“Well I just think Latrell, he’s gifted athletically, but also he’s smart,” Jaguars head coach Jahmal Fenner told BamaOnLine. “I think with his athleticism and then also him being a student of the game, he’s always trying to learn more, so he’s constantly growing. That’s what I’ve seen with him over time is his body is developing and he loves football. Now he’s learning football and he’s developing physically and that’s allowing him to grow as a player and to be really one of the top players in the state and in the nation. He really has that ability.”
This broke late last night from BOL. I’ve not had a chance to look at his highlights, but they are here from Hudl:
And, in his own words, why Latrell came to ‘Bama over the in-state ‘Horns.
When a state budget won’t let you scour Europe to find every last scrap of talent to put in a crimson uniform, what is a man supposed to do?
Jairo Faverus, a defensive back from Amsterdam, was hanging out in Alabama’s football facility for about 20 minutes before a Crimson Tide staffer let him know who, exactly, he was waiting to meet.
’’He was like, ‘Nick Saban wants to see you.’ Oh. Oh,’’ Faverus recalled his reaction, with a little laugh.
The 20-year-old Faverus is part of a group of 29 football players from Europe who have been caravanning to college campus around the country since May 30. The players are getting the opportunity to compete against American prospects at recruiting camps in front of dozens of Division I coaches.
Stories like this are why Joshua Jacobs’ meteoric rise was so improbable. In the always-on, always-connected (literal) world of recruiting, it’s very difficult for diamonds in the rough to remain undiscovered. But, our little Hans Solo broke free from his Carbonite chamber in a big way, and almost from the moment he stepped foot on campus.
Nowhere in college football is the amount of transfers more staggering than at quarterback, where some research into the top 100 players at that position from the previous four recruiting classes unearthed one striking reality: More than half of the QBs on that list either left, switched positions or are now out of football entirely.
To put it another way: There is a better than 50 percent chance that the Rivals100 quarterback who signs with your favorite school will not end up playing quarterback at that school.
This is the position where all the transfers actually make sense. There’s (usually) only one quarterback who’s seeing snaps, and he sees nearly all of them. But schools routinely keep four or five scholarship QBs on the roster. Eventually, most of that blue chip talent will want to see some starts. Their futures are dependent upon it. Some, like Blake Barnett and Phillip Sims, saw the writing on the wall sooner rather than later — and both did wind up earning starting jobs. It’s truly a business decision.
Leaving aside the fact that QB is also a notoriously difficult position in which to project success, one rife with as many busts as stars, this doesn’t even speak to parental pressure: much like modern baseball and junior hockey, football has become prohibitively expensive to develop an elite player. Most parents of blue chippers will have made significant investments in their child’s development, especially quarterbacks. QB camps, of which there are dozens offered around the country, begin at the low end with Manning’s passing academy at $750 for three days — $550 for a day trip; IMG’s is $2000 for a week; and private coaching with a man like Steve Clarkson can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. For the really talented kids, they’ve been attending these camps for half a dozen years, and several of these camps a summer.
The real world intrudes then. When someone has been riding the bench for two years, and is still buried on the depth chart, a lot of moms and dads will more than have their son’s back when he wants to seek greener pastures.
The football tickets and miniplans went on sale yesterday. With the seating still up in the air (and particularly the South End Zone), these likely won’t be renewable, but you can get in early while the gettin’ is good:
The five-game mini-plan allows fans the choice of matchups with Tennessee or LSU, a choice of Ole Miss or Arkansas, and three non-conference games, including the home opener at Bryant-Denny against New Mexico State in addition to matchups with Southern Miss and Western Carolina. The five-game mini-plan prices start at $285.
A three-game mini-plan option gives fans the choice of Ole Miss or Arkansas, a choice between Southern Miss or Western Carolina, plus the home opener against the Aggies. Three-game mini-plans start at $145.
Call 205-348-3592 or 205-348-BAMA. You can also drop by rolltide.com (if you wish to deal with the horrible online ticketing system masquerading as UA athletics’ ticket portal. Serderiously, it’s easier and less painful to just call...and I hate people.)
So, I think I have found an NFL job for Jalen Hurts when he is drafted — and, gifted athlete that he is, he will be drafted. We can thank the New Orleans Saints (and a trend-chasing league) for the wave of situational quarterbacking that is about to descend on Sundays:
Hill has creatively found a way to earn his roster spot in New Orleans, where he started off as a third-string quarterback before he quickly started to not only appear, but also make plays, on special teams. Over the last two seasons the Saints staff has started to use Hill as a Swiss-Army knife of sorts, having him do everything from return kicks, to block punts as well as throw passes on fake punts, to getting the ball as a runner while on offense in a variety of ways.
I still think 1. It is both worth Jalen’s effort to give quarterbacking one more year and see what else he can learn, and 2. he would be better-suited as a devastating, every-down H-Back that could terrorize defenses for a decade if he accepted that his decision-making still is not (and is not likely to ever be) NFL material.
Alex Mortensen has rejoined the Alabama staff as an analyst after a short stint in the dearly-departed AAF.
Alabama swing man Tevin Mack is heading to Clemson as a grad transfer. (Best of luck in the NIT, Tevin!)
Uhhh. So, yeah, that’s the JP for today?