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Jumbo Package: Minkah Fitzpatrick already cashes in

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<p zoompage-fontsize="15">NFL Combine - Day 5

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

As we know by now, UCF spent the last three months pawing through the cracks of sofas throughout Orlando to gather up enough loose change to create “championship” rings for their excellent 2017 team. Good on them. They can call themselves intrepid panda detectives, survivors of a terrible Time War on Gallifrey, or any other fanciful thing as the mood strikes them. However, like Time Lords and panda detectives, there is still an objective reality out there.

Meanwhile in Title Town, Alabama collected its nearly-annual hardware given to the national champion. Barely raises an eyebrow at this point, does it?

The players had fun with it, of course.

Peter Burns had the bet summation of the actual state of the quarterback battle a few days ago. To paraphrase: It’s Jalen Hurts’ job until Mac or Tua take it from him. That won’t happen in one spring. And, no matter what, expect him to see plenty of snaps this year. That seems about right to me.

But, SECN’s Booger McFarland, presumably to create a counterpoint to the one-sided narrative, had this to say:

“I’ve gone on record after the championship game, and I’ll go on record again,” McFarland told guest host Peter Burns on “The Paul Finebaum Show.” “I think when Alabama takes the first snap this season, I think it’s going to be Jalen Hurts.

”Here’s why. I think Jalen Hurts is consistent enough. No, he’s not that greatest passer, but guess what? He’s only been 24-2 (actually 26-2) as a starter. He understands how to run the offense.”

Okay, Booger. But what were those losses? An Iron Bowl that took Alabama’s playoff fate out of its hands, a national championship game (and another national title game where the team had to pass and had to go to a different horse). I’m not sure the pride of LSU is making his case very well here.

Those holding out hope that Minkah Fitzpatrick is suddenly going to realize how much he loves Tuscaloosa and return for a dominating Heisman run are going to be heartbroken: Sixpatrick signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas yesterday @forfeiting any remaining eligibility he may have had@

Speaking of the draft, here’s a great story from USA-Today interviewing four NFL busts and what leads a player to bust. Fascinating look at how to fall from grace quickly.

Here’s a peek at what Akili Smith faced, just from his own family:

“The money you get and the fame and things of that nature, you have to put all of that stuff to the side,” he said, “and make sure that you get acclimated with your new organization, with your new city, with your teammates and things of that nature.’’

That wasn’t easy, Smith said, after he signed a contract that was worth up to $56 million and included a $10.8 million signing bonus.

“Oh, my God, I had an uncle that had a $1 million ‘Price Is Right’ check and he was on his front lawn and taking pictures thinking that I was going to give him $1 million,’’ Smith said. “And then you got other aunties and parents and brothers, everybody is just expecting something. And it’s not fair to that individual.”

Thank goodness the draft is almost over too: There are few things as obnoxious as Shieldball Guy who suddenly pretends to know every college player that is draft-eligible.

This is an oldie, but goodie.

Reuben Foster’s young, promising career could be over before it starts. On Monday the Niners’ GM John Lynch emphatically said that if the allegations against the former Bama-LB are proven, he’s done: They’ll cut him loose.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said Monday that the team will cut ties with linebacker Reuben Foster if it’s proven he beat his girlfriend. As it is, Lynch said the 49ers are approaching this week’s draft as if Foster won’t be around.

“The gravity of these charges has not been lost on us. We take it extremely seriously,” Lynch said.

If the allegations are true and the follow-up is there, you’d like to tip your cap to Lynch. But, in a league that employs Tyreek Hill, Joe Mixon, Taylor Lewan and an entire host of other unsavory sorts, you have to think that the 49ers may be one of the few teams that won’t give Foster another shot.

Could college football games be making a return to a gaming console near you? Yes....but with a truckload of caveats.

The best quote of the day: NFL analyst Mike Mayock on the Big 12: “It’s hard to watch defensively.”

What? I can’t imagine why this hurts people’s souls?

(For the record, I just randomly search “Ridiculous Big 12 football game.”)

News is sparse today. Sorry, folks. Maybe Bront will have something extra Gumpy for you tomorrow.