With just over a week left until the close of the NSD 2020 signing window, one of the sport’s more venerated traditions is heating up — time to steal commitments from other schools!
One name really being linked more and more to ‘Bama is 4-star DB Ennis Rakestraw, a guy Saban has been after hard the last few weeks. And, judging by the smiles and statements from the Mizzou commit, Ennis will have a bit of a tougher decision in a few days:
Thank you @AlabamaFTBL had a great weekend felt like a DREAM come True‼️ pic.twitter.com/K9gfI0oFPS— Ennis Rakestraw Jr (@EnnisRakestraw) January 26, 2020
But, just as Alabama may sometimes be the well-armed and technically-superior poacher, so to is it often the undermanned Kenyan wildlife officer, as other schools slip in the backdoor and snatch one of the flock.
Case in point: Alabama native and long-time commit, four-star DT Jayson Jones is very likely going elsewhere, and maybe to the Ducks. For about 6-7 months, Jones has seemed cool — even downright standoffish, about his commitment to the Tide, praising and visiting everyone from Auburn to Oregon. I suspect the staff has half moved on from him, at least mentally.
Adventures in the Quitter Hole:
Nigel Knott is already drawing interest from one school that just so happens to play the same kind of defense as the Tide and is in need of veteran defensive backs. Michigan State would be a very good landing spot for the DB, who just never was able to get over the hump (or stay healthy) with the Tide. Dantonio is in win-now mode. Knott is an immediate upgrade on the Spartans’ up-and-down secondary.
Best of luck, Nigel.
Alabama struck out in its quest for a game-changing tight end this recruiting season. But, UNC grad transfer Carl Tucker is very keen on the Tide and is being courted out of the Portal.
Carl Tucker is very high on Alabama right now. Tucker's visit to Tuscaloosa lasted until yesterday morning and he loved every bit of it. Alabama is currently the favorite to land the grad transfer from UNC. Tucker is 6'2 250 pounds. #RollTide pic.twitter.com/MOW8sFydVb— Alabama Update (@MASONEHRET1) January 28, 2020
Tucker is a solid blocker, but is at his heart a pass-catcher. He wasn’t used as much as his physicals would dictate in either of the last two schemes, but still posted respectable numbers. He’d do just as well, perhaps better, at Alabama in a position of clear need for the Tide. He’s especially good in the redzone.
This may shock you, but Nate Oats is mad — this time, he’s angry at the effort the Tide put on rebounding in the 77-74 victory over Kansas State. The Wildcats absolutely murdered Alabama on the glass, with their 21 offensive boards accounting for 40% of the offense.
The Tide has been a good rebounding team this year, but in that outing lost the battle 45-33, and surrendered 22 second-chance looks for the ‘Cats. He pointed out that even with a small lineup, the effort just wasn’t there.
And, as Oats rightly notes, it’s going to have to be cleaned up immediately. The Tide’s next opponent, LSU, isn’t anything special, but they are athletic, not at all lazy, and they crash the boards hard. That is a winnable game for ‘Bama that could be easily derailed by a low-effort evening on the glass.
Auburn, as usual, ruins everything — the Tigers are mired in a bit of a funk and have dropped all the way to 17th in the AP poll. Not being able to beat Nate Oats on the court, the Barbecue Bag Man is doing his damnedest to kill Alabama’s SOS.
Kira Lewis Jr. had a very good week on the court, and was named the SEC’s Co-Player of the Week. Well done to the sophomore PG for the Tide. He’s been learning the ropes this year and a bit streaky, but this week he shined.
You know when you first start dating someone and you’ve got that glow about you? You say stupid stuff and do stupid things heedless of where it will all take you?
Such is LSU’s staffing right now.
After a predictable diaspora of coaches and players following the Tigers’ win in the CFPCG, LSU has decided to just overpay everyone associated with getting the band back together. Steve Ensminger is grossly overpaid. And now the Tigers have decided to spend $2.3 million per year on Bo Pelini to helm their defense. Never mind the fact that Pelini’s last stint as a DC occurred between 2005-2007 and that he’s been a head coach now for over a decade. Never mind that fact that his defenses oft’struggled with the rise of the HUNHs and Air Raid when Nebraska was still in the Big 12. Never mind that his Youngstown State teams had the same issue. And, yeah, the guy is a 52-year-old major asshole. I’m sure this will work out perfectly — but at least you paid him eleven times his annual salary to do so!
That post-coital glow is doing some dumb stuff to LSU. I’m not going to complain a bit. And, sure, he may be a first-class jerk, but at least he never said he wanted to have a motivational speaking dinner with Hitler.
These buyouts in a few years are going to be hilarious.
Christion Jones has carved out a very nice career for himself in the CFL, where he is a playmaker as a return specialist: punts, kickoffs, and especially in the CFL’s wide-open missed FG return rules.
Butttttt, since he was part of that 2013 Alabama team, I wonder if he involuntarily shudders everytime he returns a kick following a missed field goal? #TooSoon
Our winner out of the gate for Rat Poison 2020? Why, it just so happens to be the Clemson Tigers again. It’s gonna be funny to see how Dabo reacts to the poison after some staff losses, a butt-whoopin’ in the title game, and a lot of key players departing, considering he was peevish and kind of whack even in victory.
And, now, I leave you with this very good story of college football’s role in warping the already-whack genetics of the bulldog. Handsome Dan was a long, long time ago at Yale — what is passing for bulldogs on modern campuses doesn’t even remotely resemble that breed. Sad stuff...and just one more reason to kick Kirby’s ass in September.