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Jumbo Package: Saban steered Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. I trust that all of the mothers out there had a fantastic weekend, deservedly doted on by their loved ones. We know of one mother who did.

Very nice, Tua. Very nice.

Saban apparently helped guide Jalen Hurts away from Dan Enos and Mike Locksley, though not for personal reasons.

“I said I’ve always told you quarterback is a hard position to play if you don’t have good players around you,” Saban said in the interview with the Eagles. “So, if I was you, in order to create the most value because you have one year to do it, if you know you can be the starter there, go where they have the best players.’

“That’s no disrespect to anybody else, the guys that worked here and did a great job here, it’s what’s best for you. That’s how you have to make this decision right now. He did it and I think did a great job for Oklahoma.”

Being that Jalen ended up in New York before getting picked in the second round, I’d say that it worked out pretty well for him.

ESPN did a roundtable on college football one-hit wonders and, not surprisingly, two Alabama losses made the list.

Chris Low: Mississippi State’s 6-3 win over Alabama in 1980 remains one of the more epic upsets in SEC history. Bear Bryant seemingly had the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide on their way to an unprecedented third straight national championship before having their 28-game winning streak snapped that November day in Jackson, Mississippi. The game went down to the final seconds and included fumbles by both quarterbacks. Afterward, Bryant visited the Mississippi State locker room to congratulate the Bulldogs’ players. It was Mississippi State’s only win in the series during a 38-game stretch from 1958-95. The Bulldogs had a strong team that season and finished with nine wins, but have won nine or more games in the regular season only two times since (1999 and 2014).

Alabama would also go on to lose to the Notre Dame squad that Herschel Walker and Georgia beat to seal the national title that season. The other Alabama mention was that stupid Sugar Bowl with Trevor Knight after Alabama’s players reportedly partied a little too hard on Bourbon Street.

In case you forgot that Julio Jones is not of this world, here is a reminder.

That man is 220 lbs.

Peachtree Hoops scouted John Petty, in case their Atlanta Hawks decide to pull the trigger on him in the second round.

For what it’s worth, Synergy tracked him as an excellent on-ball defender in NCAA, holding opponents to 27% on field goals in man-to-man defense. His slight frame presents potential issues at the next level, but he does possess defensive instincts and the ability to compete on that end of the floor. If he can add strength, there’s no reason he couldn’t be a competitive defender on a second unit.

While there are faults in his game, 44% from three-point distance on high volume is hard to ignore and makes Petty worth a flier at a certain point for any team. The 3-and-D prospect could be a diamond in the rough, and there’s very little risk or downside at all in the late second-to-undrafted range.

If it’s just the same to y’all, we’d be fine with him coming back to Tuscaloosa.

Last, much has been made of Tennessee’s recent run of commits, and as you might expect, strategy has a lot to do with it.

Now Tennessee coaches have nowhere to go and no one to see. At least not in person. Instead, their recruiting focus is 100 percent virtual, with nothing to get in the way.

“Now, based off social media and phone calls, you probably can do three or four times that a day,” Pruitt said. “That’s one thing that also gives you an opportunity to watch more tape.

“I think you’ve got to do a really good job in the evaluation process because you won’t be able to watch spring practices and summer camps.”

Of more immediate concern to coaches is the potential post-summer fallout. The avalanche of commitments during the past eight weeks could trigger an equally widespread rash of decommitted prospects should campus visits become an option come September. At the very least, programs are expecting current verbal commitments to explore taking official visits given the obvious opportunity: an all-expenses-paid trip after months in quarantine.

The reopening of normal recruiting practices may also lead programs to reevaluate current verbal commitments, especially as decommitments reenter the recruiting pool, joined by late-blooming senior prospects. Under unpredictable circumstances, college football has had a recruiting boom; a sort of market correction may await this fall.

Saban is adaptable in many ways, but with the possible exception of a select few, elite prospects, offering one of his precious 85 scholarships to a player who he hasn’t seen probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Tennessee and Alabama are obviously in two very different situations. Pruitt needs the buzz that comes from a hot recruiting streak. Substance is always more important than style, but sometimes style points matter when building a program from the scrap heap. Also, Saban already has a roster full of four-stars, and if he signs another full class he will have to help several players who are in his program find a new home, as usual. There is absolutely no way he is doing that in order to bring in players who he hasn’t seen except for, again, perhaps a very few at the top.

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

Roll Tide.