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Jumbo Package: To play or not to play?

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Alabama Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. We would really love to have other topics to discuss other than whether football will be played and when, but that’s what we have.

“We are doing as much as possible,” Byrne said. “We are testing aggressively. We are conducting contact tracing. The health and safety of our student-athletes has been and remains our first priority.”

The athletes are not on 24-hour lockdown and have freedom during their time away from voluntary activities but the University has had virtual speakers to discuss social distancing. The UA athletic department has also generated video presentations, not only for the athletes, but also for their parents.

“There are really hard decisions before our university leaders,” another faculty member that works closely with student-athletes noted. “How badly do you want a football season?

“Frankly, what I think should happen and what I think will happen, at least at Michigan, is some level of democracy. No coach or football player should be required to participate. If they don’t, they keep their job or scholarship, and for our athletes, maintain another year of eligibility.

“I also think it’s a strong possibility that if you are on campus, even if outside on the Diag, you are required to wear a mask and violating can lead to expulsion or dismissal, but that’s campus and most of college life takes place off-campus, in homes, apartments, restaurants, bars, parks, just walking down the sidewalk. You can’t control that so there’s always going to be risk.”

I think probably the best case is to put off any important decisions for three to four weeks. … I think they’ll keep pushing, keep moving the invisible deadline to where, if the country is still in a freefall in a couple of weeks, then I don’t think they’ll have much choice but to then say, ‘We can’t do it at all’ or ‘We’re going to pause here and give it a few more weeks and maybe start in mid-September or late September.’

If you’re the SEC, ACC, Big Ten — maybe you just play conference games. I think the non-conference games are in serious jeopardy.

The option of playing only conference games has always been on the table, and that may well be what we get. Might schools in close proximity with one another agree to last minute non-conference games to fill those slots? Imagine two Iron Bowls in one season, or COVID inspiring Texas to play Texas A&M. In any case, I maintain that the players are scarcely more likely to get the virus playing football than they are otherwise, and they probably will have better monitoring and faster treatment if they did.

Of course, nobody is asking me.

5-star OT Amarius Mims announced his commitment date and Evan Neal retweeted it.

Maybe that means something, maybe it doesn’t. It would be awesome to land Mims, but hard to believe that the Tide could land him plus the Brockermeyer twins with J.C. Latham already in the fold.

A Bleacher Report NFL analyst has King Henry leading the NFL in TDs.

In 2019, Henry ran for 1,540 yards on 303 carries. He also had 16 rushing touchdowns, which was tied for the league’s best with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones.

Moton believes that the former Heisman winner’s size will be a key factor to him leading the NFL in touchdowns.

“Henry may not win back-to-back rushing titles, but he can continue to truck his way through defenses near the goal line as the engine of a potent offense that ranked 10th in scoring last season,” says Moton.

Moton’s prediction: 15 rushing touchdowns

What a beast.

Last, Xavier McKinney highlights again why NFL teams love Saban players.

“When I came into college I always worked hard,” McKinney told Cameron Hogwood of Sky Sports. “That’s always been a part of me. I’ve always wanted to be the best person out on the field. But when I got there, (Saban) was such a great coach and somebody I didn’t want to make mad or didn’t want to disappoint. I would literally do anything that I could to make sure I didn’t have any mistakes or anything that he could say I did wrong.

“I got to a point where I wanted to be as great as a player as he was as a coach. I wanted to get on his level. That’s what definitely pushed me and took me to another level in terms of my mentality and how I prepare for the game, how I looked at certain things.”

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

Roll Tide.