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Jumbo Package: Tide picks up 5-star edge-rusher, beating out Clemson and others at a position of need

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He who throws the ball and chases the man throwing the ball shall prosper.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

This was a crucial pick up for the Tide’s 2022 class, after missing out on a pair earlier this year. But, after OSU landed JTT, this probably should not have been a surprise either.

This might come as a complete shock, but Alabama got another potential superstar on Thursday evening. Jeremiah Alexander, a five-star edge rusher from Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama, announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide over national title rival Clemson. It isn’t the first time that Alexander has had his eyes on Tuscaloosa. He was originally committed to the Crimson Tide last year but de-committed on Oct. 27, 2020.

“Our relationship never fell out about me de-committing,” Alexander said earlier this year according to 247Sports. “It was just about me wanting to focus on my high school career and stuff like that. It’s at home. And Bama, they’re gonna put you in the league and they’re gonna win championships. You can’t go wrong with that.”

You can check out some of Alexander’s highlights on Hudl. The kid is preternaturally quick, has good power, and tons of explosiveness.

Hank South has his breakdown here.

Very interesting observation from Dave Aranda, now Baylor HC, about two of the harder things to execute in CFB.

“I think two of the hardest things to do in college football right now is to run inside zone and dropback pass,”

The latter may be apocryphal but bear fruit. So many teams now, particularly in the Big 12, are throwing almost exclusively off of the RPO and PA. The former one is more intriguing, and don’t think I have particularly noticed any difficulty running the ball inside. Alabama has played a zone-block scheme for years and years. So too do Ohio State and Georgia. While not everyone has the offensive line talent of those three, not many teams have defensive lines that can handle them either. Off-guard and off-the-center’s hip is a staple of football.

So, I’ll throw this out there. Have any of you observed a difficulty running inside zone schemes, or even inside zone plays?

Speaking of cool, here’s a great interview with G-Men head man, Joe Judge. It’s rare someone has a pedigree built exclusively off of Nick Saban and Bill Belichik tutelage. Here’s what he’s learned from both.

The CFP expansion is undoubtedly going to have to address health and safety concerns of players. This probably shouldn’t surprise you at all, but administrators are absolutely tone-deaf about this, being far more concerned about the potential for one billion dollar conference payouts...annually.

That’s not a typo.

Such are those and many more issues and complications an expanded CFP poses. Good story above.

This is so weird. Sophomore wing Jaden Shackleford, rumored to be upset with not receiving a Combine invite, hit the portal last week.

For reasons unknown only to him (or, more likely, others whispering in his ear), Shack released a list of finalists yesterday, which included slog-teams Ohio State and Texas Tech, as well Oklahoma...and returning to Alabama.

Huh? WTF? Why sit out practice, hit the portal, release a list of finalists and then not preclude a return? After the John Petty experience last summer, where JP decided to be feted by the NBA and ditch camp, are we sure that Nate would even welcome him back with open arms? There are hundreds of players in the portal as we speak. And, from a roster POV, Alabama has never been as loaded at wing as it is this moment.

Something is going on here that I simply don’t understand.

Feel free to speculate wildly below.

As well-earned an award as you’ll get:

DeVonta Smith was joined by Kentucky volleyball player Madison Lilley as the Roy F. Kramer SEC Female Athlete of the Year.

“We are proud to honor DeVonta and Madison, who not only excelled in the SEC but were also recognized as the best in their sport across the country. They are the ultimate examples of what it means to be a student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “DeVonta and Madison both were members of national championship teams and recipients of their sport’s national player of the year award. Each has competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, benefitted from the world-class support provided by their universities and, through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have reached the pinnacle of collegiate athletic success. Congratulations to DeVonta and Madison and thank you for being part of the SEC!”

The only job in America that pays better than Jimmy Sexton is the carpenter building trophy cases for a person who arguably had the greatest single season in college sports history. I’d be more than willing to already give it to him in football.

Finally,

I send you off into the weekend with a touch of weird miscellany. So, please enjoy the British “Wife Carrying” contest. Believed to be an homage to the days of village raids. when young men would sneak their lovers out from under the watchful eyes of brother and da, wife carrying is...well...niche.

Poll

Did DeVonta Smith have the single best season by a male college athlete in the modern era?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Yes. Without question.
    (199 votes)
  • 30%
    Yes, at least in football.
    (174 votes)
  • 29%
    There are some other contenders, but he’s up there for consideration.
    (172 votes)
  • 1%
    No, and my answer is (below)
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    I make frou-frou grilled cheese sandwiches like a godless Californian.
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    Gruyere? Smoked Gouda? GTFOH. Two slice of Kraft American or bust.
    (11 votes)
575 votes total Vote Now