesday.

-- It’s interesting watching the structure of the offensive drills with the retooled coaching staff. For the first time in the Saban era, the quarterbacks coach (Dan Enos) is not the offensive coordinator. It still looked like he was running some of the drills where the QBs were throwing the route tree to WRs and TEs. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley was in the field where the routes were being run.

Well, it seems Tua is doing well enough to at least toss the ball around. Hopefully he’ll be good to go by A-day so we can watch the Tua vs Jalen battle in a true matchup opposing each other.

More noteworthy is the progress of Miller Forristall, who is participating in all the drills now, albeit with a knee brace and black jersey. His early loss to an ACL last season marred the promising sophomore campaign of the talented tight end, so any progress on such a nasty injury is a great sign.

Why Alabama LB has not been at last 2 practices

Missing from the last two practices, VanDarius Cowan’s absence was explained by Nick Saban on Tuesday night.

Without getting into specifics, Saban said there were academic issues in play.

”We check guys in terms of what they’re supposed to do and we define the standard of expectations that we have for class attendance, tutors, study tables,” Saban said. “And when guys do not do this to the standard that we’ve created for all the players here, they can’t practice or play until they get it right.

The idea is to create the right kind of habits,” Saban said.

”And when we have to take something away that’s going to change his behavior, that’s one of the ways we’re going to do it,” Saban said. “He is making good progress and hopefully he’ll be back at practice soon.”

Cowan had some issues in high school with behavior/attitude, ending his senior season suspended from his team for some undisclosed disagreements with his coaches. He’s talented, but repeated offenders of Saban’s team rules often don’t last too long before transferring. We’ll see if he turns it around.

Nick Saban talks Tua Tagovailoa, kicker situation, DBs

-- When asked about Joseph Bulovas, Saban said Alabama has only had kicked one day so far and that one day was windy but he said he’s been encouraged thus far. Said Bulovas has talent but that they’re looking for continued improvement regarding consistency.

-- Saban said the secondary isn’t where he wants to be numbers-wise right now, but that he’s been pleased with the secondary.

-- Saban didn’t offer anything new regarding the potential of home-and-homes with Notre Dame and Texas.

-- Saban said Deionte Thompson has a better understanding of his responsibilities now and that he’s even more confident because of the experience during last season’s playoffs.

All of you know just how excited I’ve been for Deionte Thompson to get his shot at being a starter. I love his range and homing-missile-like play style, and I think he’ll be an upgrade over the starting safeties from last year. Same for Xavier McKinney, who was probably my favorite freshman in last year’s class (before Tua and Devonte won the championship and all that). There may be some communication breakdowns early in the season, but overall I think that Thompson and McKinney end up being an upgrade over Harrison and Jones.

NFL DRAFT HIGHLIGHTS: J.K. Scott, P -- Alabama

Enjoy watch J.K. doing J.K. things. This specific kick on such a big stage probably earned him a draft pick three years early.

Great news for the softball team:

Alabama star softball pitcher Alexis Osorio, who was hit in the head with a line drive at Auburn on March 18 and missed last weekend’s series against Ole Miss, was cleared Tuesday after concussion protocol and will be available to play this weekend at Kentucky.

Roll Tide, Alexis.