clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Who’s gonna fill Phil’s shoes?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The big news of the day is the resignation of Phil Savage as color analyst for Crimson Tide Sports Network, leaving a big hole next to the iconic Eli Gold.

“Coach Mal Moore and the Crimson Tide Sports Network gave me an opportunity to audition during the 2009 A-Day game,” Savage said in a statement released with his announcement. “Little did we know that one game would turn into nine incredible years as the color analyst alongside Eli Gold. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent focused on college football, at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and with the University of Alabama, but am looking forward to being back in professional football as the General Manager of the Phoenix franchise in the new Alliance of American Football league, in addition to continuing my other football-related pursuits.”

Good luck to Phil as he pursues his pro football personnel dreams, but who will replace him? The first prominent name mentioned on social media was Jay Barker, who would be a logical choice considering his presence on local radio. You also have former Tide standouts in John Parker Wilson, Barrett Jones, and Mike Johnson who all have fledgling careers as on-air/online college football analysts.

Any other names come to mind?

Najee Harris was apparently the latest Crimson Tide phenom to consider transferring.

According to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, Alabama running back Najee Harris contemplated leaving the Crimson Tide football program last year after his freshman season due to sparse playing time. But Alabama’s success in developing its players into future NFL draft picks ultimately led the former 5-star recruit to return to Tuscaloosa after those thoughts.

“The only thing I can tell you is, I hope I’m on the field more,” Harris told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Last year was the worst feeling. That whole season was mentally challenging.”

The last time a young star RB felt this way, he won a Heisman and rolled up 158 yards with three TDs in the national title game on his way out of town.

Dylan Moses has chosen a great man to emulate.

“Just as far as taking on Rashaan’s role, I feel like I learned a lot being his backup last season,” Moses said in April. “For me, it’s just like dang, now he’s gone, now it’s my role. I am just basically doing the same thing he did, if not better.”

Moses is just the latest human bullet to roll off the assembly line at Alabama, where sideline-to-sideline defenders populate the Tide’s front year after year.

Outsiders will never appreciate the level of pain that Rashaan played through last year to lead the defense. As great as he was, Moses has a tick more athletic ability across the board. If they can actually stay healthy this year, he and Mack Wilson plus Terrell Lewis and Christian Miller are going to be a devastating combination.

A couple of recruiting notes:

How does Williams feel about his Alabama commitment? “Pretty solid, yeah,” he said.

Williams played on Team Hype in The Opening’s 7on7 tournament, a roster that included Alabama commits Taulia Tagovailoa, linebacker Shane Lee and receiver Demarcco Hellams. Running back Trey Sanders, who de-committed from Alabama in January but is still considering the Crimson Tide, also played on Team Hype.

Williams and Lee even roomed together at The Opening.

”We got to know each other a lot,” Williams said. “All the Bama commits on our team, we kept it tight and some chemistry going.”

There are some who are tenuous about Williams sticking, but this sounds positive. Of course, the numbers could be tight for the Tide if the news stays positive on the five-stars. One of Alabama’s leading analysts has posted behind the paywall that they are very much in the mix for C Clay Webb, RB Trey Sanders, DT Ishmael Sopsher, SDE Kayvon Thibodeaux, ILB Nakobe Dean, OT Darnell Wright, and S Daxton Hill, and when he says in the mix, he means that they legitimately could get all of those guys. I am most skeptical about Wright with Pierce Quick and Amari Kight already in the fold, but in any case all of those players are #1 on the 247 composite at their respective positions and all seven are ranked in the top 20 overall.

Commit Jayson Jones has already learned that Saban’s reputation with rival fanbases is bunk.

“Nobody (on the outside) really gets to see his true personality. They’ve always shown that he’s really negative, a bad person, ‘Oh he doesn’t play you until your senior or he doesn’t play you at all.’ But all of that is false,” Jones said during a recent interview with WBRC FOX 6. “He played the most freshmen last year and he’s going to do whatever it takes to win.

”The funny thing is me and him do talk a lot. Each time I’m down there, he loves talking to me, I love talking to him. He’s a great person, which is so important because if you can’t connect with… especially your teammates and your coaches, than you are going to have a bad experience.”

Imagine that, a young man who understands that what you get is directly correlated to what you put in. Great life lesson there.

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

Roll Tide.