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Jumbo Package: QBs Ty Simpson, Arch Manning visits highlighted big recruiting weekend

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Alabama Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. It was a big recruiting weekend in Tuscaloosa with several 2022 5-stars visiting, along with 2023 QB Arch Manning. Ty Simpson, perhaps the biggest impediment to landing Arch was also in town, and he makes Tennessee fans very salty.

Just sad, they are.

Dr. Matt Rhea put in some work with the visitors.

As excited as we were about the hire of Rhea and David Ballou, we may have undersold it. Last year’s team dominated the schedule more than any in the Saban era, and there’s a great chance that they had a hand in closing the historic 2021 recruiting class.

Another sports book has installed Alabama as the favorite.

Here’s how the top 10 currently looks:

Alabama +250

Clemson +350

Ohio State +500

Oklahoma +700

Georgia +800

Texas A&M +2500

Wisconsin +3500

LSU +3500

Florida +4000

Notre Dame +4000

The Pac 12 wants all Power Five conference champs to receive autobids, but the Sun Belt disagrees.

Sun Belt commissioner Keith Gill issued his own statement Friday night.

“The Sun Belt Conference supports College Football Playoff expansion, including the working group’s recommendation to have the six highest-ranked conference champions in the field,” Gill said. “Playoff spots should be earned and not given. Under the proposed system, if you are a deserving team, you should have no concerns of being left out of the Playoff. I look forward to continuing the conversation next week with the CFP Board of Managers.”

Sorry Keith, but playing a Sun Belt schedule doesn’t meet the definition of earning a bid. Should the committee rank a Sun Belt team high enough to make the playoff, they will very likely be ranked higher than they deserve. The G5 really needs to have its own playoff. No team from that level will ever win this one. That said, autobids suck.

Najee Harris’ work ethic is getting him in trouble.

“I’m for all the hard work and the extra,” Faulkner said. “I’m all here for that. I love it. But he also has to learn – part of Najee and getting to know Najee in the draft process is he also has to learn how to give hisself breaks, too. He works his butt off, and sometimes it’s a reward, like, ‘Hey, man, go home. Relax. Watch TV. Do something different than football.’ And so with him being the kind of guy he is and so engaged and always after it, always wants to do drills, always wants to be developing, sometimes I’m trying to teach him sometimes you got to take a deep breath. …

He does need to guard against burnout, but that man is going to be a superstar.

Last, this is an outstanding piece on Keith McCants and a friend who helped bring him from the brink of suicide. If you don’t read anything else today, this is worth your time.

McCants says he takes pain medication only twice a day, along with a handful of weekly physical-therapy sessions. After a recent waterside photo shoot, he lit up a Newport cigarette, acknowledging he still goes through a little more than a pack a week. Still, his weight has dropped below 300 pounds, and the mild slur in his speech (a byproduct of the hip pain) has vanished.

Once a certified scuba diver and marine police officer in Alabama (following his NFL career), he dreams of diving in the Bahamas again, and of transitioning his cautionary tale into a redemptive one.

“More people are addicted to drugs or have some type of addiction in life, that they never get past,” McCants said. “And only by the grace of God I came through mine. Where I was to where I’m at now, it’s phenomenal.”

There are so many cautionary tales of these young men handed riches without the proper guidance. Hopefully Keith has found peace and is in a good place in his life now.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.