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Jumbo Package: Alabama is “Position U”

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Not content to claim one position, Alabama takes the entire package

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Allstate Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma v Alabama

Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images

SI is doing an ongoing series of “position U,” where teams like LSU fight over the monker of DBU. However, one school needn’t brag about singular achievements, because they have cornered the market on high performers across the board. Alabama is now Position U.

Alabama Is By Far the Best At Producing Top-Tier Talent At All Levels

Alabama has been known for being a powerhouse in college football and delivering top tier talent at all positions. Clemson may have garnered steam from focusing on specific positions over the years, yet SI’s Reid Foster dives deep into the books to prove the Crimson Tide are truly in a league of their own.

Nate Oats has been very outspoken about shaking up the roster this offseason, and his need for immediate contributors — be that via the JUCO ranks or the Portal. And, folks, he is hitting that portal like a crackhead on the 1st and 15th of the month.

Western Michigan redshirt junior Brandon Johnson went into the NCAA Transfer Portal on Monday, and it didn’t take long for a host of schools to reach out.

Johnson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward, told 247Sports that was immediately contacted by Alabama, Cincinnati, Dayton, Georgetown, Louisville, New Mexico, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Utah and Virginia Tech.

Lost in the cancellation of sports this spring/summer, is that many students have effectively been left homeless and without meals.

As badly as the actual seasons being upended were, recruiting has been impacted far more drastically, and in ways that we simply do not fully fathom yet. And the impacts will last years for an issue that coaches “do not have a blueprint for.”

The NCAA has barred in-person recruiting until at least April 15. The Collegiate Commissioner’s Association, which administers the letters of intent used by Division I and II athletes, followed with a suspension on all letters through the same date.

The result? No college coaches packed into suffocating high school gyms. No coaches milling around airport terminals, waiting for the next flight to some out-of-the-way place. No chance to shake hands with mom and dad and make a pitch that ultimately hold the fate of your career in their hands.

Rece Davis is a bit more optimistic than his GameDay colleague, Kirk Herbstreit about the possibility of there even being a 2020 season.

Kirk’s right based on everything I’ve read in terms of medical experts, in terms of the vaccine. I’m hopeful and optimistic that with so many people working on this that we’re going to have, at least, some kind of treatment, some type of break over the next several weeks that will, perhaps, make it far more feasible to have football. At this point, I’m far more optimistic. Might there be adjustments in the schedule? Might things change a little bit in terms of how the business is conducted? Sure.”

I would suggest that his optimism is a bit misplaced. The only treatment options for any coronoviral infection are palliative — the way to prevent the effects are to simply not contract it. But, if one wants a little upbeat news, Johnson & Johnson is beginning human trials on a vaccine...in September.

It is for that reason, the Miami Herald (and others) are forcing us to come to grips with the fact that this isn’t a five-week, or even five-month journey: In their words, “stop pretending the season is going to be played.” And that is a reality that we may have to begin to accept. It could burn itself quickly, like the Plague of Justinian, sure. But modern outbreaks suggest we are facing an 18-20 month roller coaster of suck that will circle the globe a few times, between its two identified strains, and then has several waves of outbreaks. Sigh.

Look, I’m not happy about it either. But, they may be right — we may have to seriously accept the possibility of a new, albeit-temporary, post-sports normalcy.

And we are going to be such a crabby fan base. That doesn’t even begin to get into the other real-world impact this will have on players’ careers too. Think Travis Ettienne would have stuck around for another year, knowing that he may be cooling his jets for up to 17 months without playing football of any stripe? What about Alex Leatherwood? Or Devonta Smith?

If this comes to pass, or it appears that it is likely to come to pass, the NCAA will have to make some quick decisions and not jerk these kids around. And the pro leagues will have to make allowances on the fly and permit late draft entries or create an entirely new tier of supplementary drafts — outside of the ones that already exist.

Which means, of course, none of this stuff will happen; I bet you even money they would just wind up getting screwed.

Speaking of working the high wire without a net, Nick Saban — notoriously technophobic and curmudgeonly though he be — is also adjusting to the new normal; even tackling his old nemesis: a wifi connection and tablet computers.

Today’s question will be a reflective on based on the case that Sports Illustrated makes. Even though Alabama is Position U, you get to pick which unit has been at the consistently highest level.

Poll

At which position group has Nick Saban developed the most high-end talent?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Defensive Line
    (104 votes)
  • 27%
    Linebackers
    (197 votes)
  • 2%
    Corners
    (17 votes)
  • 9%
    Safeties
    (72 votes)
  • 5%
    Offensive Line
    (37 votes)
  • 0%
    TE/H-Back/FB
    (2 votes)
  • 15%
    Wide Receiver
    (114 votes)
  • 21%
    Running Back
    (156 votes)
  • 0%
    Punters
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Returners
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    Placekickers (LOL. Not really)
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    Quarterback
    (6 votes)
725 votes total Vote Now