The pickings are slim among the news outlets surrounding Alabama sports right now. That said, with the rest of the 2021 recruiting class showing up for summer workouts, it seems we’re starting to see a little bit of a roster shakeup:
Alabama’s talented offensive backfield will have one fewer member this fall.
Keilan Robinson, a rising junior, entered the NCAA transfer portal Tuesday afternoon, AL.com learned. The Washington DC product didn’t play as a sophomore last season but was back at practice this spring. He had one carry for five yards in the A-Day game in April.
Alabama figures to have a stack running back room this fall even after losing first-round draft pick Najee Harris. Brian Robinson is back for a fifth year as the top returning rusher after netting 483 yards on 91 carries as the backup to Harris.
I remember watching Keilan Robinson’s high school highlight tape. He was way too small to fit the standard Alabama running back size, but one specific play stood out to me as something I NEVER see from high school running backs: KRob took off into the flat pre-snap, matched up with a safety, and then roasted that defensive back with a perfectly executed out-n-up route double move for a huge touchdown.
He was never quite the perfect scheme fit at Alabama and was likely the odd-man out in a large group of running backs this season, but I’ll be disappointed to see him go, as I was always excited about his big-play potential.
Alabama linebacker Jarez Parks is no longer listed on the Crimson Tide’s online roster.
This comes after Parks, a redshirt junior, was not listed on Alabama’s A-Day Game roster two months ago. However, the outside ‘backer has not yet entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Parks redshirted in 2018 and then served as a reserve linebacker the past two seasons. During Alabama’s 2019 and 2020 campaigns, he played in six total games with five of those coming in 2019. As a third-year player this past year, Parks only appeared in one game (Kentucky) during the Crimson Tide’s championship-winning season. He did not record any stats.
Jarez Parks has, by all counts, been one of the most stand-out student-athletes in the Alabama program the last few years. On top of famously being a top-100 recruit that chose to grayshirt at Alabama rather than take an immediate scholarship and nearly any other Power-5 program in the nation, Parks also was one of the team’s designated speakers during the social justice rally last summer.
He’s been buried on the depth chart with no real path to playing time, however, so his moving on is not unexpected. He’s likely to be successful at whatever he decides to do next in life.
Next, check out Greg Byrne!
Current Capital One Cup standings for the top programs & performances in college athletics... @Greg_Byrne @UA_Athletics #RollTide #ChampionshipSchool pic.twitter.com/Owa3bRxZJ0— Bryan Passink (@BryanPassink) May 31, 2021
The Alabama Athletic Director has the Tide at the very top of the power rankings for the Men’s cup standings.
At Capital One, we’re committed to supporting our customers, partners, and communities through this difficult time, including student athletes. That’s why we’re excited to announce that for the 2020-2021 college sports season, the Capital One Cup will recognize the top five men’s and women’s Division I college athletics programs and award a total of $800K in student-athlete scholarships.
And honestly, I’m not sure how things are scored, but I’d like some answers on why Alabama’s ranked as far down as 24th for the women’s cup. In any case, this is just more confirmation that The University of Alabama is THE premier place to go to college.
One of the main reasons that PFF expects Jeudy to breakout in 2021 was his high drop rate in 2020. Jeudy caught just 76.5% of his catchable targets on the year, the worst rate in the NFL. PFF experts Jeudy’s drop rate to significantly improve in 2021, leading to a breakout season.
“On top of the drops, poor quarterback play limited Jeudy’s production,” PFF analyst Anthony Treash wrote last month. “No receiver had a higher rate of their targets result in a quarterback-fault incompletion this season than the rookie. The Alabama product also racked up the most targets on which he created separation that resulted in a quarterback-fault incompletion.
“However, it’s worth noting that drop rate is one of the most unstable metrics at the wide receiver position. Despite Jeudy’s struggles, we saw the same elite route-running chops, deep speed and quickness at the line of scrimmage against press coverage that made him such a highly-touted prospect coming out of college.
“His 2021 production is still going to be skewed by whichever quarterback Denver trots out, but regardless, I’d bet the farm Jeudy becomes a top-10 wide receiver in the years to come.”
Jeudy had one game this year with a nearly record number of drops for a single player that really skewed his overall numbers, but it was still something he absolutely had some issues with all year. However, as PFF points out here, his QB (or lack thereof for a chunk of the season) was a much bigger limiting factor on his production as a rookie.
While he has a lot of room and likelihood to improve his game in year 2, I’m also not sold Denver will be much better at actually throwing catchable passes to him in 2021. Until Aaron Rodgers winds up there, that is. Right Bronco fans?
But I can’t think of an Eagles rookie that people (myself included) were more excited to see play. Carson Wentz obviously belongs near the top of that list but, remember, it wasn’t even a sure thing he was going to see the field in 2016 with Sam Bradford originally set to be the starting quarterback (lol). Fletcher Cox was surely an exciting pick in 2012, but defensive tackle is hardly one of the flashiest positions to watch.
Smith plays one of the most entertaining positions in all of football. A position that hasn’t offered the Eagles fans much reason to be excited in way too long. Just look back at the Eagles’ leading wide receivers in recent history:
2020 - Travis Fulgham - 539 yards
2019 - Alshon Jeffery - 490 yards
2018 - Alshon Jeffery - 843 yards
2017 - Alshon Jeffery - 789 yards
2016 - Jordan Matthews - 804 yards
2015 - Jordan Matthews - 997 yards
2014 - Jeremy Maclin - 1,318 yards
This is a really nice article over at Bleeding Green Nation looking at the history of first round receivers both league-wide and with the Eagles, and projecting some rather nice production for DeVonta Smith as a rookie. The list I quoted above is rather... stunning.
If you’re the fantasy football inclined person, then I think Smith could be a very good player to pick up who’s likely to be underrated. Sure, the Eagle’s passing game has sucked for years now, but also there’s NOBODY else to throw to. He’s likely to get north of 12 targets in game one this season.