Happy Friday, everyone. It’s graduation weekend, and the baseball team hosts a beatable Mississippi State team while the softball team is home against another top ten foe in Texas A&M. At this point just watch and hope for the best.
We will open with Al.com ‘s look back on the 2013 class.
2013 (11) -- first-rounders Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen, O.J. Howard; second-rounders Derrick Henry, A’Shawn Robinson; third-rounders ArDarius Stewart, Alvin Kamara, Tim Williams; fourth-rounders Anthony Averett, Eddie Jackson; sixth-rounder Bradley Bozeman.
Alabama signed 26 players in 2013, 11 of them were drafted and two more (Robert Foster and Dee Liner) signed as undrafted free-agents. That’s exactly half the class who got or are getting an NFL opportunity.
Three SEC titles, four playoff appearances, two national titles and plenty of individual awards to include a Heisman. Well done, men.
Obviously one of the draftees came from Tennessee after transferring, but 11 selected out of a class of 26 is remarkable. Saban’s evaluation and development programs are head and shoulders above the competition.
More than 100 student-athletes will receive degrees this weekend, and this is a great shot of two.
Derrick Henry among the Alabama players getting their diploma this weekend, which is great because remember that time he was about to get suspended in 8th grade until Dad came to the principal’s office and straightened it out... pic.twitter.com/2im5aoFUZY— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) May 3, 2018
That’s a fantastic caption from Cecil, but I’m sure y’all can come up with some more. Fire away. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be at graduation with the boy in 2020.
Ho, hum. Alabama is ranked #1 again.
One thing that’s certain: Alabama’s defensive line is going to be scary good, even without Da’Ron Payne and Da’Shawn Hand. Defensive ends Raekwon Davis, Isaiah Buggs and Quinnen Williams looked fantastic this spring, and Nick Saban said the Tide’s defensive front is more athletic and faster than it was a year ago.
The DL was very encouraging, indeed.
Evil Saban is still out here donating houses to families in need.
The Alabama football players jumped in and got its hands dirty too as the 17th house went up. Over 30 Tide players participated in a Habitat for Humanity Work Day in early March and the coaches wives followed with a landscaping day to help finish the project in April.
Smith has two children, Andrew (19) and Megan (20). Andrew was born with spina bifida, a defect that did not allow his spine and spinal cord to form properly, which led to paralysis. House No. 17 will be fully handicap accessible, giving Andrew a new level of independence.
Can’t imagine a more deserving family. Congratulations to them on the new home, and we are all proud of everyone who participated in making it happen.
Last but not least, Mario Cristobal is the latest member of the Saban tree to weigh in on the coach’s influence.
“The second part (Cristobal adapted from Saban) was having the numbers you have when you’re going into camp — you never want to compromise reps, you want to make sure everybody’s developing,” Cristobal said. “What we did was actually conduct two different practices on two different field whenever it came to the team slash unit periods of practice, meaning your blitz periods; your team run and play-action periods; your team pass periods; your move-the-field periods.
“What happens is your fourth-team guys are getting the exact same reps and the exact same plays as your first-team guys,” he explained. “So development there has increased, I’d say exponentially, because no one suffers a compromise in their production.”
Saban talks about camp as a time to evaluate and decide which players they will work with on game prep that season and which players will work on fundamentals and conditioning full time. This is fantastic for player development, but it also leads to some hurt feelings with sophomores who aren’t yet practicing with the big boys.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.