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Jumbo Package: Calvin Ridley highlights Pro Day performers

Ridley had a mortal combine — but he acquitted himself yesterday

NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

During Alabama’s Pro Day yesterday, Butch Jones was spotted talking to NFL scouts, repping his new crimson colors. And, he has been doing the meet-and-greet rounds with athletic department staff throughout the week. I’m not sure why there’s a hold up on an announcement, but there you have it — the worst kept flirting since Lane Kiffin joined ‘Bama as an “observer” in the Winter of 2013. That now makes four former or current Tennessee head coaches that have worked with Saban during his Alabama tenure.

Saban will only say “Alabama is interested” in Jones.

Butch Jones wasn’t alone in Tuscaloosa’s disgraced/fired coach fraternity yesterday. Other faces popping up include Bret Bielema and Rich Rod(!!!). We have absolutely no idea what they were doing.

Michigan, which sported an offense about as bad as Florida’s, is under some impression that Jim McElwain’s Gators were “explosive.” Coach Mac is many things; explosive play caller isn’t one of them. Those expecting a more wide open attack in Ann Arbor are in for a wake up call.

What do we think of the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis as a destination spot for the SEC? I hate it. Attendance is terrible for a reason. The city has neither ties to, nor an inclination towards, SEC affiliation. It barely borders two SEC states (Tennesee, Kentucky — and is no where near either university) and really only benefits the Mizzou Tigers. St. Louis is a Big 10 town with its eyes turned towards Chicago. Always has been. TSK thinks it’s a good fit. I don’t see it.

18 way too early predictions for 2018, a few involving Alabama: The most speculative one is this little nugget:

10. Tua gets to New York City

We’ll try to contain our enthusiasm. Nick Saban will, too. But it’s impossible not to get up caught in the hype with college football’s next big megastar. Tua Tagovailoa is just that, and keep in mind AJ McCarron was a runner-up in 2013. All Tagovailoa has to do is win, and the numbers should follow. He’s our best bet to win the Heisman Trophy. Yeah, we can’t believe it either.

About 80 NFL scouts, representing all 32 teams, were in Tuscaloosa yesterday for Alabama’s pro day. Nineteen Alabama players participated. Here’s a nice photo spread.

There weren’t very many surprises at Pro Day. Robert Foster, Calvin Ridley, Bradley Bozeman and Da’Ron Payne all had very good workouts. In an article rife with quotes, this less-than-modest one from Calvin Ridley is probably my favorite:

On the interview process at the Combine:

“That part was pretty good, and I had fun doing that. I met a lot of great coaches and good people. I think I did really well in those rooms because I made sure to just get right to the point (with them). We mean business.”

On his biggest selling point to a team:

“That I am the best. That you will get a good player in me. I will come in, and I will work hard.”

Of those that stood out yesterday, Calvin Ridley did a lot to rehab his rather mortal performance at the Combine.

If you want to watch some highlights of the performances, Aye Ell has you covered here.

With Spring practice just a week and a half away, AMG sees a lot of open battles along the line, including right tackle and the hole at center:

Bozeman himself speculated that Ross Pierschbacher may slide over to center -- the spot he had occupied briefly after Ryan Kelly left following the 2015 campaign. Bozeman went on to say that tackle Alex Leatherwood could assume Pierschbacher’s role at left guard while Jonah Williams and Matt Womack stay at the tackle positions with incumbent right guard Lester Cotton remaining firmly affixed where he has been.

But more shuffling could happen. Jedrick Wills, the talented rising sophomore, has plenty of potential and has the capability of supplanting Womack at right tackle.

That’s it for now. Gamethread at 11:30 central, tip off at 12 central, and if you missed Parker’s breakdown yesterday, that’s here as well.

BURT on more time.