Happy Monday, everyone. As you well know, softball now faces an elimination game tonight thanks to a 2-0 loss to FSU, after thoroughly dominating Arizona and UCLA in the first two games. I still can’t understand the decision to pinch hit Lexi Kilfoyl for high OBP hitter Elissa Brown with two one and one out, needing only one more baserunner to get SEC player of the year Bailey Hemphill to the plate with bases loaded. Florida State followed the script that I thought we would: get a lead then bring in their ace to close it out.
Oh, well. The Tide get another shot at FSU tonight, with Fouts in the circle. It does take runs to win, of course, so hopefully they can find a couple.
In football news, Alabama got a big commitment last night.
Recruiting news: Four-star running back Le’Veon Moss has committed to Alabama. Baton Rouge native who is ranked as the sixth-best running back and 93rd-best overall player in the 2022 recruiting class according to the 247 Composite rankings.— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) June 6, 2021
Moss is listed at 6’0” and 190 lbs. though he runs with plenty of authority and will likely play above 200 in college. He is the latest Baton Rouge product to spurn the hometown Tigers in favor of Alabama.
Speaking of RBs, we now know that Keilan Robinson is headed to Texas.
Robinson entered the NCAA transfer portal last week. He opted out of last season after rushing for 254 yards as a freshman in 2019.
He re-joins former Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, now Texas’ head coach. Sarkisian also picked up sixth-year outside linebacker Ben Davis in the transfer portal from Alabama earlier this offseason.
Best of luck to him. Hopefully he can get some starter minutes there.
In other transfer news, Brandon Turnage left Alabama for Georgia, but he may not be there for long.
Former Clemson All-ACC cornerback Derion Kendrick announced Tuesday he was transferring to Georgia.
Turnage Sunday night tweeted out simply: “Relax with the rumors.”
That came after a UGASports.com report that Turnage left Athens after Kendrick’s transfer was known and “more than likely is not coming back.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Turnage played in three games last season as a redshirt freshman at Alabama with a pass breakup.
Georgia’s depth in the secondary was already thinned since spring practice when sophomore safety Major Burns transferred to LSU. Another defensive back from Louisiana, freshman Daran Branch, is no longer listed on the Georgia roster.
Interestingly, Turnage’s name never came out of the transfer portal, so it’s unclear whether he has burned his one time transfer. Wonder what would make a kid reverse course so abruptly? Couldn’t be that he was fed some half-truths and outright lies to gain his commitment to begin with.
Last, Cecil Hurt has some good insight on the transfer rule fallout.
If you are at Missouri, which strategy makes more sense? First, do you decide you are going to keep going toe-to-toe with Alabama and Ohio State for high school talent and either out-recruit them (best of luck) or rely on your skills at developing the “diamond in the rough” who “really loves Mizzou?’ At what point is that going to yield roster parity, especially now that a prep player who shows special promise after a year or two has a free ticket out of town? Is it a better option to reduce your number of high school recruits in favor of transfers, since those transfers no longer have a free pass to leave without penalty?
That doesn’t mean you stop recruiting high school players entirely. Teams can still find talent. Just look at the wide receivers Ole Miss has landed in recent years. But is your best option to keep signing 22 high school players a year and adding three transfers, knowing those high school players can be in the portal before you know it? It might be better, at some programs, to sign 15 transfers, some moving up from the Group of Five and others moving within the league. At least the time you invest recruiting and coaching those players won’t be rewarded by seeing them standing on the opposing sideline in a year or two.
Nate Oats loves using the transfer portal to ensure that he always has a veteran squad, and you may well see the same thing in some football programs. It will be interesting to see where it all ends up, but the world of college athletics is forever changed.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.