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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Gump Day, everyone. Tomorrow is the day that college sports are forever changed, as the NCAA’s new NIL policy goes into effect. Dennis Dodd has some details.

On Thursday, there are likely to be a handful of deals consummated with some of the top athletes/influencers that could be worth upwards of $500,000. Sources have continually said only the top 2% or so of athletes will get the really big deals.

However, Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence told CBS Sports everyone will get something — with 100% of Division I athletes receiving “at least one NIL deal this week”. While that figure might seem high, another source providing NIL platform services for athletes put it at “easily 60% and probably more”.

“They won’t all be four figures, but the sheer quantity of opportunities this week will be enough to make everyone think how big this market is going to be,” said Lawrence, whose company has partnered with several schools as a leading athlete marketing platform.”

This is going to muddy the waters where recruiting is concerned, but allowing the players to own their own likenesses has been a long time coming. Hopefully some of the players who are on the fence about returning to school will do so if they are making some money.

Basketball analyst Jon Rothstein updated his top 45 yesterday. Not sure how he picked 45 as the number of teams he would rank, but in any case Alabama is #12. He still has Josh Primo on the roster, however, so the Tide will likely drop some if he stays in the draft.

The full list is available at the parent tweet embedded below, but check out this note.

For those scoring at home, Alabama will play four of the top ten on this list assuming they play Kansas in that Orlando invitational tournament. Including the Jayhawks, eleven of the Tide’s opponents are listed in the top 45, and they will of course play several of them twice or possibly even three times including the SEC tournament. It will be entertaining to say the least.

Phil Steele is buying Oklahoma this year.

But Steele believes the Sooners have more than just their usual high-powered offense at their disposal this season. According to Steele, this could be one of Lincoln Riley’s most complete teams in his time in Norman.

“And the big difference, I think this is clearly Lincoln Riley’s best defense he’s had in his five years here,” Steele said. ”Last year they showed a lot of improvement, only allowed 21.7 points per game. This year eight starters are back. They’ve got some players up front on the d-line that I rated as the No. 3 d-line in the country. I think Isiah Thomas, Winfrey, Redmon, Benito — all NFL caliber guys — the linebacking core I rate No. 9 and the DBs No. 3 in the country.

Removing a shutout of FCS Missouri State in the season opener, the Sooners actually allowed about 24 points a game. Lest we forget, this was a league that lost three games to Sun Belt teams, and both of Oklahoma’s losses came to the upset victims. They are almost assuredly the best team in the Big 12, but I’m still skeptical that their lines and secondary match up with the talent they would see in a four team playoff.

Alabama’s players seem to be feeling good.

I’m sure there are other reasons, but perhaps they found out about the cheddar they have coming.

Phil Mathis is helping kids from his hometown get school supplies.

Great stuff.

Last, Tua spoke about Bryce Young.

“I wouldn’t say I see similarities between my game and his game,” Tagovailoa said. “I think he’s really instinctive. He can extend plays really well. He has a really good arm, and he’s very talented. But I wasn’t a runner like him. He can run.”

At the 2021 A-Day Game, Young completed 25 of 44 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown. While the numbers weren’t exactly awe-inspiring, Tagovailoa believes that he is the man for the job in Tuscaloosa.

“I did get to see a little bit of the [A-Day Game],” Tagovailoa said. “I think he’s doing pretty good. It’s always hard to tell because this is really his first year really taking over. But just stay calm, do what you did in high school, and you should be fine.”

Bryce definitely has a little more shake than Tua, though Tua spent so much time nicked up that we didn’t get to see his full potential as a runner. Bryce is likely to make some highlights with his wheels somewhere along the way.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.