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Jumbo Package: DeVonta Smith answers “Mac Jones or Tua Tagovailoa” question

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We’ll start with Kaylee Tow, who won the SEC Player of the Week after hitting a cool .786 over the weekend while scoring seven runs and knocking in nine.

Congrats, Kaylee, and well deserved.

Najee Harris is a finalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award. From the press release:

Najee Harris, Alabama (Sr., RB) – One of the nation’s top running backs, Harris accumulated 3,091 career rushing yards, and recently led Alabama to the national championship. He has overcome a challenging childhood in which he faced homelessness to become a vocal leader during the Alabama team’s social justice movement and one of the main voices for his university’s push towards a more unified campus. He has also been an active member in the Tuscaloosa community, recording nearly 50 hours of community service, highlighted by his volunteer efforts with the Alberta Head Start Unity Project.

Najee would be a fine choice. The other finalists are Daelin Hayes of Notre Dame and Sam Ehlinger of Texas.

247sports analyzes the top 10 available players in the transfer portal, and guess who is number one?

Chief among Tennessee’s transfer wave, Henry To’o To’o was an All-American type of loss for the Vols. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder was a leader on defense and he backed up his approach with production as a sophomore during the 2020 season by totaling 76 tackles (10 for loss), one sack and one interception (three pass breakups). To’o To’o immediately starred, racking up 72 tackles (five for loss), half a sack, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery as a freshman during the 2019 season. Among his honors, he was named to the 247Sports Freshman All-American Team. A high-four-star recruit out of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, To’o To’o was the 247Sports Composite’s No. 44 overall prospect and No. 3 outside linebacker in 2019.

It’s basically up to Greg Sankey whether Henry winds up in Tuscaloosa, as he should have been all along.

College Football News has Alabama ranked #2 going into the spring.

2 Alabama

2020 CFN Final Ranking: 1

2020 CFN Preseason Ranking: 3

2019 CFN Final Ranking: 15

2018 CFN Final Ranking: 2

One Thing To Know: It’s Alabama so losing a boatload of NFL stars doesn’t matter … but it does. It’s not going to be an 2019-to-2020 LSU problem because the defense is going to be a killer, but you don’t get better after losing DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris and Mac Jones.

/obligatory

According to Albert Breer’s source, DeVonta Smith was definitive when asked to choose between Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa.

All 31 teams in attendance at the Senior Bowl had the chance to do a 15-minute speed-dating interview with the Alabama quarterback, but maybe the most interesting anecdote I could possibly give you on him from that week in Mobile comes from his Heisman Trophy winning receiver DeVonta Smith. One team asked Smith, point blank: Tua Tagovailoa or Jones? The question was barely finished before Smith answered: Mac Jones. He was bold and definitive about it, as I heard it.

Smitty had his best season with Jones, and he is obviously trying to help Mac get drafted high as well, but it’s still surprising that he wouldn’t hedge at all.

JoJo Earle has some great feet and hands.

He will definitely compete for time this season, but with some of his classmates enrolling early it may be an uphill climb.

Derrick Henry is not of this world.

“Playing the position that we play, we always get hit,” Henry said during an appearance on Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s SiriusXM Radio show. “The span of a running back’s career is shorter than a lot of other positions. But after this season, after our playoff game, I really didn’t feel that bad or that beat up.

“Probably two days after we had our exit meetings, I went back to working out. I have been working out since.”

If anyone has the longevity to break Emmitt Smith’s rushing record, it’s Henry. His body is seemingly indestructible.

Last, check out the Oklahoma player playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes.

We don’t know what happened before this, but the shorter dude, who turns out to be a trained MMA fighter, seems to wipe some blood from his nose before going on the attack. Sooners WR Spencer Jones is the one taking the asskicking and he reportedly came close to losing an eye.

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