Here’s a fun video from ESPN to kick off your Gump Day. You get to spend a little time with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and DeVonta Smith. Unfortunately, the video won’t embed, but you can click the link.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Dylan Moses were named first-team preseason AP All-Americans. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a second-team selection. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence was the first-team quarterback.
Add four more accolades to the yearly ritual of Alabama dominating the All-American lists. The AP is one of the most reputable ones, so congrats to these guys.
— First-team inside linebacker Christian Harris had a brace on his left knee and didn’t go through drills during the media viewing period. With Harris out, fellow freshman Shane Lee was the other inside linebacker next to Dylan Moses when Alabama practiced in its base defense.
— Anfernee Jennings stood off to the side during the portion of outside linebacker drills I saw. With Jennings not participating, Terrell Lewis and Chris Allen were the top two outside linebackers. When the Tide worked in its base defense, freshmen Kevin Harris and King Mwikuta were the first two outside linebackers in with the second-team defense. It looked like Ben Davis then came in for Harris.
— Freshman defensive lineman Antonio Alfano wasn’t present during the media viewing period for a second straight day.
Well Christian Harris is still out, unfortunately. But he is at least out there with the team, which is hopefully a good sign. The other interesting bit is that freshmen Kevin Harris and King Mwikuta were ahead of Ben Davis and Jarez Parks at outside linebacker.
“I’m 100 percent, I would say,” Lewis said. “There’s nothing that’s holding me back from doing anything. I feel real good now. ... As far as the spring, strength-wise, I wasn’t where I wanted to be as far as being able to hold the point of attack and go against 300-pound linemen. But now, staying focused with rehab and stuff like that got me right. And getting stronger and then just getting more comfortable with being back on the field, that helped me a lot.”
Saban can attest to that.
Saban was standing nearby for the Lewis-Tommy Brown scrimmage matchup that apparently didn’t end well for Brown.
His reaction to the play was typical Saban, though.
“Saban (doesn’t) say anything,” Lewis said, smiling. “He ain’t going to kiss nobody’s ass. That’s Saban. Actually, he was right in front of it. ... He just saw it and was like ‘Oh, whatever.’”
Here’s the good news, though. Terrell Lewis is 100%. And that’s something that should scare every SEC QB for 2019. Lewis might be the most physically imposing player Alabama’s had on the roster in recent years. That kind of size, strength, and speed can’t be taught. And on top of that, he’s actually got a narrow frame, which make blocking him an even tougher job for offensive linemen.
“I feel like when you’re in the slot, people think the position is supposed to be smaller so you can move those guys,” Diggs said. “Pat and I are bigger guys but we can move just as well as the smaller guys so I feel like it’s really not a difference but I feel like we have an advantage because quarterbacks normally read the cover 2 and throw that seam route. It’s harder to get that over our heads because we’re taller and longer so I feel like that’s our advantage and we can move as well so I feel real good.”
Here’s some interesting quotes from Pat Surtain II and Trevon Diggs. I always like when team looks to redefine position prototypes, and Alabama using bigger corners in the slot with guys like Minkah Fitzpatrick and now Diggs and Surtain II has been especially interesting. Most teams would shoehorn them in to outside corners to use their length on the sidelines.
LSU wasted top-flight defense after top-flight defense thanks to quarterbacks who struggled to hit the broad side of a barn from 20 yards away, and before last season, Florida finished ranked 100th or lower in points per game for three consecutive years, winning games solely due to their own stunning defense. But both programs look ready to turn the corner this fall.
Under Dan Mullen last season, Florida went 10-3, hammered their personal bowl demon Michigan 41-15 in the Peach Bowl, and logged 35 points per contest—good for 22nd nationally. LSU, meanwhile, climbed to as high as fourth in the AP poll, and finished 10-3 with a win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl thanks to a relative offensive explosion led by quarterback Joe Burrow.
I mostly highlighted this one for the snarky quote on LSU.
That said, it is a really good read from The Ringer, and quite enjoyable piece on his takeaways from the recently released AP top 25.