Happy Thursday, everyone. As you undoubtedly heard, Alabama added a new OL coach in Doug Marrone, former head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
From a football standpoint, Marrone will play a key role in 2021 in building back up Alabama’s offensive line. The group will lose Outland Trophy-winning left tackle Alex Leatherwood, Rimington Trophy-winning center Landon Dickerson and starting left guard Deonte Brown. It will return fifth-year center Chris Owens, right guard Emil Ekiyor and right tackle Evan Neal — but Marrone will likely need to develop younger players to fill the other two starting jobs.
That could be the right task at the right time for Marrone.
“He’s an offensive line guy,” former Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson said in 2018. “When I came [to Buffalo], he actually helped me through my technique. Like, really taking time during practice ... and teaching us techniques and stuff. Help us with our game. Coach Marrone was a good guy, and I liked working with him.”
Marrone joins reported OC hire Bill O’Brien, formerly of the Houston Texans. Alabama has to be the only college program in the country with recent NFL head coaches at two key assistant posts.
Henry To’oto’o has decided to transfer from Tennessee along with most everyone else, and he would be welcomed in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide were one of To’oto’o’s finalists in his initial recruitment, earning his last official visit late in the 2019 cycle. USC is the in-state power most in the mix for To’o To’o, who grew up in California and played for De La Salle High School. To’o To’o also has a connection to USC defensive quality control analyst Michael Hutchings, who played at De La Salle. Michigan wasn’t really a factor for To’o To’o the first time around, but a source tells 247Sports the Wolverines will be in the mix with Jim Harbaugh and Shaun Nua leading the way in the recruitment. Georgia is, well, just one of the elite recruiting teams in the country. UCLA could also work its way into the mix as well.
Henry is a stud, and with the departure of Dylan Moses there is an opening for him. He would be an instant difference maker and with Christian Harris would likely form the best pair of ILBs in the country. My guess is that he comes to Alabama, which he should have done to begin with, or back home to USC.
Mock drafts are pretty pointless before the combine, but yet another has DeVonta Smith going to Miami to play with Tua.
3. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans) — DeVonta Smith, WR, AlabamaThe Dolphins are proceeding with Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback and they should have their sights set on getting him help. To take the next step in his development, Tagovailoa needs to learn the difference between “college open” and “NFL open” and reuniting him with Smith, who has elite ball skills and separation quickness, would speed up that learning curve.
Just think of all the 2nd and 26 hype.
Kendrick Blackshire is a badass MLB, and he looks like a linebacker version of Tony Brown.
That dude is terrifying.
Collin Sexton went off last night.
Collin Sexton drops a career-high 42 PTS and closes out the Nets in 2OT— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 21, 2021
YOUNG BULL COULD NOT BE STOPPED pic.twitter.com/MeBttn6uDa
Reminds of that time he almost beat Minnesota singlehandedly while playing three-on-five.
This will be something to watch.
Pac-12 commish candidates I’ve heard: Ohio St AD Gene Smith, Stanford AD Bernard Muir, former West Virginia AD (and NCAA exec) Oliver Luck, Alabama AD Greg Byrne. ASU’s Ray Anderson could make a push. Feeling is league needs someone who knows campuses, has built-in relationships.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 21, 2021
Greg gave us Nate Oats, so his legacy is secure, though we’d prefer to keep him a while.
Last, check out this tale.
Glazer explains ... Saban tried to use the same hard-ass tactics in the NFL that he used with college players — and it all failed miserably!
“Nick Saban, the reason why he didn’t make it in the NFL, Daunte Culpepper tried to fight him one day and the security guy stepped in,” Glazer said.
“And then I think his final straw is that he questioned Zach Thomas’ toughness and Zach almost kicked his butt. That just doesn’t work on this level.”
Nick has definitely mellowed over the years, but this still sounds a bit dubious.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.