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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Alabama continues to tear up the recruiting trail

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a couple of bits of news on the recruiting trail as we inch maddeningly close to the Early Signing Period. First, Alabama picked up a commit from wide receiver Isaiah Bond, and our own CB969 has you covered here if you missed it:

Alabama picks up a big commitment from wide receiver Isaiah Bond. The Buford, GA product is ranked as the #86 player by 247sports composite rankings. He stands at 5’10.5” and is listed as 175 pounds. The Crimson Tide have been emphasizing speed in their wide receiver recruits and Bond certainly fills that bill. He was named “Fast Man Champion” at this past summer’s Rivals Five-Star Camp.

“Using my speed in space,” Bond said of how Nick Saban plans to use him. The Gwinnett Daily Post Track Athlete of the Year last spring, Bond won the Class-AAAAAAA state championships in the 100m and 200m dash. His personal records include 10.48 and 21.05, and he compares his game on the gridiron to Tyreek Hill, Desean Jackson and Kadarius Toney. “He said I have elite speed and speed can’t be taught.”

Over the last couple months, Saban ended each conversation with Bond telling the 2022 prospect whenever you want to commit, just tell him. Roughly two weeks ago Saban said it to Bond again. He got the answer he was looking for.

“I told him I wanted to be part of the program and build a legacy,” Bond said. “He said great news, great news, glad to have you part of the family.”

The other nice piece of recruiting news is that linebacker commit Shawn Murphy was just named the nation’s top linebacker:

“I’m just really excited to work,” Murphy told BOL recently.

Murphy committed to Alabama in the summer and shut down his recruitment completely.

“Honestly I knew when I was going to commit that that was the school I’m going to stick with and spend my career with,” he said of what kept him solid. “I knew it was going to be the best fit for me.”

“One time,” he said with his typically warm delivery, “and I’ve never done it again.”

Sports cars come with breaks, but sometimes they fail.

Anderson described the time his betrayed him.

“We were doing a two-minute drill and I swear I didn’t hit Bryce,” Anderson said. “But it’s kinda hard when you’re passing the rusher … excuse me you’re rushing the passer and you’re going full speed trying to stop.”

Easier said than done.

“It’s like your natural instincts to put your hands up,” he continued. “So I put my hands up one time when he was throwing the ball and I think my hand came down on his arm and his hand.”

It was like someone hit a master pause button.

“And the whole practice was like … is Bryce OK,” Anderson said.

“My coach, Sal, he cussed me out. He’s like ‘I told you … you stupid … duh duh…’”

Will Anderson continues to be one of my favorite interviews over the last few years. The dude just has a fun personality.

Four former Alabama players have been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award by their teams.

The annual honor “recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community-service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”

The Crimson Tide alumni nominated this year are Washington Football Team defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, Baltimore Ravens center Bradley Bozeman, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry and New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Bozeman was a prep standout at Handley High School in Roanoke.

Want a good barometer of the quality of person that tends to come out of the Bama program? How about 12.5% of the entire NFL’s nominations for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award are all Bama players?

And lest you try to say it’s just because there are so many former Tide players in the NFL... note that there are 64 Alabama players on NFL rosters, which accounts for less than 4%.

The SEC rewarded two Alabama players after a signature win Saturday night.

Guard Jaden Shackelford was named league player of the week while JD Davison was the freshman of the week following the 91-82 win over No. 3 Gonzaga on Saturday in Seattle.

This was only the second time Crimson Tide players swept these awards since the newcomer honor was added in the 1990-91 season. Kira Lewis and Shackelford did it Feb. 20, 2020.

Finally, Alabama’s Jaden Shackelford and JD Davison swept the SEC awards for their efforts over Gonzaga last Saturday. It’s now a feat that’s been accomplished twice under Nate Oats.

Roll Tide!