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Jumbo Package: Tuscaloosa celebrates the Power of Pink, Karl Scott named top SEC recruiter

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NCAA Football: Missouri at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The Gym Tide host Missouri tonight in the annual “Power of Pink” meet for breast cancer awareness. Several Tuscaloosa businesses are participating.

The Bama Theatre, Woods Quad, River Market, Chuck’s Fish, FIVE Tuscaloosa and, of course, Coleman Coliseum are among the places that will be lit up in pink this week.

Everything is pink at the gymnastics practice facility: pink leotards, pink ribbons and pink t-shirts.

“This is my favorite meet,” junior Lexi Graber said. “It just reminds us on Friday night there is a woman standing next to us that has been through so much and has fought through so much more than we could ever imagine.”

This cause is near and dear to so many families out there. My own mother passed many years ago at the age of 34 after multiple occurrences, and I know so many others who have been affected. It’s great to see the community come together in this fashion.

Softball kicks off their season today as well. Look for coverage of opening weekend for the national title favorites later in the morning. The women’s basketball team hosts Auburn tomorrow.

In football news, Karl Scott finished as the top SEC recruiter this season, and third in the country per 247sports.

Arguably the most impressive feat for Scott in the 2020 cycle was flipping Oklahoma’s two highest-rated commits out of the DFW area, a recruiting hotbed for both Texas and OU. Five-star athlete Drew Sanders joined the Crimson Tide’s class last April after spending over year as a member of the Sooners’ class. Scott followed up landing Jase McClellan on Early Signing Day after the elite ball carrier spent two and a half years as a part of Lincoln Riley’s class. Sanders ranks the No. 1 athlete and No. 22 overall player in the country. McClellan rates as the No. 6 running back and the No. 46 overall player in the nation, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Scott is going to be tough to hold onto as the years go on. He will be a coordinator sooner than later.

Saban officially announced Freddie Roach’s return.

“We are pleased and happy to have Freddie Roach return to our staff at The University of Alabama,” Saban said in a statement. “Freddie did a fantastic job at Ole Miss the last three years coaching their defensive line and we are excited to welcome him back to Tuscaloosa. Freddie played here and has been a part of our staff on a couple of occasions. He brings a tremendous understanding of what we do on defense, how we run our program while proving to an outstanding recruiter.”

It’s always good to have former players selling the program, and Roach has built quite a reputation for himself in a fast rising coaching career.

Next year’s opening opponent had an awful time on the recruiting trail.

Yes, the power dynamic in the sport is in the East, but if the Pac-12 is going to have any chance of disrupting the status quo in the sport, it has to start with USC, Oregon and Washington. But USC is trending down. Fast.

USC just got done signing its worst class in the 20-year era of modern-day recruiting. You have to get to the “load more” tab on the 247Sports Composite team rankings to find USC’s class, which consists of only 13 signees. Want a crazy stat? Of the 31 four- and five-star players in the state of California, Arizona State signed seven, which is more than USC (two), UCLA (two) and Cal (zero) combined.

That thing about Arizona State is very damning, and there is no excuse for it. That will affect the Trojans down the road, but they won’t be a pushover in September. USC brings back almost all of the 2019 starters, and had the #4 recruiting class in both 2017 and 2018. Only Austin Jackson declared early for the draft, so basically all of that 2017 class returns. There is some serious upperclassman talent on that roster.

Pro Football Focus is wrong.

No. 25: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (Foley, Alabama)

No. 64: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (Alabama)

No. 65: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (Alabama)

No. 94: Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)

No. 99: Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (Alabama)

King Henry won the NFL rushing title and basically dragged the Titans to the AFC Championship Game, Josh Jacobs should have won the Offensive Rookie of the Year over Kyler Murray, and All-Pro Minkah was on the short list for the Defensive Player of the Year award given to Stephon Gilmore of New England. These rankings seem a bit dubious, to say the least.

Last, the XFL kicks off this weekend and two former Alabama DBs will be playing.

The XFL will begin its 2020 season with two games on Feb. 8 and two on Feb. 9, and there will be two former Crimson Tide football players who will be making their debut.

Former Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith will be starting for the Houston Roughnecks, and former Alabama cornerback Bradley Sylve will start for the DC Defenders.

That’s all I have to say about that.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.