Happy Monday, everyone. The Tide beat up on poor Southern Miss as expected, but the big news came on the recruiting trail with the commitment of uber-talented QB Bryce Young.
It’s a big deal for Alabama, which will likely have to replace Tua Tagovailoa after the 2019 season -- or at least ensure it has a backup behind his brother, Taulia Tagovailoa.
It’s also a massive blow to USC. Young’s decommitment drops USC’s current class ranking in 2020 to No. 62 overall, No. 8 in the Pac-12. There’s still plenty of time for the Trojans to add more to their class, but this is unchartered territory for a USC recruiting class and will serve to turn the temperature on Helton’s seat up more.
Kayshon Boutte, 4-star WR, New Iberia (La.) Westgate -- LSU commit -- “(Pete Golding) actually e-mailed today about the quarterback. It (said) like, ‘Bryce Young to Kayshon Boutte?’ He was just asking me how I felt about it and stuff. (Having an elite quarterback in the class) plays a big role because you can’t just have any kind of quarterback and expect great things to happen.”
Arian Smith, 4-star WR, Lakeland (Fla.) -- Smith isn’t too familiar with Young, but says the addition of a quarterback of his caliber is something he’s factoring into his decision-making process. We’ll have more from Smith on Monday.
Three years ago, Alabama had an elite pocket passer flip to Georgia, and they later looked west to sign a higher rated dual threat in Tua Tagovailoa. Fast forward to 2019: pocket passer Carson Beck flips to Georgia, and Alabama goes out west to pull a higher rated dual threat QB in Bryce Young. This is the kind of history that we don’t mind repeating.
Hopefully Young is able to help pull in a couple more guys as is common with elite QB commits. The Tide is mostly done on the defensive side but still courting several offensive skill players, including running backs Jase McLellan, who is committed to Oklahoma, and uncommitted five-star Zachary Evans, who has had a bit of drama in his recruitment and is considered a Georgia lean.
In any event, Young’s commitment is a huge deal. Alabama is now nipping at Clemson’s heels for the top spot on the 247 composite.
Michael Casagrande has a few final notes on the Southern Miss game.
-- A true freshman whose name hasn’t come up much helped with a sack to end USM’s second drive. Byron Young met Abraham just after Anfernee Jennings got a hand on the passer as he was called for intentional grounding. Jennings got full credit for the sack. Young was also in the mix for a second-quarter sack from Lee, the freshman LB.
-- It almost looked like Ruggs would be caught from behind on the 76-yard touchdown pass. The throw looked like it slowed down the speedy receiver but there’s another gear on the junior from Montgomery who broke untouched from the snap. Ruggs is No. 3 in catches behind Jeudy and DeVonta Smith with 16 but his 350 yards and four touchdowns are No. 2.
Young appears to be the “next man up” in the rotation as Justin Eboigbe moves from backup to starter. We will see how he develops. The DL is definitely something to watch, particularly since we really don’t know about D.J. Dale’s injury. Saban said after the game that Jeff Allen thought he’d be OK, but he was sent to the hospital for further evaluation.
Hey, want to see what first round athleticism looks like for an offensive tackle?
I thought you did.
Cecil hits the nail on the head as usual.
To this point in 2019 — and, again, it’s an early point — the offense has had to carry the load while the defense has been taking a crash course in Sabanomics, learning to be frugal with yards and first downs. That’s not because the defense is sub-par. For most of Saturday, Alabama played without five — five! — of the starting front seven that it expected to have at the start of August: no Dylan Moses, no Josh McMillon, no Terrell Lewis, no LaBryan Ray and for much of the time, no DJ Dale (who is only a freshman himself). And still, they allowed only seven points and one long drive. Southern Miss isn’t a great offensive team, to be fair. Those tests remain. But Alabama appears likely to get to November with a chance.
The bad news is that Alabama is far from a complete team at this juncture, mostly because of the injuries. The good news is that there appears to be nary a complete team in the land. There are certainly a few who could develop into one, Alabama included, but as long as Tua and his band of speedsters keep rolling, there is nobody that this team can’t beat. Whether they actually beat all of them remains to be seen.
Of course, Alabama is going to beat Ole Miss as usual.
CFB Week 5 opening lines for games involving AP TOP 25 teams (BetOnline):— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) September 22, 2019
Clemson @ UNC +27.5
Ole Miss @ Alabama -34.5
Ohio State @ Nebraska N/A
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma -24
Miss State @ Auburn -12
Northwestern @ Wisconsin -21.5
Towson @ Florida N/A
Virginia @ Notre Dame -12
The Rebels are just sad. Matt Luke has to hit his knees every night and thank the good lord for Arkansas.
Last, speaking of the Rebels, their former QB Jevan Snead was found dead at only 32 years of age. Police are investigating, but foul play is not suspected at this time. Our deepest sympathies to his family.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.