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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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More national folks have been Processed. Is Julio Jones unhappy in Atlanta? (spoiler: he’s not)

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Now, I know that you all used up most of your Gump yesterday in Erik’s Jumbo Package, so I know it’s asking for a lot, but let’s keep that train going, shall we?

100 things to watch 100 days until college football kicks off

McGee: The good news for Alabama is that the Tide probably have the most complete running back unit in the country (17). They have, at worst, a top-five offensive line, and you might even argue they have a top-five receiver corps. It might not even matter who the Tide’s quarterback is going to be.

Schlabach: And we haven’t even mentioned Nick Saban, who has won more national championships than all the other FBS head coaches combined (18). Saban won one title with LSU in 2003 and five more with Alabama (2009, ‘11, ‘12, ‘15 and ‘17). With one more, he’ll pass Bear Bryant for the most championships by a head coach in the poll era, which dates back to 1936 (19).

ESPN is kicking off the day right. Now, obviously, this is all stuff we already know. But I like linking to quotes from national guys who have so bough in to the Process that they might as well be 4-star media recruits for Saban.

New Alabama staffer an ‘excellent talent evaluator’

Alabama confirmed the hiring of Bob Welton as its director of player personnel on Tuesday.

Welton, who worked under Crimson Tide analyst Butch Jones at Tennessee from 2013 through last season, had been working at Nebraska as the team’s director of recruiting operations.

Welton is taking over for Jody Wright, who left for UAB earlier this month, and will lead the Tide’s recruiting efforts.

Aided by Welton, Tennessee had five top-25 recruiting classes, including two top-10 groups.

Unfortunately, our new director of personnel has a puke-orange stain on his resume. However, if you look past that, you’ll remember that the Volunteers have had some pretty solid recruiting classes during Welton’s time there, despite their total lack of on-field success and general program excitement. That he helped pull classes that good together in those circumstances says a lot.

Alabama 4-star DB working to get academically eligible

Not being able to enroll until later in the summer would be less than ideal for both Jobe and Alabama, especially since he appears to have a decent shot of being a part of the Tide’s defensive back two-deep this season.

It could be worse, though.

Even if Jobe isn’t able to enroll in May, the expectation for Dykeman is that he’ll still be able to join the Tide at some point this summer.

”I think worst case is that he may have to do a little summer work to get there,” Dykeman said. “But again, I’m pretty confident that he’s going to be OK (to enroll in May).”

This one is a little bit of a downer. 2018 defensive back signee Josh Jobe is “down-to-the-wire” in academically qualifying to enroll in May with the rest of the class. Alabama just lost 6 defensive backs to the Draft and graduation, so this is the perfect opportunity for any freshmen to jump in and carve out a 3-year starting role from day 1. Unfortunately, Jobe just may be a little behind the others in his class.

That said, they say they’re confident that he’ll make the second enrollment period in August if he doesn’t make the one in May. So he’ll be on the team, but possibly a little behind his compadres in the learning curve.

Undefeated season? Vegas expert says Alabama is ‘gonna go 12-0’

Gambling on Alabama football in 2018 will require supreme confidence in the Crimson Tide. Vegas expert Brian Edwards told SEC Country that Nick Saban’s team should be favored by 17-plus points in 10 of its games this season.

The outliers aren’t easy calls for gamblers, either. Edwards, who handicaps games for, said games against LSU (Alabama by 8) and Auburn (Alabama by 10.5) will swing heavily in favor of the Tide.

Well, Nick is going to have his work cut out for him in trying to navigate his team around all the rat poison out there right now. Vegas absolutely loves Bama next season. Watching an offense of nearly all true freshmen take utter command of a national championship game will do that.

Atlanta owner Arthur Blank reassures Falcons’ fans about Julio Jones

The leaders of the Atlanta Falcons said they’re unconcerned about Julio Jonesabsence from the NFL team’s offseason program.

”Julio and I, we speak regularly,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday after the Falcons’ second day of OTAs. “I was fully aware that he wasn’t going to be here for the start of the offseason program, and I was also aware that he wasn’t going to be here this past Monday. He’s in great shape, and he’s spending some time this offseason working on some of the things he has not been able to over the last offseason due to some injuries.

The voluntary workouts and OTA’s is one of my favorite times of the offseason every year. Like clockwork, the established superstars take the whole “voluntary” thing to heart and go and work out on their own, rather than with all the rookies that will be cut before the season starts. Meanwhile, the fans, with nothing else to talk about, wring their hands for weeks about their favorite superstar not being present and worrying he may be unhappy and about to start a hold out.



It really is a lot of fun to watch. Julio Jones is the one in the spotlight this time, and the owner himself has had to step in and talk his fans back from the ledge.