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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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One day closer to the start of the season. Keep fighting the good fight.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Who’s your most-wanted recruit in 2019?

Trey Sanders, 5-star RB, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy --

The one-time Alabama commit backed off his pledge to the Tide last January but continued listening to the staff’s pitch. That has seemingly paid off for Alabama considering it’s the Tide that’s now trending once again in Sanders’ recruitment over Florida and Miami, among others. The nation’s top-rated ball carrier is expected back at Alabama this weekend. After not signing an elite level running back in 2018, Sanders would be a welcomed addition to the running back corps.

247 is having a little bit of offseason fun and wishful thinking with listing pretty much every top 5-star that Alabama is still recruiting. Getting just one of these guys would pretty much fill out the class to be a top-flight #1 class. Any more than that is just gravy on the biscuit.

Alabama Football: Dawgs will remain short of Bama’s Gold Standard

Smart received a new contract in May for seven years and $49 million tying him with Auburn’s Gus Malzahn for the fifth-highest paid coach in the FBS.

Even with the new deal, the honeymoon is officially over for Smart. Expectations are Georgia should be on par with Alabama. Winning is not everything; it is the only thing in football hotbed Georgia. Herschel Walker and Vince Dooley led the Bulldogs to a national championship in 1982 leaving the state in a 35-year drought.

Can Smart leap as Saban did in his third year?

Can Georgia excel as the hunted instead of being the hunter?

Short answer? No.

Nick Saban has pretty much broken college football. The moment that Kirby Smart has a little success at Georgia, pretty much every media source is looking to compare him to Saban and the Alabama program. Anything short of that will be viewed as failure.

Alabama trio named to Bronko Nagurski, Outland watch lists

Crimson Tide offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Jonah Williams were named to the Outland Trophy’s preseason watch list, while defensive lineman Raekwon Davis was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy’s preseason watch list. The FWAA announced both.

The Outland Trophy honors the top interior lineman in college football, and its watch list was made up of 82 standouts representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. Four Crimson Tide players have won the award previously, including Chris Samuels (1999), Andre Smith (2008), Barrett Jones (2011) and most recently Cam Robinson in 2016.

In addition to the group of players on the lists for the Maxwell and Bednarik awards, Alabama also has three linemen in line for an award. Williams and Pierschbacher headline the offensive linemen, and that doesn’t even include the enormous potential of both Jedrick Wills and Alex Leatherwood, if either lock up a starting job this year.

Roster Countdown: 23 Parks, 22 Harris, 21 Mayden

2017 season: Appeared in seven games as a sophomore, working both on defense as a reserve cornerback and on special teams. Finished the season with four total tackles, including a half stop for loss.

2018 spring practice: With depth a problem at safety, Mayden made his from corner to the spot. Also mixed in at star in the nickel package. Opened the A-Day game at safety for the Crimson (second-team) defense before seeing some time at star as well. Finished the scrimmage with four total tackles and an interception, which he returned 16 yards.

What he brings to the table: Versatile defensive back who has time in the program and understands what is expected on a daily basis. Can provide reps at virtually every spot on the back end of the defense: corner, safety, star and money. While newcomers in the secondary will be a major storyline when fall camp gets underway next week, it won’t come as a surprise if the experienced Mayden is heavily in the mix for a situational role as August moves along. At a minimum, Mayden should be a candidate for spots in multiple areas of the kicking game.

Jared Mayden was part of the trio of cornerbacks who all committed last minute a couple of years ago, along with Nigel Knott and Shyheim Carter. Carter was well known because of his location, while Knott was known for his ridiculous athletic ability. But Mayden came from further west and was a little less known. We haven’t seen much of him as of yet, but he was solidly set as a second-team safety during A-Day, and looks to be in line to get more playing time over the next couple of years.

Alabama’s Bryant-Denny ranked among best college football stadiums in the country

At least top 10, according to Popular Mechanics’ ranking of the top 25 college football stadiums in America, “based solely on the buildings.”

Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa earned the No. 10 spot on the list, behind only one SEC stadium, LSU’s Tiger Stadium (aka “Death Valley”).

Here’s what the article’s author Tim Newcomb said about the Crimson Tide’s home field:

”Alabama’s home comes with grandeur betting the Crimson Tide’s place in the sport, including a plaque and statue-filled walk to the main gate and grand steps. The brick facade that wraps the entire structure was born in 1929. As it grew, so did the Walk of Champions that serves as a front door to the elevated entry, two-story lobby for suite and club patrons. There are plenty of columns in a Georgian colonial style, too.”

Roll Tide to that.