Happy Monday, everyone. This is a very different Memorial Day for everyone, but hopefully all will be able to enjoy some time with family while remembering those who died while defending our freedom.
Cecil Hurt provided an outline over the weekend of how things are likely to look for the football program in June.
Alabama will probably start bringing athletes back before June 1, pending University administrative approval, with football players coming back first. Those returning athletes will be tested for the coronavirus. It would be wonderful if there were no positive tests. Realistically, there could be, which might lead to individual quarantining. The best-case scenario would be for no one to put a political scoreboard on either outcome, one side or the other of the cultural divide in America using results to push their own agenda. I realize that this wish for a controversy- free response will have the same effect as throwing a blueberry at a charging bison herd.
Yes it will, Cecil. Yes it will.
Top in-state LB recruit Ian Jackson has, um, announced his announcement.
The recruiting insiders seem to believe that Alabama is in good shape here, as usual with in-state talent. Check out this list of the top ten highest ranked recruits from Alabama.
One of those doesn’t fit with the others, and I ain’t talking about Cadillac.
Also, massive North Shore (Houston, TX) guard Jaeden Roberts is scheduled to announce on May 27 per BamaOnline. Alabama is very much in the mix for the 340-lb. behemoth.
Speaking of recruiting, imagine bragging about this.
Michigan now has 6 of the 10 highest-ranked non-OSU bound commits in the Big Ten East. pic.twitter.com/NT0kXJAzHy— Scott Bell (@sbell021) May 24, 2020
Why just ask to be trolled like that?
Athlon is the first major “post-spring” preseason publication, and it has Alabama ranked #2.
This is the first surprise of the group with most preseason polls slotting the Buckeyes second. The Crimson Tide sit at No. 2 in Athlon’s eyes, even with the departure of program-changer Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. With Taulia Tagovailoa also gone, quarterback comes down to either veteran Mac Jones or five-star phenom Bryce Young. While Alabama had major attrition to the draft like normal, star returns like DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris and Dylan Moses are big wins for coach Nick Saban in pursuit of another national title.
Athlon says, “Regardless of who is under center, they may not need to win too many games through the air. That’s due to arguably the nation’s top offensive line, along with a deep stable of running backs that includes Najee Harris, Brian Robinson Jr. and Trey Sanders. Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy will be missed at receiver, but DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are two of the best playmakers in college football.”
The best offensive line in the country is going to be huge, as is a front seven that should be immensely improved. Quarterback really isn’t a concern for me after seeing Mac play last season, but there are some questions to answer in the secondary.
Jalen is probably going to spend the bulk of his rookie year on the inactive list.
Pederson said Hurts is progressing in learning the Eagles’ offensive playbook, but the coach thinks the lack of turf time makes fully understanding the system more difficult for the players being immersed in it for the first time.
“Jalen’s about right now just learning and picking up our system,” Pederson said, “and he’s another one, another young player that we drafted who — there’s a lot to learn at the quarterback position. So are we going to take it a little bit slower maybe with him until he grasps the offense? You might have to.
With his skillset, it’s possible that they use him in other ways. The #3 QB is usually inactive though. By rule they can play in emergency situations, but then the top two QBs are inactive for the balance of the game.
Alabama is always on some folks’ minds.
“You can’t be taking shots at me,” Barkley, who is serving as an analyst for the broadcast, told Manning. “We’re in the SEC. It’s us against Alabama in everything we do now.”
Manning, as always, was quick with a pithy explanation.
“Yeah, we got Justin Thomas (as an analyst) out here,” Manning said. “He’s Bama. You’re Auburn. Charles, can you believe that Tom (Brady) and Phil (Mickleson) kind of have matching outfits? They wanted to know if I wanted to wear black and red like Tiger. I’m like, ‘I’m not wearing black and red. That’s Georgia Bulldog colors. I just can’t do that. If you want me to get sick on the first hole, I’ll do it.’
“I’m not going to let Kirby Smart get a picture of me in black and red for their social media account.”
Barkley didn’t disagree.
“You are a smart man, Peyton. I agree with that totally. I would never red anytime.”
We feel the same way about orange, Chuck.
Happy Birthday to Tyrone Prothro!
Very sorry for your loss, Tyrone. Hopefully you can enjoy your day.
Last, SportsCenter compiled its best “This is SportsCenter” commercials, and there is so much nostalgia in there.
“This Is SportsCenter” commercials never get old pic.twitter.com/NrOpOc3QmG— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 24, 2020
Great stuff. RIP to Kobe and Stuart Scott.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.