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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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Quarterbacks, quarterbacks, and more quarterbacks

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, I posted an article with quotes from Alabama’s two QB commits for 2019. Today, I’m linking some quotes about them, as well as about the current starters.

Current, future Alabama QBs impress at Elite 11 camp

On Hurts:

”The best thing was that I got a chance to interview him and talk to him for about 10 minutes and, you guys know, he’s just so mature. ... He’s a big, thick, strong kid who was very classy in my interactions with him. I wasn’t going to go deep into the whole who’s going to start, are you coming back? I didn’t want to go down that road with him. I just kind of wanted to learn more about him as a kid. And the way he comes across, I would say, is ultra-competitive and very, very business-like in his responses. I was impressed with the kid. I hated that I didn’t get to see him throw. But talking to the guys that did see him throw, they said they were pleasantly surprised.”

On Tua Tagovailoa:

”If you were going to ask me after watching those (college) guys throw, if I was going to say just overall who was the most impressive, I would put the two kids from your state there right at the top. I would have Stidham (from Auburn). That just looks like a prototypical quarterback who had a phenomenal workout. He would have been at the top of the list for me. And then I would have Tua behind him.”

”I did see Tua’s little brother throw, and it just looks like a right-handed version of Tua. He’s got a live arm. He’s got kind of that same thick, square build. The ball jumps out of his hand.”

Daniel Jeremiah is one of, if not my favorite, year-round NFL draft analysts and talent scouts. He’s consistently fair in his scouting and is rarely one to make outlandish statements to get page views. No one in the business of predicting the success of another person is perfect, but Jeremiah is about as good as it gets.

In any case, he had a lot of good to say about both Jalen and Tua from the time he’s spent with them at the Elite 11. And he’s on the younger Tagovailoa’s hype train as well.

2019’s QB recruiting class will produce good players, but it’s short on sure stars

The players in this section are either under 6’1, under 190 pounds, or both, yet all were among the best of the event’s throwers. I don’t think they would have stood out in many of the prior years.

Of course, Baker Mayfield just went No. 1 overall in the draft. So it’s not that smaller quarterbacks can’t win, especially at the college level. It’s simply not preferable over a prospect with prototype size.

Alabama commit Taulia Tagovailoa of Alabaster (Alabama) seems to have a knack for moving defenders with his eyes, much like his older brother, Tua.

Here’s an article from the SBNation recruiting hub about the state of the 2019 class. Kinda figures that the one year that Bama gets two QBs is the year when there aren’t that many good ones out there. No wonder the rest of the nation hates the Tide.

Nick Saban’s longtime right-hand man, Joe Pendry, set to leave Alabama program

Nick Saban’s longtime right-hand man is leaving the Alabama program.

Joe Pendry, the former Crimson Tide offensive line coach who has been a special adviser and NFL liaison for the Tide in recent years, is retiring, sources told AL.com.

A longtime close friend and trusted confidant of Saban, Pendry first joined Alabama in 2007 as part of Saban’s original Tide staff and moved into that off-field role after retiring from coaching in 2011.

Farewell and all the best wishes for a happy retirement to Pendry. Things really have never been the same since he was the architect behind some of the best offensive lines to ever grace college football. And while he’s been much less visible in his behind-the-scenes job as a “special adviser”, I have no doubt that he’s had a much bigger part in the Alabama program the last couple of years than we realize, and there will be a hole for Saban to fill.

Inside the numbers: Who will lead Alabama football in tackles in 2018?

Quick, do you know who led the University of Alabama football team in tackles during the 2017 national championship season?

It was safety Ronnie Harrison.

Although linebacker was supposed to be a major strength for the Crimson Tide, the only one to play in all 14 games was Keith Holcombe, and he made only three starts.

Having a defensive back top the team in tackles isn’t that surprising, but Harrison’s 74 were the fewest by anyone to lead the Crimson Tide during the Nick Saban era.

I recommend actually giving this link a click. They break down the leading tacklers each season and compare that to the number of snaps that the defense faces. The actual question of who gets the most tackles in 2018 boils down to three choices: Deionte Thompson, Dylan Moses, or Mack Wilson?

Poll

Who will lead the Tide in tackles in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Mack Wilson
    (422 votes)
  • 37%
    Dylan Moses
    (291 votes)
  • 5%
    Deionte Thompson
    (41 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (leave your thoughts in the comments)
    (14 votes)
768 votes total Vote Now

SEC Football 2018 Predictions

The top of any conference usually spurs the a healthy debate in Athlon’s prediction meetings, but it didn’t take much time to identify the favorites in the SEC for 2018. Georgia is once again the team to beat (by a healthy margin) in the East, with Alabama expected to top Auburn for the West. Both teams have a favorable path to an undefeated record in the regular season, which should allow the loser of the SEC Championship Game to remain alive for a CFB Playoff spot. Oddly enough, most of the question marks surrounding Georgia and Alabama reside on defense this year. The Crimson Tide must replace their entire starting secondary, while the Bulldogs suffered key losses at every level, including standout linebacker Roquan Smith. Both teams are led by standout sophomore quarterbacks, as Georgia’s Jake Fromm looks to build off a promising freshman campaign, and talented lefty Tua Tagavailoa should improve Alabama’s passing attack this fall.

Here’s the annual page of SEC predictions from Athlon Sports. It’s a pretty lengthy list of predictions, from the best game to watch to the freshman of the year, so I’d give it a click if you’re bored. Alabama and its players get quite a few mentions throughout.

In baseball news, Alabama just had two players drafted:

Walters, Taylor Selected in 2018 Major League Baseball Draft

Alabama baseball had two members of the 2017-18 roster selected on Tuesday afternoon in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Senior starter Jake Walters was taken by the Miami Marlins in round nine (267 overall) and was followed by junior outfielder Chandler Taylor, who was taken by the Houston Astros in the 10th round (312 overall) as a left fielder.

The two selections on day two of the draft increased the Crimson Tide’s all-time draft pick total to 150 players since the event’s inception in 1966. Alabama has also had at least one player selected 40 consecutive years dating back to 1979 and 47 of the 53 MLB drafts overall. Alabama has also had 42 players selected in the last nine years and 77 total over the last 19 drafts dating back to 2000.

That’s it for today. Roll Tide!