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Jumbo Package: Purdue coach lays out a potential spring football schedule

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, everyone. Let’s open with this nugget of positivity from Michael Casagrande, pun intended:

With a week left until classes begin at the University of Alabama System’s three campuses, the first numbers of COVID-19 reentry tests are available.

As of Wednesday morning, approximately 30,000 students had been tested either in person or through the mail-in kits. Of that group, 0.83 percent tested positive, a GuideSafe Entry Testing spokesperson told AL.com on Wednesday evening.

This is a great sign. Let’s hope outbreaks are held to a minimum.

Jeff Brohm laid out a calendar for a theoretical spring football season.

The one thing I don’t see mentioned a whole lot in the spring football conversation: when exactly are the coaches supposed to recruit?

Love to hear this kind of talk about an incoming Alabama LB.

“You don’t fool him,” Ross said. “We do a lot of eye candy stuff just to get the defenders’ eyes away from the ball. It doesn’t work with Ian. I told him the other day, ‘You don’t have to know every play. Give us a chance every now and then.’”

Jackson has grown into a 6-foot-3, 220-pound football machine.

He comes in today at No. 4 on AL.com’s A-List of top senior prospects in the state. He is the first Crimson Tide commit to make the list.

Let’s hope those instincts are as effective at the college level.

A top target commits tomorrow.

Four-star wide receiver Malcolm Johnson Jr., a top-200 prospect in the 2021 class, will make his college commitment on Friday morning, he announced on Twitter on Wednesday night. Johnson will go public with his commitment at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, and he will choose from a final five of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Florida.

A 6-foot-1, 185-pounder out of St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in Alexandria, Va., Johnson is rated as the No. 191 overall player in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He is also deemed the No. 36 wide receiver in the nation, as well as the fifth-best player in Virginia this cycle

Several national analysts deem Johnson the fastest player in the class. Pairing him with Christian Leary would potentially give Alabama the fastest WR duo since... Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. Either way, this is an outstanding WR group. We are so, so spoiled, y’all.

SI has a throwback for you.

On fourth down of the next Alabama drive, needing five yards for a first down, Todd threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Russ Schamun with 3:13 remaining. The Crimson Tide added two points on a conversion pass from Todd to George Pugh to close the deficit to 13-11.

With 1:39 left, Alabama got the ball back at its own 38-yard line needing only a field goal to win. Todd tossed to Schamun for a 16-yard gain and hit Randy Billinsley for an eight-yard reception to the Irish 38. But Notre Dame’s Reggie Barnett intercepted Todd’s next throw to stifle the last-gasp effort.

Good thing you didn’t publish this on Gump Day, folks.

Tua may find himself with an interesting role early on.

“We’ve looked into, really, every possible scenario, that being one of them,” Miami coach Brian Flores said during an online press conference on Tuesday when asked if the Dolphins were considering the strategy. “Look, a lot of our meetings are Zoom right now, so everyone from that standpoint is in a quarantine, so in a lot of ways it takes care of itself. But, yeah, we’ve thought about that. We’ve talked through that scenario as well as a plethora of other scenarios. I think we have a plan in place that we feel good about.”

Three other quarterbacks with Alabama football roots appear locked in as primary backups for 2020 – the Houston Texans’ McCarron (St. Paul’s Episcopal, Alabama), San Francisco 49ers’ Mullens (Spain Park) and New Orleans Saints’ Winston (Hueytown).

Being the QB who wasn’t allowed in the QB room all week would be... weird. If anyone can handle it, he can, though.

Last, Reuben has done what he has needed to do to show Washington that he has put his off-field drama behind him.

“I think the biggest thing was Reuben was playing here, and as he went through the process, certain things came out and he had his moment to be able to settle himself in and show that he was exonerated for the most part,” Rivera said. “And again, it’s always a difficult situation when you come through these things, but Reuben and I talked about some things, some specific stuff. I’m not going to get into detail. But the one thing that Reuben has really shown since I’ve been here is that he is doing things the right way. He’s doing things the way we need him to do. …

“Here’s a guy who needed a change of scenery. I think that may be one of the things that has truly benefited him. And who knows? That’s what might be needed in Derrius’ case is an opportunity to get a change of scenery.”

Come on, Reub. Make us proud.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.