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Jumbo Package: Tide staff excited about 2019 class, Biscuit holds on to HOF hopes

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Cornelius Bennett

Happy Monday, everyone. The big news of the weekend was the Champions Cookout and camp for top recruiting prospects, at which several offers were made. CB969 will be along later with a recruiting update. The staff certainly seems to be excited about what’s going on.

Before the cookout even started, Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key tweeted, “It was surreal to see many talented commits and recruits together in one place today. The next few years are going to be fun to watch! #ROLL1N9 #AndInto20 #YoungA

This class is going to be incredible, folks. Alabama’s facilities certainly don’t hurt.

Prospects are constantly exposed to Crimson Tide success and tradition. The Hall of Champions features each of Bama’s national championships, bowl games, conference championships, Hall of Fame members, Heisman (and other) trophies, blow-up photos (including the dozens of Sports Illustrated covers that have featured Alabama), etc.

There are the meeting rooms – the giant theater for the entire team, the offense only, defense only, and then the position rooms.

The extensive medical complex, nutrition areas, practice locker rooms, equipment room, and extending to the weight room and indoor practice facility, all adjacent to the outdoor practice fields makes it as comprehensive as can be imagined.

Expect, though, more imagination. It’s the nature of the arms race.

More specifically, the arms race that only a select few have the resources to participate in.

Cecil Hurt weighed in on the QB situation after the new redshirt rule was passed.

Look at it this way: if the Hurts family felt like a transfer was the best option, which would be the best option? To leave before the season, sit out a year in residence (since he would not be a grad transfer) and then have two years to play two at a new destination beginning in 2019? Or to stay through the season, having played in four games, graduate in December (or May) and then have immediate eligibility — and two years to play — at another school, SEC (which no longer restricts grad transfers) or elsewhere?

That’s it in a nutshell, and the latter seems more likely.

If Auburn is going to go back-to-back as SEC West champions, it will have to do so on the road in 2018. After hosting Georgia and Alabama last season, the Tigers catch their top rivals on the road. Additionally, coach Gus Malzahn’s team draws Mississippi State in Starkville and plays Washington in a neutral site matchup for Week 1. While the schedule is tough, Malzahn has the necessary personnel to push for another New Year’s Six bid and the SEC West crown once again.

Auburn obviously has some players, particularly along the defensive front, but I’m not buying them in the top ten. Overall, this team looks a bit less talented than the group that lost four games last year, and as mentioned above the schedule is brutal. The offensive line will be the biggest question mark, which is bad news since Stidham was putrid against teams who knocked him around a bit last year.

Arkansas will still be breaking in a new head coach when it hosts Alabama on the first Saturday in October, and although Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium should be filled to capacity, the outcome of this annual meeting -- at least during the Nick Saban era -- should be similar to what we’ve seen in recent years. The Hogs return 16 starters from its 2017 team that finished with a 4-8 (1-7 SEC) record, including nine on the offensive side of the football, so I’ll give them a few more points than the 41-9 result from last year’s game. But not many more than that.

You know you’re deep into the offseason when the writers are picking scores to random conference games three months in advance.

Last but not least, Cornelius Bennett is still waiting and hoping to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I know there’s nothing I can do,” Bennett said. “I left everything on the field. I feel as though I’m deserving of it, if you look at my body of work. So (Brazile) just gave me a piece of advice: Just be patient. It’s going to happen. And when it happens, it’s going to be the right time. So I don’t get discouraged or anything. It’s part of the journey.”

No arguments from here, Biscuit. Of course, putting on that putrid orange is a little gross, but we get it.

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

Roll Tide.