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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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Alabama basketball program on the upswing, Julio Jones continues to rack up awards, and the Tide picks up a new staffer

NCAA Football: Mercer at Alabama
Nov 18, 2017; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Brian Robinson Jr. (24) celebrates with Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (74) after scoring a touchdown against the Mercer Bears during the third quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Tide basketball climbing in team recruiting rankings

With the addition of three-star small forward Darius Miles to the Crimson Tide’s 2020 recruiting class on Tuesday, Alabama’s class now ranks No. 15 in the nation, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings, with a score of 59.05.

Miles joins a UA class that consists of 247Sports five-star combo guard Josh Primo and four-star power forward Keon Ambrose-Hylton out of Canada, as well as the No. 1 junior college combo guard in the nation in Keon Ellis.

The Tide has hit a hot streak on the recurring trail in the last two weeks, landing three of its four pledges. Ambrose-Hylton signed with the program last November.

Our own BamaBrave4 had this to say when Miles committed to the Tide yesterday.

Coach Oats wasn’t lying when he started talking last month about the roster potentially looking significantly different next year. This is a whole host of new players set to come in, and he’s still recruiting the transfer portal with a fervor. On top of that, there will likely have to be another departure or two of current players in order to make room on the roster.

Even on Gump Day, I can’t quite allow myself to get my hopes too high just yet (the Tide’s Men’s basketball program has crushed me too many times), but I’m definitely pleased with what Oats has accomplished in just a few weeks since the season ended.

2000s

Running back: Shaun Alexander (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Walter Jones (Aliceville High School)

Wide receiver: Terrell Owens (Benjamin Russell High School)

Linebacker: DeMarcus Ware (Auburn High School, Troy)

2010s

Wide receiver: Julio Jones (Foley High School, Alabama)

Punt returner: Tyreek Hill (West Alabama)

Many congratulations to Julio Jones. In any individual season over the last decade, people have argued that players such as Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Odell Beckam, and Dez Bryant were actually the best wide receiver in the NFL over Julio. And as those players flashed and faded, Julio just kept on being the best receiver on the planet year after year after year after year.

Another former member of the Houston Texans will be joining the Alabama staff.

Shiloh Keo, a starting safety for the Texans in 2013, is expected to be hired to the Crimson Tide staff in a support staff capacity, AL.com has learned.

The former fifth-round draft pick played in the NFL from 2011-16, including 2011-14 with the Texans, and was the defensive backs coach at the College of Idaho the last two seasons.

Keo is a west coast guy out of Seattle with origins from Hawaii, and played for Idaho. In both college and the pros, he was an ace special team player and a serviceable reserve safety for a nice, fairly lengthy career.

He went back to Idaho after retiring from the NFL and has been their defensive backs coach since 2018. His name just might be one to remember in the future.

“I knew Tua was special since high school,” Wills said.

Wills explained he first saw Tagovailoa at The Opening in Eugene, Oregon. “He was lighting everybody up,” Wills said.

Check out the full interview below in which Wills also talks about blocking for both a left-handed quarterback and a right-handed quarterback.

AYE-ELL dot com went for the juicy headline on this one, but I wanted to highlight the latter half of the article and their interview with Wills. I think a lot of people have subconsciously downgraded Wills in NFL draft standings because he never played left tackle. Except they forget that he’s been blocking for a left handed QB for the last two years.... Which means he’s been the blindside protector this entire time.

That’s it for today. Stay safe out there!

Roll Tide!