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Jumbo Package: Young wide receivers standing out this spring

Slade Bolden, Xavier Williams, John Metchie, Tyrell Shavers — meet the next group.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Not exactly what you want to hear 2/3rds of the way through Spring camp, is it?

“I like people not to do what they feel like doing but to choose to do what they need to do to get better, and that has been very, very good all spring. Today, it could have been better. I think practice went better as we went. We need to keep working on that.”

Early in Wednesday’s practice, Saban said the players sent him a signal that the “mental toughness” and “ability to sustain in difficult circumstances” need to be points of emphasis this offseason.

The rest of Saban’s presser right here.

More Nick Saban from Wednesday. Here he is on the wide receivers:

— Saban was asked about the young wide receivers. Said redshirt freshman Xavier Williams has “made a lot of progress.” Also said freshman John Metchie has shown some flashes this spring and that redshirt freshman Slade Bolden has “made some plays.” Said redshirt sophomore Tyrell Shavers is “better.”

We’ve been pretty high on Xavier Williams around here. We believe will be a very good one, despite being a depth chart casualty last season.

Alabama junior Jiwon Jeon carded a 4-over par 76 on Wednesday in the opening round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur at the Champions Retreat Golf Club. Jeon will enter Thursday’s second round in a tie for 40th overall.

Jeon was just one shot over par going into the 17th, but then carded a double-bogey, bogey. The top 30 advance, so she’s still in good shape — and, hey, at least it wasn’t Greg Norman’s final 11 holes at Augusta in 1996?

Les Miles arrives in Kansas, and the charges start rolling in! Exciting RB Pooka Williams was charged with domestic battery shortly after Miles was hires. But, as we’ve seen with Miles’ players, Williams will skate too — and may even have the charges dropped after a tremendously light slap on the wrist:

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Williams will have to do community service, and must avoid drugs and alcohol as part of the diversion program to avoid a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. He’ll likely have the charge drop after he completes the terms of the agreement.

Here’s AL’s practice report. Good news, Anoma fans, he’s been working with the first team outside!

Anfernee Jennings and Eyabi Anoma were the first group of outside linebackers during drills. Chris Allen and freshman Kevin Harris were the second group. Jarez Parks and walk-on William Cooper made up the third group.

I do wonder why Parks is buried all the way on the third team though.

More shakeup with the basketball staff. Gone is Colton Houston as director of ops: has confirmed that Colton Houston, who was the Crimson Tide’s director of basketball operations the past four seasons, is leaving coaching and starting an analytics consulting company that will work with teams on scheduling, analytics and scouting, as first reported by CBS Sports.

And in his place arrives

Nate Oats’ director of operations at Buffalo will handle that same role at Alabama. Oats has hired Adam Bauman as the Crimson Tide’s director of operations.


The Tide is back in the Golden State in 2020 with its sights set on five-star ball carrier Kendall Milton.

Alabama offered the Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan product over a year ago, but has yet to get Milton on campus for a visit. That will change April 17 when the nation’s No. 2 running back plans to make it out to Tuscaloosa.

If you’ve not gotten a chance to take a look at Milton, I’ve put his Hudl clip below.

Milton’s upright bearing reminds you a lot of Derrick Henry, and he is a taller back (6’2”, though not nearly as mammoth.) But DH2 is not the best comparison. His footwork is outstanding and he is really fluid. He relies on great balance and setting up his blocks well, especially in the passing game He’s pretty slippery in traffic too. He’s not very powerful , and it doesn’t look like he has an extra breakaway gear, so overall it gives the impression of T.J. Yeldon v. 2.0.

If his career is half that successful, then he’ll be good one.

A few weeks ago, I opined that new AAF commish / chairman Tom Dundon would be making a huge mistake to try and force the NFL’s hand to immediately enter into an agreement to use the Shield’s players under contract — least of all, because the NFLPA has a vested interest in this. When Dundon floated suspending AAF ops, a few thought it was a hardball tactic. Turns out it was not.

Here’s what went wrong, and are some of Dundon’s possible ulterior motives. Needless to say, the Ebersols are furious.

I hope this is not done just yet. The league had enjoyed more support than many spring leagues and was serving a really valuable function as a home for last-chancers (Johnny Manziel, Trent Richardson among them) and undrafted free agents.