Alabama football’s highly anticipated 2021 recruiting class is finally all on campus.
Fourteen members of the country’s number one class, per Sports Illustrated All-American, made their way to Tuscaloosa back in December as early enrollees and the final 13 arrived on campus this past weekend in time for summer workouts, which started on Monday.
All of the freshmen have now arrived at Alabama for the summer and will begin training with the team. It’s nice to not have any academic casualties to worry about this year, and it seems like there won’t be any “will he, won’t he” drama this summer unless someone washes out after arriving.
If you want a refresher, SI has a list of all the new players with a quick blurb on each in the linked article above.
Meanwhile, BamaOnline.com is starting their annual offseason series of doing a roster countdown by jersey #.
95 DL Monkell Goodwine
2020 season: In five games as a senior at Rock Creek Christian Academy in Upper Marlboro, MD, Goodwine amassed 48 tackles and four sacks. According to the 247sports Composite rankings, Goodwine checked in as the nation’ No. 6 strongside defensive end prospect for the 2021 recruiting cycle.
What he brings to the table: At 6-foot-4, 278 pounds, Goodwine possesses prototype 3-4 end size. With that, he’s projectable at the five-technique in the base and nickel and will also work inside in passing situations. Didn’t scratch statistically in the A-Day, but Goodwine did show some twitch and motor in limited pass rush opportunities. Well positioned to provide rotational reps in the not-too-distant future.
Goodwine is an interesting recruit, as his profile is one that Nick Saban rarely recruits for a defensive lineman. Typically, an Alabama outside linebacker/edge rusher is about 245-255 pounds, the standard defensive end is 290-305, and the nose tackle is 305-320.
But the 265-285 range is typically not one that we’ve seen at Alabama over the years. So I can’t wait to see how Pete Golding and Saban plan to use him in the future.
Alabama wide receiver John Metchie was named the winner of the fourth Jon Cornish Trophy as the top college football player from Canada, it was announced Monday afternoon.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Metchie was selected as the winner by a panel of voters comprised of professional scouts and media across Canada. He received eight first-place votes and 94 total votes, coming in ahead of Oklahoma State’s Amen Ogbongbemiga (91) and Chubba Hubbard (44), Tennessee’s Joshua Palmer (66) and West Virginia’s Alonzo Addae (61)
Roll Canada Roll! Between Metchie’s success and Nate Oats raiding half the country for basketball recruits, our neighbor up north has been quite kind to the Crimson Tide.
On to some NFL news:
Monday also brought a report from NFL Network that Jones had requested that the Falcons trade him. Smith gave a “private conversations” answer when asked if that was true. He was then asked if Jones had gotten a copy of Atlanta’s new playbook.
“Pretty cut and dried here: Everybody that’s on this roster has access to everything we give out to the players,” Smith said. “No games being played there.”
Smith said he was not concerned that the situation with Jones would put a negative tone on the start of OTAs, although he acknowledged Jones’ stature.
“We’ve got so much respect and appreciation for what Julio Jones has done here for this franchise and what he’s meant to the city,” Smith said. “But like I said earlier, we have conversations about our roster all the time. There’s things that happen. You have to have contingency plans. There’s so many things that could happen during an NFL season, whether you’re dealing with transactions, you’re dealing with injuries. You’ve got to have multiple plans to go play a 17-game season, and we’re trying to get the best guys on this roster so that we have great competition going into camp.”
Josh talked about the Julio Jones news in yesterday’s Jumbo Package, but I wanted to link to some of the “nothing quotes” from Atlanta’s coach so I could give my own thoughts. With Calvin Ridley proving himself to be a #1 receiver and possible All-Pro talent at receiver, the Falcons had two options with their 4th overall draft pick: grab a QB to replace the aging Matt Ryan and rebuild, or stick with Matty Ice for 1-2 more years.
If they picked the second option, then they need every possible offensive weapon to put around him to keep that offense moving. Picking Kyle Pitts as a TE/WR hybrid did just that. However, if they’re willing to start talking about moving Julio, then it means the team doesn’t view him as a guy who will make a season-long difference maker who can help with their final push at a window to win at the end of Ryan’s career.
In short, the Falcons no longer trust that his age and injuries from last season are something he’ll bounce back from... And no team knows his body’s status better than they do.
That said, I could definitely see him moving somewhere that’s got an established WR group where he can be a bonus weapon when he’s available, but not tank the offense when he’s injured.
For several teams, the players issued a collective message saying they would skip the voluntary workouts because of health and safety concerns.
As the Colts’ NFLPA player representative, Kelly was at the forefront of Indianapolis’ approach.
“I had a decision to make, and I think the entire leadership committee did as well, as far as what we were going to do,” Kelly said.
The two-time Pro Bowler said it didn’t make sense to him to have online meetings stand in for the OTA practices, then get back on the field next month for mandatory minicamp. Colts coach Frank Reich came up with a solution, Kelly said.
“Every team came out and said they weren’t doing OTAs,” Kelly said. “We never said that, and so that also brings up the problem of: OK, you have mandatory minicamp. So some teams, I feel like, were pressuring the players to come in for OTAs and for mandatory minicamp, and that’s the one thing in our CBA that it says we have to go to.
“What do we do? Just do virtual and then just wait till the middle of June, come back, put helmets on and take unnecessary risks to do a ramp-up period? We kind of had this conversation, and it was really Frank’s idea. I’d like to take credit for it, but it wasn’t mine. It was more: OK, let’s move everything up so we’re not waiting until the middle of June to come back. Give guys Memorial Day and off, and we can come in, the players can still dictate the tempo because it’s OTAs, so it’s still technically optional. And so I think it’s just the best of both worlds. We still have a four-hour day. We can come in and we can test. They’ve added testing people to make it a little bit easier for us to come in. …
Ryan Kelly has super quietly been one of the best centers in the NFL ever since he was drafted 5 years ago, and continues to help make his mark on the league with his role in the NFLPA.
Detroit Lions defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand hasn’t recorded a sack or registered a quarterback hit since 2018. But the NFL team’s new defensive-line coach said the former Alabama standout could have a big impact for the Lions in the 2021 season.
“When I came in, that was a young man that we had a lot of conversations about,” Todd Wash told reporters, “and when I flipped on the tape and when he’s healthy, I think he’s something that some teams are going to have to deal with, so that’s my job to be able to get him to stay healthy, get him prepared, because physically and athletically, he has a chance to be a special player in this league. We just got to keep him healthy, and we’re going to do everything we can to get him on the field as much as we can.”
Hand has finished all three of his NFL seasons on injured reserve, and he has missed more games than he’s played in the past two campaigns.
The fact that Da’Shawn Hand still has a roster spot with his team 4 years later despite spending most of his career injured shows just how highly his coaches think of his potential.
Of course, we also all said that same thing as fans during his 4 years at Alabama...
In any case, here’s to hoping he can really make an impact this year and get that ever-so-lucrative second contract in the pros.