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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Recruiting, Rat poison, and a nice GOML rant

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NCAA Football: UL Lafayette at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting has been the big news for Alabama over the last two days. First there was Demouy Kennedy, the state of Alabama’s #2 ranked player committing to the Tide. Then last night it was Quandarrius Robinson, the state’s #1 player.

Robinson is at the fringe of a top-50 player, and just needs to convince the ESPN ranking site to give him a bump and he’ll be a fringe 5-star prospect.

Plus there is this:

Five-star target locks in Alabama OV

Five-star athlete Arik Gilbert will take his first official visit to Alabama this upcoming weekend, he announced on Twitter.

The Marietta (Ga.) product is being recruited as a tight end by the Crimson Tide.

Earlier this spring at The Opening Regional in Atlanta, Gilbert told BamaOnLine that the only official visit he knew of that he’d take thus far was to Alabama.

“Just the way that they prepare their guys,” Gilbert said of what stands out about the program earlier this year. “All their programs there are pretty amazing.”

Gilbert is a huge and athletic player who can double as a pass rusher, but is most noted for being a 5-star recruit at tight end. And Alabama looks to be on the inside track to landing him.

If not, Alabama is also strongly pursuing the #1 ranked “athlete,” Darnell Washington. Who is also a TE that can play defense. Except he’s nearly 6’8.”

Alabama Football: Big exit of SEC stars to the NFL after ’19 season

So much can change between now and next April, Mock Drafts will change dozens of times. But it is not too early to review to project which players might become first-round picks. Barring injuries and the fickleness of leaving early decisions, it can be argued the SEC has 33 potential first-round picks in 2020.

The performance of some will fade, but just as likely, players not on our lists below will jump up. Let’s start with the 12 SEC players most likely to be first-round selections. Five of them are Alabama football players.

Alabama Crimson Tide: Tua Tagovailoa; Jerry Jeudy; Dylan Moses; Raekwon Davis and Trevon Diggs

Georgia Bulldogs: Jake Fromm and Andrew Thomas

LSU Tigers: Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton

Florida Gators: C.J. Henderson

Missouri Tigers: Albert Okwuegbunam

Auburn Tigers: Derrick Brown

Some more Tide love here. It’s good stuff for us fans, but we gotta hope it stays out of the eyes and ears of the players mentioned above.

Alabama Has Potential In 2019 Football Sophs

Other true sophs upcoming include linebacker Ale Kaho, punter Sky DeLong, defensive back Eddie Smith, and linebacker Jaylen Moody.

Redshirt sophomores in positions of notice include linebacker Christopher Allen, defensive back Daniel Wright, quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver-running back Chadarius Townsend, wide receiver Tyrell Shavers, linebacker Markail Benton, nose tackle Phidarian Mathis, tight end Major Tennison, and placekicker Joseph Bulovas.

Men classified as freshmen, but beginning their second seasons at Bama include redshirt freshmen wide receiver Xavier Williams, defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis, linebacker Jarez Parks, running back Jerome Ford, defensive lineman Christian Barmore, and defensive lineman Stephon Wynn Jr.

Omitting Waddle and Surtain because they were breakout players as freshmen last season, our choice for an emerging sophomore for Alabama in 2019 likely would come from:

Anoma, Jobe, Tennison, and DeLong.

Here BOL lists pretty much every second year player or sophomore on the team (which winds up being like a solid 13 of the whole team). Obviously, there’s Jaylen Waddle and Pat Surtain as the top sophomores on the squad, but who are the most likely to be breakout players? Anoma, Jobe, Tennison, and DeLong all get mentioned here as the most likely.

I would say to not forget Jaylen Moody. He may not pass up Josh McMillon on the depth chart for middle linebacker, but I don’t think he’ll be very far behind. One minor injury and he may vault himself to the top and not look back.

Who is your pick?

10 teams Alabama has never faced but should

“I think we need to schedule games that are good for college football,” Alabama AD Greg Byrne told BamaOnline during SEC spring meetings this year. “And I agree with coach (Nick) Saban 100 percent that nine games, 10 games, whatever it may be, that’s good for college football and it’s good for the SEC. Now, what we don’t want to do is go schedule and be on an island by ourselves and disadvantage our program. That doesn’t make any sense.

”And so, it has to be something that’s a collective effort together on what we do. But I do think part of the solution to help attendance is to make sure we’re scheduling good games. And Coach has been very supportive of the move we’ve made to home-and-homes. We’re still going to try to find some ways to do some neutrals in there, too.”

Here’s some quotes from Greg Byrne in regards to football scheduling. The message from all of Alabama’s leadership for a decade has been consistent in their desire for a more beefed-up schedule. Now the rest of college football just has to actually do it.

The rest of the article has a list of potential opponents that the Tide has never faced in their long history, if you’re interested.

Cowboys’ Amari Cooper ‘consistent and persistent’ on and off the field

The “three steps ahead” mentality also is reflected in Cooper’s off-the-field interests, such as his chess games against teammates in the Cowboys’ locker room.

The former Alabama All-American also tested himself mentally by learning to solve Rubik’s Cube, a mastery he shared via a 2-minute, 47-second video in January.

Now Cooper has moved on to the four-by-four Rubik’s Cube.

Cooper also told Epstein that he’s learning Spanish this offseason.

Cooper, who has had an online book-of-the-month reading club, said the mental challenges he undertakes can require some of the same qualities as being a top-flight receiver.

“That makes me be consistent and persistent to learn them,” Cooper said. “I’m practicing being great at things you can’t do overnight.”

Here’s a really cool piece on Amari Cooper. Give it a read.

David Pollack vents about NCAA, cites Jalen Hurts as ‘perfect’ use of transfer portal

The ESPN analyst told DawgNation this week the NCAA needs to be more consistent when it comes to the way it handles transfers.

“The transfer thing drives me nuts,” the former Georgia star said. “I’m more about stay and fight, so (former Georgia quarterback) Justin Fields, I don’t get that,” Pollack said. “I get that Jake Fromm is really good, but I’m the type of person, I never thought about running from competition. I always thought about competing and getting better, so I think it’s kind of a strange situation.”

Pollack said the NCAA gives the impression it is picking and choosing who gets to transfer and who doesn’t.

The one area, however, Pollack doesn’t have an issue with is in the area of graduate transfers.

“Graduate transfers don’t bother me at all, because it means that person stayed and got their degree and they fought for a little while, they fought for their team for years, they worked hard, and they tried,” Pollack said.

“Maybe they’re in a situation where they need to go somewhere else, like Jalen Hurts. Is that not a perfect situation to be in the transfer portal? I think it’s a perfect one.”

Finally, here’s a link to David Pollack getting a little GOML off of his chest. I figure his sentiment will resonate to most of you pretty well, so enjoy.

Roll Tide!