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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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Looking to the future of the Tide— in 2019 and beyond

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama vs Clemson
Josh McMillon.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s most talent-stacked position? Pick your poison

It appears wide receiver is the Crimson Tide’s deepest position group in terms of talent, but the defensive front isn’t far behind. Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith are each ranked inside Miller’s 10 best draft-eligible wideouts nationally while four pass rushers — Raekwon Davis, LaBryan Ray, Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings — earned extremely high marks against their respective peers.

Dylan Moses is slotted as the 2020 draft’s top linebacker and was placed under the labels best traits, most NFL-ready and best potential.

Several of those players were ranked in our Top 25 defensive players in college football preview earlier this spring while Jeudy, Ruggs and Smith — as well as Jaylen Waddle — were all mentioned in our wide receivers power ranking.

Matt Miller is generally one of the more solid analysts, but I think he may be a little too high on the Tide here (flag me). The receivers are absolutely the most ridiculously stacked position on the team.

I’m not sure where he gets “most NFL-Ready” for Dylan Moses, though. The rising junior is a very talented player with off-the-charts athleticism and a lot of potential, but I’m not sure he’s proven to be quite reliable enough yet for that kind of acclaim.

And the same could be said of pretty much all of the pass-rushers listed. Davis had a great sophomore season, but a major regression last year. Jennings occasionally gets in the right mood and wrecks an offense for a few plays, but disappears for long stretches just as often. And Lewis and Ray have never even started. That said, the sky is the limit for Davis, Lewis, and Ray, and we don’t even know how good they could be.

Alabama Football: Josh McMillon is ‘Crimson Tide for life’

The belief in Josh McMillon was quite different when he was a new member of the 2015 signing class. The 247Sports Composite rated Josh as a 4-Star recruit. ESPN rated him as the No. 5 inside linebacker in the class. During his recruitment, Kirby Smart reportedly told him he had a chance to play as a freshman.

Reality has been different for Josh. He has gone from being heralded as a recruit to little appreciated heading into his final season. The story could change this fall. It needs to, for Josh, his teammates and coaches, and all who love the Crimson Tide.

McMillon feels like he’s been a backup forever, and most fans usually write off players that haven’t broke into a contributing role by their 3rd year. However, Josh is one of those that has stuck it out for all 5, and suddenly finds himself at the top of the depth chart. It’s easy to forget that he was actually a highly rated recruit, and comes boasting seniority and experience to go a long with his talent. Many are predicting freshman Shane Lee to burst onto the scene, but I will personally be pulling for McMillon to have a breakout season as an unheralded 5th year senior.

Ranking Alabama’s 2019 Football Schedule

The “Third Saturday in October” has produced some tremendous games throughout its history. That hasn’t exactly been the case in recent years.

Alabama has won 12 straight over the Volunteers. The last time UT escaped Tuscaloosa with a win was in 2003, winning 51-43 in an epic fifth overtime.

That was a long time ago, though. Don’t bet on Tennessee.

It’s never too early to start Tennessee Hate season.

In any case, this is a concise piece with some comments on each of Alabama’s games in 2019. And it’s from a website I don’t think I’ve ever linked to before. Yay #offseason.

Is Alabama under pressure to win the title in 2019?

“I think it really emphasizes the need for Alabama to win a national championship this year. Because I really think if this was a one-year projection and not a three-year projection, I certainly could’ve put Alabama at No. 1,” Rittenberg said. “With Tua coming back, with those receivers coming back, with the running backs and the offensive line.

“But the bottom line is Alabama is going to lose a lot after this year barring something unforeseen. Probably three receivers, certainly the quarterback and probably the starting running back all going to the NFL. So I think it creates a sense of urgency even though they have been recruiting well. They’re always going to have great talent and great coaching at Alabama, but I think there’s a need to win one this year.”

“Again, I think of it personnel-wise, if you just look at it personnel-based,” he said. “Tua, this is probably his last year as the quarterback at Alabama. Now they could be fine after him, but who knows? I think there’s certainly a question mark there. I don’t expect Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs or (Devonta Smith) or Najee Harris to be back, so that’s a lot to lose. They’ll have Jaylen Waddle in 2020, but they’re going to be rebuilding a little bit as far as the receiving corps.

On one hand, I do agree that the 2020 season will probably be a bit of a tough year, offensively. However, 2021 looks really, really good. The Tide has recruited offensive linemen extremely well over the past three recruiting classes, and 2021 will see either Taulia or Paul Tyson in their second year as a starter, plus Trey Sanders coming into his junior season. Wide receiver might be a bit of a question, but John Metchie is already looking like a star, and Xavier Williams has a lot of potential. Plus, you know, there are two more recruiting classes that will join the ranks.

Alabama sitting pretty for 5-star RB Kendall Milton

Saban has a such a great grasp on his program that Milton’s father couldn’t help but to draw a comparison.

“I say this kind of out of humor … sitting down with Coach Saban was kind of like sitting down with The Godfather,” he said laughing. “It really had that feel. Nick Saban, you can tell he has a lot of old school in him. Obviously we’ve visited some of the top universities in the country with some of the top head coaches in the country, and you walk into their offices and, not using the word flamboyant, but it’s modern. Basically you walk in and it’s like wow this is your office. Granted, Coach Saban had a big office, but it was kind of like you stepped into a mob boss’ office. It had that feel to it.”

After reading all of this interview, I’m pretty sure Milton’s parents are totally sold on Alabama. But, they also seem to be pretty okay with Kendall making his own decisions. So it will be interesting to see how that turns out. However, all the connections are there, so I would think that Alabama definitely has the inside track for the 5-star running back (again, continuing to reload for 2020 and 2021).

That’s it for today. Roll Tide!