Happy Friday, everyone. Walter Camp put out its preseason All-America team yesterday, and three Alabama players made the cut.
Alabama had five unanimous first-team All-Americans last season, but all will be playing in the NFL this fall.
Who might be next? The first look at how Alabama players are viewed nationally entering the 2021 season came Thursday when the Walter Camp Football Foundation released its preseason All-America lists.
Junior left tackle Evan Neal and sophomore outside linebacker Will Anderson were both preseason first-team All-Americans, while senior cornerback Josh Jobe was on the second team.
With a big season, Neal could be a top 5 pick next April. He has a rare combination of size and athleticism that NFL scouts drool over. The Tide will likely have several candidates by the end of the season, including Bryce Young, whoever emerges as the lead running back, John Metchie, Jordan Battle, Christian Harris, Henry To’o To’o, and any number of players could emerge on both lines. As usual, the roster oozes with talent. It’s just a matter of who puts it all together on the field.
In a shocking development, Vegas has assigned Alabama and Clemson the highest over/under on win total for 2021.
Alabama and Clemson topped the college football season win totals released Thursday by Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, each opening at 11.5.
Ohio State and Oklahoma are next at 11, followed by Georgia at 10.5. North Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati each opened at 10, rounding out the teams with double-digit win totals at Caesars/William Hill.
This counts only the 12 game regular season, so Alabama is effectively projected to head into Atlanta at either 12-0 or 11-1. On cue, Aaron Suttles posted about whether Saban is ruining the sport.
Other teams’ failures are not the responsibility of the teams at the top. Saban has a philosophy that he’s fond of sharing when he’s speaking to groups: “Mediocre people don’t like high achievers and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.” As tough as this may be to hear for some, there are too many mediocre programs with aspirations of high achievers right now and not enough programs achieving highly.
Recruit better. Develop better. Don’t allow Alabama to come into your state and get players that you covet. There’s no reason Bryce Young shouldn’t be at USC right now. That’s where it starts. Alabama strolls into whatever state it wants and has a decent chance to get the players it desires. Because players at Alabama win, a lot, and they go to the NFL.
Tell ‘em, Aaron.
Al Groh ha some insight on the Alabama coaching rehab program.
“If I wanted to expand my knowledge base and prove myself, I’d go to Alabama before I’d go to a lot of NFL franchises,” said former Virginia coach Al Groh, who with worked with Saban and Belichick in 1992 on the Cleveland Browns.
For a decade or more while he was coaching, Groh would travel to New England each spring just to exchange ideas with Belichick.
“Bill [O’Brien] was there for a while,” Groh said. “What you’re going to hear in New England is not significantly different than what you’re going to hear in Tuscaloosa. He’s going to the same church. It’s only a different preacher.”
O’Brien will learn what all offensive coordinators have to learn at Alabama: The system won’t change. He will call the plays, but “The Process” rules.
This is why assistants under Saban are only so critical. Even in his current, more mellow state, nothing goes into the game plan without his approval. This is another interesting nugget from that piece.
Besides Saban, the person weaving it all together might be Joe Pendry. The 73-year-old last coached in 2010 (Alabama offensive line), but several sources contacted for this series stressed Pendry’s importance to the program.
Joe is listed as a special assistant to Saban. Something tells me that he has a little input on how the offensive line is coached, among other things.
Henry To’o To’o has chosen Reuben Foster’s old number.
Jameson Williams, transfer WR from Ohio State, will wear number 1.
FOCO has another special bobblehead for those aficionados.
On Thursday, however, instead of celebrating one championship, you can celebrate them all.
Celebrate each and every one of Alabama’s championships with this Big Al Alabama Crimson Tide 18 Championship Rings Mascot Bobblehead. Listed for $50, it ships no later than Sept. 29.
Last, if the football thing doesn’t work out, Henry Ruggs III may have another calling.
If you are capable of throwing anything close to a perfect game, you are good enough to be on the tour should you decide to commit and put the work in. Perhaps we will see Henry on ABC’s Wide World of Sports one day. Oh, wait, this isn’t 1995 anymore, is it?
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.