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Jumbo Package: Coaches not named Saban draw criticism for comments on early draft entrants

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NCAA Football: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl-Texas A&M vs North Carolina State Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Baseball will be in Auburn this weekend, kicking off a stretch of games to close the season in which they shouldn’t be overmatched. The conference slate has been rather miserable as expected, but they have kept spirits up and won the games they should win. Meanwhile, softball has had an outstanding season before tripping up a bit against Kentucky.

Alabama didn’t take care of business against Kentucky and now has to win two games in Baton Rouge against LSU to clinch the SEC regular-season title and top seed in next week’s conference tournament in College Station, Texas. One win would give the Crimson Tide a share of the title with the Tigers. An LSU sweep gives it the league title and top seed at the SEC tourney.

Ole Miss can still swoop in and steal the title with a sweep over Georgia if Alabama drops two of three to the Tigers. Let’s just not do that, OK?

Not a lot going on in the football world, but this is an interesting piece about how Stefon Diggs has helped his younger brother develop.

After a solid month of September, Trevon Diggs was the most consistent starter at cornerback until he felt something was wrong in his foot at Arkansas. He wasn’t as sharp in the 65-31 win and the x-ray later showed why.

The bone was broken and his season was over.

“He was down. Of course he was,” Stefon Diggs said. “Who wouldn’t be? But with my conversations with him, I’m the older brother but I’m also somebody who is going to hold him accountable and let him know there’s nothing you can do about it right now. Right now you have to wait it out, cry it out or do whatever you have to do but when it’s time to get back to rehab, you need to get back to it because you can’t fix it right now.”

Sage advice from a guy who has established himself as one of the top WRs in the NFL, including 102 grabs last season for the Minnesota Vikings. Trevon gets the chance to cover him in the offseason, which makes covering most college WRs seem like child’s play.

Saban was on TV yesterday. I’m no relationship expert, but everyone should have someone who loves them like Saban loves Josh Jacobs.

“I’m really proud of what he’s had to overcome, but Josh was always everything we wanted him to be as a student-athlete here at the University of Alabama. I mean, he was a great person, he was a good student, he did everything you’d ever ask a guy to do work ethic-wise, as a football player, practiced hard, prepared hard every day was a great team guy and was very, very productive. And he always played his role. And we have had a couple No. 8s here -- one of them Julio Jones and this guy, Josh Jacobs -- that they played on special teams and wouldn’t come off. And I mean, here’s guys that are very, very productive players at their positions, and those kind of guys usually say, ‘Hey, I’ve kind of earned my way to get away from having to be a special teams contributor.’ And Josh wouldn’t take himself out if we were 51-0. We had to take him out.”

That kid has a chance to blow up in the NFL. His running style has a “Beast Mode” element to it, which will play well with the Raiders, and the depth chart is clear for him after an unfortunate Achilles injury to former Alabama State star Isaiah Crowell.

Cecil discussed gasp other football coaches talking about players leaving early.

Without knowing all the details, there are two points worth making. First, “talking down” a player out of spite is not going to be beneficial to a college coach. Neither is “talking up” a player who leaves before he is ready. Once a player decides to leave, the best thing for the college coach (and program) is to be drafted as highly as possible and to have NFL success. But you can’t do it by hedging on your evaluation when talking to NFL coaches, scouts and general managers. If you sugar-coat a player’s limitations, that icing is going to wash away in training camp and the truth will make itself apparent. When that happens, the NFL evaluators will remember it the next time they are considering drafting a player from your school. Honesty is the best policy and, really, the only policy.

Jimbo is quoted as saying that a player “shouldn’t even think about” coming out if he isn’t going in the first two rounds, and Cecil is editorializing about this tirade from Eric Dickerson directed toward Mike Leach:

Cecil is spot on. Any college coach who falsely talks up his players’ strengths and weaknesses ruins his credibility for all of the other players who come through the program with NFL dreams. Dickerson now works in the front office for the Los Angeles Rams and I’m not sure what his connection is to Williams, but this was The Pirate’s response:

Facts don’t lie. The bottom line is that 49 of 144 players who declared early didn’t get drafted at all, and many who did may not even make the roster after going in late rounds. Get that degree, men:

Crimson Tide All-American and Baltimore Raven Marlon Humphrey is among the 10 football players set to graduate. Others include SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Hale Hentges, who is getting his master’s degree this weekend after signing with the Indianapolis Colts last month, as well as CoSIDA Academic All-American Keaton Anderson.

Other Alabama football players include Kyle Edwards, D.J. Lewis, Milo Lewis, Xavian Marks, Scott Meyer, Chris Owens and Matt Womack.

Congrats to Marlon, who correctly left early for the draft and is now a key cog in Baltimore’s defense, and the rest of the graduates.

Last, Jonah Williams is likely to start somewhere for Cincinnati, but they don’t know where.

Williams could start anywhere other than center, Jordan and 2018 draftee Billy Price each played center and guard for the Buckeyes. That could mean Glenn plays inside, or Williams does, or any number

“Mmhmm,” Glenn said of the uncertainty, via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Nobody knows.”

If only Jonah had also had the opportunity to showcase his wares at center in college, eh?

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

Roll Tide.