Happy Monday, everyone. The softball team took care of Clemson in fine fashion and now move on to the super regional round, where they will host Kentucky.
Tuscaloosa Super Regional — May 28-30
No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 14 Kentucky, noon Friday, ESPN2
No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 14 Kentucky, 1 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 14 Kentucky, 3 p.m., ESPNU
The Wildcats gave Alabama some trouble back in March, taking two of three up in Lexington. They even touched up Montana Fouts for 8 runs in 11.2 innings up there. The SEC tournament was a different story of course, as Fouts threw a complete game and allowed only one run while striking out 15. Alabama’s dominance in their regional has to be encouraging. The only two teams ranked ahead of them, Oklahoma and UCLA, had some struggles over the weekend against teams with lower rankings and RPI ratings than Clemson, though the #1 Sooners had a 24 run outburst in the final. All goals are in front of this team and they seem to be peaking at the right time.
Aaron Suttles has a nice football roster preview this morning, though you must subscribe to The Athletic to get it.
The Athletic spoke to a former SEC assistant coach familiar with Alabama’s roster about its chances to bounce back on defense and how it will fare on offense with five first-round draft picks gone.
“I think they’re gonna be really, really strong in a secondary, led by Jobe, and playing those young guys (Branch) and (Moore), I think they’re gonna be really solid guys inside at the star and money position,” the coach said. “The safeties are pretty solid. Battle, he showed a lot of range, promise and development. So I think they’re going to be strong in the back end. (Harris) is probably one of the better linebackers in America. And then you add Henry To’o To’o to that mix. If there’s a better inside linebacker duo in the country, I ain’t seen it. Then you talk about the edge guys. They’ve got a lot of riches out there with Will Anderson. I think he’s gonna be a special talent, a first-round draft pick one day, probably top-10-12 type guy in the draft one day. So I think defensively they’re gonna be as talented as they’ve ever been.”
That coach believes that QB play will be the key to the season for Alabama. Duh.
Tuscaloosa News has a nice writeup on our new punter from Troy.
“Punting wasn’t really on my mind until about a year-and-a-half ago, halfway through my freshman year of college when everything started to, I guess, progress,” Martin said. “I just noticed a jump and was like, ‘This is something I really can do.’”
The numbers left little doubt. During his sophomore year at Troy in 2020, Martin averaged 46.1 yards a punt on 25 attempts. That was good enough for top 10 in the country.
He’s come a long way from the day his dad, Neal, nudged him to kick a football instead of a soccer ball.
Cecil Hurt stirred up the Clemson fans yesterday. In case you missed it, Phil Mickelson’s fans stormed the fairway after his PGA Championship victory.
Wild scene but remember Clemson does this for every game.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) May 23, 2021
A Clemson fan site took exception and, well, just give it a read.
It’s funny how many ‘SEC fans’ love to tell Clemson football fans that the tradition shows an inferiority complex and that Tiger fans need to “act like they’ve been there.”
Last time we checked, unless your name is Alabama (and LSU for a single season), you haven’t “been there” in quite some time.
People love hating on traditions and look to trash the ACC at any point they possibly can, but the truth of the matter is that gathering at the paw has nothing to do with the opponent and it never has.
Just because people in Alabama have forgotten how to celebrate wins doesn’t mean that Clemson fans have to follow suit. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing joy all season long and appreciating every single win.
Pardon me for a moment.
Classic. Just classic.
The Athletic has a nice collaboration piece with former coaches discussing how the game differs today from a couple of decades ago.
Spurrier: I’ve always gone under the belief that there are so many players out there, really good players, and they’ve all got to go somewhere. If we can get our share of the really good players and start trying to mold them or develop them, I guess that’s the new word, into making them the best they can be, and then you go from there. So if you miss out on a player, sometimes you have to tell yourself, “Maybe this next guy is going to be just as good.” You’re going to win some battles and lose some in recruiting. What you must do is develop your players to be the best you can be once you get them.
Player development will always be the key, and as great as he has recruited, developing the players is what Saban has done best.
Last, Marlon Humphrey lives in a camper.
When the NFL season concluded, Humphrey planned to come home to a new house on the “200-plus acres” that he calls the Marquee Oasis. But as he detailed for Whistle in its “Days Off” feature, it didn’t work out that way.
“With corona, things have been a little delayed,” Humphrey said. “I was expecting to get done with the season and walk into a house. But I just love being out here. I’ve really become more nature-filled. My dad said, ‘Why don’t you get a camper?’”
Humphrey has lived in the camper on his land, enjoying and working on his property, while his house is being built.
I could stand being situated in the middle of 200-plus acres.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.