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Jumbo Package: Early Gump Day celebrates Quinnen Williams

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The holiday season has made for a slow news week

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">New York Jets Minicamp

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Alabama’s adaptive athletics programs have become a juggernaut over the past decade. They are, in fact, Alabama’s most successful programs — football isn’t too bad either. So, when the US Olympics’ Paralympics Committee was tasked to help create a better pathway for collegiate athletes, it shouldn’t be a surprise the Greg Byrne was invited on the panel to address much-needed NCAA reforms that do not force athletes to choose between representing their country and earning an education.

Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, along with other members of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Collegiate Advisory Council met at Duke University last Thursday and Friday where the group recommended a set of NCAA autonomy reforms aimed at strengthening the pathway for student-athletes who are competing at both the collegiate and international levels during the quarterly meeting. The recommendations are the latest step taken by the CAC to enhance solidarity between the collegiate landscape and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

”While we have the best collegiate athletics system in the world, our elite national team student-athletes are feeling pressure to choose between their Olympic and Paralympic dreams, and their education,” said Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics at Duke University. “To be sure, we should be supporting their ambition to do both.”

That’s a good story, and there are some needed changes for sure.

For those Madden lovers out there, Quinnen Williams is the highest rated rookie in this year’s game.

The third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is the highest-rated rookie in Madden 20 at launch. Quinnen Williams will leverage his massive 6-foot-3, 301-pound frame against opposing offensive lines. His 88 Impact Blocking rating and 89 Strength rating is a combination that opponents will be forced to respect in the middle of the trenches.

And, in recognition of an early Gump Day (given that this week’s schedule has been thoughtlessly rearranged by the birth of the nation or something like that), let us celebrate Quinnen Williams.

This one seems a no-brainer: Conecuh will be the official sausage for Alabama this year.

To kick off Independence Day week, Crimson Tide Sports Marketing announced a partnership with one a born and bred Yellowhammer State product. Based in Evergreen, Alabama, Conecuh Sausage will be the “Official Smoked Sausage” of the Alabama Crimson Tide beginning this fall

Johnsonville sausages never made any sense — they’re suspect Yankee vittles from Wisconsin. And, not to mention, Conecuh is absolutely delicious.

An NFL Scout gave some quick-hitters on a few Alabama NFL-eligible juniors. And, yes, the inevitable Russell Wilson-Tua Tagovailoa comparison arose. But, there was one that was particularly interesting regarding Henry Ruggs III:

Jeremiah: “Bama WR Henry Ruggs III can play in slot or out wide. He has tremendous explosiveness and he is very acrobatic down the field. Love his competitiveness too. We use the phrase “destroys pursuit angles” in scouting—check 3rd play. That’s what it looks like.”

Check out the link above for the video that he is referencing. I’ve never heard the phrase “destroying pursuit angles,” but it makes sense. With his elusiveness, route-running, and pure speed, Ruggs makes even sound defenders look bad in the open field.

This is a weird move. Ed Orgeron is hiring octogenarian, USC hall of famer John Robinson to be a special consultant. Robinson inherited a Trojan dynasty in the 70s that he quite ably managed, but his comeback tour in the modern game was fairly pitiful — being forced out by both USC and even lowly UNLV.

Speaking of USC, they’re about to be in hot water again. They fired a coach who informed his higher-ups of NCAA violations:

Rick Courtright said in the lawsuit he overheard graduate assistants Brett Arce and Austin Clark discuss working with defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to pay two students to take online classes for the graduate assistants. The lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court said Courtright later witnessed Pendergast, who is named in the complaint along with the school, hand an unspecified amount of cash to Clark. He passed it to one of the students.

Yikes.

And, finally, because this is the best story of the day:

If you want to be at the top of the competitive eating world, you have to show out on Independence Day.

“It’s everything,” Chestnut told Yahoo Sports. “If you’re a competitive eater, this is the one everybody judges you by. How you do in hot dogs is the most important. If you want to be called the best, you have to win this one.”

ESPN has an outstanding 30 for 30 on America’s competitive eating ubermensch, Joey Freaking Chestnut dropping soon. And Yahoo has a preview of it here in print. I wasn’t lying: in this slow news week, this is the best story of the day — surprisingly engrossing, right down to Chestnut’s rivalry with Takeru Kobayashi that made eating a spectator sport.