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Jumbo Package: Big weekend on campus for Alabama athletics

Early spring is always a paradise for ‘Bama fans

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Alabama vs Florida

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The dozen-plus early enrollees are now on the Tide’s updated 2019 roster. BOL has the complete list of jersey numbers and measurables:

Alabama’s online roster has been updated following the 2018 season to reflect the senior and draft declaree departures and include a handful of newcomers.

The Crimson Tide added 15 early enrollees, including five offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two linebackers, one wide receiver, one defensive back and one kicker. Two enrollees were 5-star recruits, while 12 were 4-star prospects.

“Having 15 early enrollees that are here right now is going to really be helpful to their development and to how they can contribute to our team next year,”

One jersey to keep an eye on for the next three years? No. 56 — Antonio Alfano. Much as we were high on Minkah Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa as signees, we are similarly bullish on Alfano. He truly has the potential to be a generational talent.

Alabama Softball’s hot start on the diamond has resulted in Patrick Murphy’s squad climbing in the national rankings:

After a 5-0 start to the 2019 season, Alabama softball has moved up in the national rankings, coming in at No. 7 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.

The Crimson Tide moved up two spots from its position in the preseason NFCA poll and three spots in the USA Softball poll. Alabama is one of five SEC teams ranked in the top-10, the third-highest behind Florida (4/4) and Tennessee (6/7). LSU is behind Alabama in the NFCA poll but ahead in the USA Softball poll.

Missouri got hammered with a fairly harsh bowl ban two weeks ago, and, as happens in these cases, several programs are throwing out the welcome mats for the Tigers’ seniors. One school that has been particularly obnoxious — sometimes contacting Barry Odom’s players daily — is Tennessee. Shocker.

Anytime a program is hit with a bowl ban, the NCAA leaves the door open for that school’s seniors to transfer without penalty. And with that reality comes recruitment from coaches across the country, even within your own conference. Missouri, after being hit with a 2019 bowl ban as a result of a former tutor completing coursework for athletes, is learning that right now.

Barry Odom, entering his third season as the Tigers’ head coach, told CBS Sports that his 19 seniors are being “contacted and bombarded non-stop” by other programs who hope they will leave Columbia. Odom singled out one school from his own division: Tennessee.

The annual SEC Coaches’ Luncheon was yesterday afternoon, and I’d have loved to see the meeting between Odom and Pruitt.

Nick Saban’s Second Chance Home for Wayward Coaches may lose its newest member:

Mike Stoops may not be a member of Nick Saban’s coaching rehabilitation club for much longer. ESPN reports that Kentucky defensive coordinator Matt House is, in fact, joining the Kansas City Chiefs as the team’s linebackers coach. The report adds that House and the Chiefs have been back and forth on the terms of House’s buyout with Kentucky, leading to stalled talks in the deal.

Stoops is expected to join his brother’s staff in Lexington.

Finally, 247 highlights players who have the chance to make an impact in the 2019 season. Here’s an excerpt re: the running back corps:

Last year Najee did much of his damage when coming in with fresh legs against defenses that had been dealing with Damien and Jacobs, while Robinson frequently was on the “just run the clock out” squad at the end of games. It will be interesting to see how they do higher in the rotation if they end up one and two as expected this spring.

Jerome Ford (5-11, 206), a freshman last year who played only four games (thus eligible to be a redshirt freshman this year), rushed 7-37 last year.

The running backs corps will await the arrival in the summer of five-star Trey Sanders (6-0, 214) and four-star Keilan Robinson (5-9, 184).

Finally: If you’re around, it’s going to be a great weekend to catch some Alabama athletics in Tuscaloosa:

On Friday, the Alabama baseball team gets its season underway (more on that later today!). The first 300 students through the gates get some free swag too! (Softball plays this weekend too, however they will be in Tuscon).

Friday night, the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide gymnastics squad will host the No. 2 Florida Gators in the annual Power of Pink meet.

Then, on Saturday at 1:00, the Alabama men’s basketball team hosts the Florida Gators. This is a huge matchup for Alabama, currently 6th in the SEC. Florida has struggled somewhat, particularly away from the O-Dome, but it is a very dangerous team: the Gators beat Ole Miss and Arkansas on the road, and they went toe-to-toe with Kentucky, Michigan State, and South Carolina

When that W has been nailed down (knock on wood), walk on over to the New Joe and catch some baseball! Tide’s first pitch is at 3:00.

We’ll be back later today with some more stuff for ya’. Roll Tide