The saga of former five-star defensive lineman recruit Antonio Alfano continues at Colorado, and not for the better. On Monday, new Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell announced that Alfano has been suspended indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules.
So Alabama’s premiere recruit (at the same position, no less) from the 2018 and 2019 classes both transferred out before every getting any playing time, and now both have already been suspended from their new teams. Sometimes a bad egg is just a bad egg. It’s tough for Alabama that back-to-back busts hit the same position, leaving the Tide struggling to find a pass rush.
Fortunately, they did just get finished signing four pass-rushers in the top 60 of the 2020 recruiting rankings... Three of which are 5-stars.
“Last year, I went to Clemson and to some other places, and it was just tiring to get back and get ready to get prepared for the game that week,” he said. “I feel like once you know where your heart is, you might as well go ahead and make a commitment.”
Freeman echoed that thought, re-iterating what other high school coaches across the state have said recently about the recruiting calendar moving up with the addition of the early signing day and now the transfer portal.
“Recruiting has changed so much,” he said. “I tell my guys if they are ready to commit and feel good about it, go ahead and do it. I talked to Jeremiah for an hour Sunday night and again Monday morning. He and his family prayed about the decision. He felt it was right in his heart, so I was good with that.”
Freeman described Alexander as “self-rooted and motivated.”
“For me, he is like a young coach who still has playing eligibility,” Freeman said. “He has matured so much already, and his work ethic is so good. We tell our guys to be leaders when no one else is around, and Jeremiah exemplifies that.
And hey, look at that. Alabama’s now picked up 2022’s top in-state recruit who also happens to be... a pass rusher.
You can NEVER have too many pass rushers.
“When I was growing up, I was an Alabama fan,” Smith said while reflecting on his visit to Tuscaloosa to see Alabama and LSU face-off last November. “So like that game, I watched that game since, shoot, I was like six. So you know it was crazy seeing it in real life for the first time.”
Alabama didn’t win the game on the field that day, but the Crimson Tide might have gained some ground in Smith’s recruitment. The defensive tackle said he loved the new lights in Bryant-Denny Stadium, and his highlight from the game was watching Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle return the punt in the first half.
Alabama’s final trump card in Smith’s recruitment is probably the Crimson Tide’s most valuable one. Smith likes structure, and he seems to know Alabama coach Nick Saban can provide that to him in a way few other coaches can.
“You hear a lot of things about him, but he’s honestly a really down to earth dude,” Smith said. “He’s just very structured, like I said, which kind of makes him come off as something that he’s not.”
Meanwhile, interior pass rush is just as important as edge rushers. Maason Smith is looking like he may be one of those recruits that’s going to get mentioned a whole lot in the next 9 months, so get used to seeing his name now.
Punters: Ty Perine, Skyler Delong
Alabama’s punter spot was a revolving door last season. Reichard pulled double-duty in the season opener against Duke before Delong took over at punter, only to be replaced midseason by Perine, a walk-on fan favorite. Finally, in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan, walk-on Mike Bernier made his season debut. Perine and Delong figure to compete again unless Reichard ventures back into punting.
What a mess.
Foster and Wallace were exclusive-rights free agents. Exclusive-rights free agents are those with fewer than three seasons as an active NFL player and an expiring contract. Teams can retain exclusive-rights free agents by offering a one-year contract for at least the league minimum. Exclusive-rights free agents offered contracts cannot negotiate with other teams.
The Bills may have signed a potentially washed up Josh Norman for cornerback, but it seems they aren’t quite done with Levi Wallace just yet. Congrats to Wallace and Foster for making yet another milestone towards having an actual career in the NFL.
The Alabama alumnus went to training camp with the BattleHawks but was released before the season kicked off.
The guard has been on the XFL’s Team 9 during the first five weeks of the season. Team 9, which is based in Dallas, served as the football league’s practice squad, providing replacements for players hurt or released in the XFL’s first five weeks.
Roll Tide, Korren. Who know, maybe this XFL will stick better than the AAF did, and he can turn it into a decent career there.