A quote from draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah and a subsequent question from the NFL Network has drawn some predictions from Alabama players, past and present, regarding how fast Henry Ruggs III will run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.
“I know the first two numbers … they’re gonna be a 4 and a 2,” said Jeremiah of how fast Ruggs will run the 40 in Indianapolis. “He’s got big time, big time speed.”
When the NFL Network asked how fast others think Ruggs will run, his teammates chimed in.
Henry Ruggs III’s forty time has been the most anticipated combine event for three years now. John Ross’s 4.22 record is going to be really tough to beat, but Ruggs would be the guy that has a chance. As much as we’ve heard about him, it would be a disappointment to be slower than a 4.3... and that would STILL probably be the fastest player at the Combine.
“Everybody wants to make excuses,” Oats said referencing the loss to Tennessee following Alabama’s win over Georgia on Saturday. “Refs screw you all the time, right? I mean I told our guys, ‘losers make excuses, and winners figure out ways to win.’ Not every referee is going to be 100 percent correct, so let’s quit worrying about the stuff we can’t control.”
Heading into Saturday’s game against Georgia, Oats said he showed his players all the “dumb fouls” they had against Tennessee, reminding them of the basic fundamentals of defense — keep your hands off opponents on drives, stay vertical, and play with discipline. The no-nonsense approach paid off as the Crimson Tide sent the Bulldogs to the line just 21 times over 45 minutes while holding on for a crucial 105-102 overtime victory in Athens, Ga.
With the severe roster attrition and installing an entire new scheme with old players, it’s honestly amazing that Coach Oats has done as well he has this season. And quotes like this really give insight into how he can do it. Despite the aforementioned limitations, the team is playing with full effort through the last second of every game— something that we haven’t always seen over the last few years— and that is totally attributed to coaching.
‘Kool-Aid’ as most know him is the top player in Alabama. McKinstry can pretty much go anywhere in the country. He also also collected several scholarship offers in basketball including the most recent one from Nate Oats in Tuscaloosa.
He can play on either side of the ball. He hauled in 47 receptions for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns on offense last season. Kool-Aid hasn’t named a list of favorites, but he is a frequent visitor in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is a hard team to beat.
Rivals has a nice piece here talking about a number of in-state prospects. McKinstry will be an interesting player to follow this year, as Coach Saban and Coach Oats will be battling for his signature. With his multi-position and multi-sport versatility, he’ll have a good chance of being able to succeed in college athletics.
OLB King Mwikuta: The top two spots in the outside linebacker rotation are wide open, leaving Mwikuta among a few leading candidates to open spring drills with the first group. Raw and rangy, Mwikuta spent most of his first season in the program getting coached up by Sal Sunseri. The sophomore’s physical attributes are obvious; with length and twitch, he certainly looks the part of today’s edge defender. Now we’ll begin to find out exactly how much polish Mwikuta has taken on since his arrival to UA. Even with Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings moving on, Mwikuta won’t lack competition — especially when a stellar trio of early enrollees at his position are taken into account.
Ineligibles Downfield- Should this foul be reviewable if called on the field?
I’d be ok with this, honestly. With the rise of RPOs, our line of scrimmage officials are put in more of a bind than ever to watch both their keys and the ineligibles. It’s also compounded by the fact that what matters is where they were when the pass is thrown, not when it’s caught, so it can be difficult to retroactively piece things together if it looks like a run play and you are surprised by the pass. This aspect even led to a commentator incorrectly saying the Wisconsin got away with an ineligible downfield in this year’s Rose Bowl. The lineman was only 3 yards downfield when the pass was thrown, but because it took so long to get to the receiver, he was about 5 yards downfield when it was caught. This is not a foul, but can look like one at full speed if you’re expecting one thing but get something different.
This Reddit post has a list of rule changes the NCAA is looking at. Most of them are pretty minor, but I think this potential change would be a good one. And if I were to go a step further, I’d be fine limiting the linemen to only 1-yard downfield like the NFL.
Pinson Valley has its new football coach.
Sam Shade – a Wenonah grad who played on Alabama’s 1992 national championship team, played eight seasons in the NFL and has coached in college pro football – will be Pinson Valley’s new coach, pending Jefferson County Board of Education approval.
Congrats to Sam Shade for his new position. May he develop some great high school players and then funnel them to Tuscaloosa.
Finally, here’s yet another heartwarming story about Najee Harris.
That’s it for today. Roll Tide!