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Jumbo Package: On eve of NSD19, a decommit and a possible transfer shake up roster

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Alabama v LSU

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Early breakdown of the SEC schedule, and man, do Auburn and Sakerlina have a tough row to hoe:

Speaking of drawing the short straw on rotating SEC opponent, that “honor” in the East went to South Carolina, picking up conference favorite Alabama. In addition to its regular season-ending game against Clemson, the Gamecocks open the season against North Carolina in Charlotte. South Carolina also has to go to Georgia.

Auburn, by virtue of having to play Georgia every year as its traditional opponent, automatically has “tough” as an adjective to its schedule. The Tigers’ games against Alabama, at LSU, at Texas A&M, and vs. Georgia also rank on that list of top 10 SEC games. Auburn also drew a tough rotating opponent in that the Tigers go to Florida. Auburn’s non-conference kickoff game against Oregon in Dallas also is listed as challenging.

Do not be remotely surprised when at least one of these programs are looking for a new staff in December. Gus may not even survive past a mid-season Florida loss, if my #sauces at the ‘Barn are to be believed.

Alabama’s schedule? Yeah, it kind of sucks. Aside from thorny roadies in Aggieland and Auburn, not one of the games scares you in Bryant Denny, though LSU is always physically up for their version of the Soopah’ Bawh.

Well, this one just plain sucks:

Reserve defensive back Kyriq McDonald and long snapper Scott Meyer entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday, according to a source.

McDonald played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman for the Crimson Tide last season and was twice recognized as one of Alabama’s special teams players of the week.

Okay, Meyer makes some sense: Thomas Fletcher is firmly embedded in his role as the long-snapper. He was the No. 1 LS in the nation when he signed and has done nothing to lose that job. The possibility that McDonald transfers is a potentially greater loss — and one that doesn’t even have the benefit of making much sense.

When McDonald signed in 2017, we raved about his raw skills and athleticism. He was tabbed a potential sleeper for the 2018 season and competed for the starting Money slot in Fall camp. In fact, he has a lot of the versatility you’d like to see at the position.

Brent wrote this just last August:

Erik and I have been singing his praises on RBR ever since last summer. He’s short, but solidly built and is both a ball hawk and playmaker who excels at getting the football in his hands and making things happen afterwards. He’s got an infectious personality— the kind of guy with limitless energy and excitement on the field.

Basically, he reminds me of Javier Arenas come again.

He redshirted as a freshman, but has made some plays in both A-Day games he’s played in. He’s been working with the second safeties, as well as at the slot corner, just like Mayden. He may not be ready just yet, but don’t count him out.

I honestly have no idea why McDonald would be on his way out the door. He will be in the mix at safety and nickel/dime corner this season. Unless his development just isn’t there, I can’t understand this one.

The loss of Carson Beck isn’t exactly shocking: Call this a three-fold product of 1. Tyson and ‘Lia enter the program, 2. ‘Tua having another year, and 3. coaching turnover, esp. developmental position coach/Co-OC Dan Enos’ hiring with the ‘Canes:

With the ongoing exodus of Nick Saban’s offensive coaching staff and a visit to the Sunshine State this weekend, 4-star 2020 Quarterback Carson Beck has decommitted from Alabama. Beck, hailing from Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, FL, is the 10th rated pro style QB and has offers from teams like FSU and USF alongside Bama, UF and Miami.

Beck had been committed to Bama for the past six or so months, declaring his intent to join the Crimson Tide back in the summer of 2018. But with his two main recruiters, Dan Enos and Brent Key, no longer apart of the Alabama coaching staff, Beck will be taking a second look at all his options.

Beck will be joining Dan “Ghost” Enos in Coral Gables.

BOL has published the announcement times/places for Alabama targets:

Here, BamaOnLine breaks down the announcement schedule for the Crimson Tide’s targets and commitments on Wednesday.

* Keep in mind, not every announcement time is locked in at this point. We will revise this list accordingly throughout the coming days.*

One of the first names on this list is one I’ve given up on. We’re not signing Sopsher’s fairly untalented, academic trainwreck brother, y’all. Hell, I’m not certain even Ole Miss or LSU can massage this one. ‘Bama fans will be most eager to see if the Tide can maintain Kris Bhogle’s commitment in the face of some late fierce competition, ditto Henry To’oto’o. Did a recruiting full-court press by Najee and Coach Bohannon swing Ealy to the Tide? Anyone’s guess, but I’d suppose not. He has a lot of leverage on the diamond and a day-one starting job when Travis Etienne leaves Clemson at season’s end.

If only there were a prediction thread!

Good piece from Staples on the shirt color scheme, that is frankly baffling to many: Blues, Grays, Reds and more!

There’s no way this happens, right? Not at a state school? Surely not?

It looks like Art Briles has a chance to get back into college coaching.

According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, Briles, the former Baylor head coach whose career flamed out after a widespread sexual assault scandal at the school, is interviewing for the vacant offensive coordinator position at Southern Mississippi.

Per the Sun Herald, Briles was on USM’s campus in Hattiesburg on Monday morning. Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson is looking for a new coordinator after Shannon Dawson left for a position on Dana Holgorsen’s staff at Houston.

Finally, here’s an interesting piece on Tommy Mars and the NCAA Transfer Portal:

Mars is one of the leading figures in navigating the NCAA’s thickly-worded transfer rules. Lately, the calls from parents inquiring about representation in their kids’ transfer cases have averaged two per day.

Mostly, they ask how their children-athletes can become immediately eligible at a new school.

”You could tell from these voicemail messages that these people are starting to think everybody should get a waiver,” Mars says of those anxious parents. “Some of them think I have the secret code.”

I think it’s safe to say the permissive language in the transfer eligibility may very well work with Justin Fields. Now, Tate Martell’s case is farthornier, legally-speaking. But, if I were Georgia I’d fight this one tooth and nail too — unless there’s a lot of dirty laundry in Athens they’d rather not have aired. And that is entirely a plausible scenario given the snake oil Kirby’s peddling these days.