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Jumbo Package: Saban responds to Hurts transfer possibility

News and notes about a huge sports weekend in Tuscaloosa, headlined by the A-Day scrimmage.

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

Happy Friday, everyone. As usual, it’s a busy A-Day weekend as gymnastics competes in the national semis at noon today on ESPN2 while baseball and softball host Auburn and Tennessee, respectively. Of course, Averion Hurts captured the headlines yesterday.

“At the end of the day, everybody has career decisions that they have to make. Nobody knows what the outcome of this situation will bring. We don’t want any player not to be able to fill their goals and aspirations in our program here. We don’t want that for any of our players. Jalen’s dad has always been very positive and supportive in every conversation that I had.”

I’ll embed the entire press conference video below. The question comes at 4:21 if you wish to hear the full answer, but as expected Saban was diplomatic about it. It’s still tough to wrap your mind around the elder Hurts making these comments to a reporter at this stage. As a longtime high school coach in football-crazy Texas, he has to be sophisticated enough with media to know how that would play. If Tua does indeed take the job, no one could begrudge Jalen if he makes the decision to transfer, but these comments seem to be something of a shot across the bow, and a wholly unnecessary one before the spring game. There is very little chance that Saban makes any declaration of a starter before the opener, as we have seen in previous seasons.

Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings (knee) wore a black, non-contact jersey and stood with his position group. He likely won’t see any action during the spring game.

Tagovailoa (hand) participated in footwork drills, but did not throw during the viewing period. Tagovailoa likely won’t see any action Saturday.

There was no sign of tight end Miller Forristall (knee).

Running back Josh Jacobs (ankle) participated in drills in a black, non-contact jersey. Jacobs has been limited all spring so he likely won’t see any action.

Running back Brian Robinson appeared limited.

Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (knee) was spotted walking off to the side with a trainer. Jeudy won’t participate Saturday.

Who will be the breakout player?

Usually it’s a true freshman early enrollee, though Alabama doesn’t have the same glut as in year’s past. There are just five this spring after bringing in 16 last year. Rookies like Tagovailoa, Najee Harris and Jerry Jeudy served notice of what was to come.

So, who this year? Saivion Smith has a shot to turn heads at cornerback. Mac Jones will get more reps than normal at quarterback with Tagovailoa out and he’s earned strong reviews throughout the spring.

The game will start at 2pm on ESPN. This one doesn’t have quite the same luster with all of the injuries, but it is still a fun time and should have great weather. If you’re able, get out and enjoy the festivities.

Sophomore Dylan Moses worked with the outside linebackers. Alabama often cross trains players, but this is interesting because Moses is expected to start at one of the inside linebacker spots. He could be used in certain packages as a rusher off the edge.

Sounds like Dylan will be playing a similar role to Rashaan Evans, moving from inside to outside on some passing downs.

This may have been lost in the shuffle this week, but we are losing a great beat reporter.

To my knowledge Aaron hasn’t announced his next endeavor, but we wish him the best. He has done an exemplary job covering Alabama athletics. He counts the venerable Cecil Hurt among his mentors in the business. (segue alert)

“We also have a lot of respect for the SEC and what they think is, in some cases, best for the league relative to circumstances that people created for themselves,” Saban said. “But I have a lot of respect for Hugh, and I think he’ll be back in our profession, and we wish him and his family the very best, and if we can do anything to help him, we’ll be happy to do that.”

Sources tell us that the Freeze thing was going to happen until Sankey caught wind of a recent Sunday incident at Freeze’s affluent megachurch. Apparently Hugh grabbed the wrong bible on his way out of the house. When he opened it per the preacher’s instructions to turn to Exodus 20:14, two flip phones and a dildo fell out of the hollow core and rolled into the aisle. You’d think there would have been a scene, but at the altar call folks just stepped over it and looked the other way like it was a homeless person or something.

OK, I may have made that whole thing up. Moving on...

A couple of decent NFL wide receivers were seen working out in the Alabama weight room.

T.O. is a little crazy, but the man is a physical freak.

We’ll close with a wonderfully written piece about the horrible tragedy faced by Mike Locksley and family last September.

The Locksley’s grief has been compounded by the uncertainty over the circumstances regarding Meiko’s death. Seven months later, the investigation is ongoing, and according to Howard County (Md.) police, there were no eyewitnesses, and there are still no suspects, and no motive.

”I just want to know why,” Mike said.

”Whenever I find myself asking why, I try to redirect and be grateful for the 25 years I was given instead of what was taken,” Kia said, “because that’s the only way I can go on.”

Football was the only way for Mike to go on.

Imagine, if you can, losing a child to senseless violence without so much as a suspect seven months later. Simply heartbreaking. May Alabama football provide some semblance of escape to Mike, Kia, and the rest of the Locksley family as they continue to deal with this devastation, with no closure in sight.

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

Roll Tide.