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Jumbo Package: Portal Season is in full swing

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama vs Duke Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone.

The big news from the weekend was Georgia transfer WR Jermaine Burton officially committing to Alabama. The AJC’s DawgNation compiled some national media reactions for you here, the consensus being that the rich got richer.

Since it’s portal season, 247 Sports has compiled a list of the top remaining targets, and USC TE Michael Trigg is probably the next one to watch for Alabama fans.

Michel Trigg and former USC teammate Jaxson Dart visited Ole Miss over the weekend and Trigg was recently spotted at Oklahoma. Trigg caught seven passes for 109 yards with USC last season and has impressive upside. Out of Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day School, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Trigg was the No. 130-ranked player, according to the composite rankings. He was the fourth-ranked tight end and 21st-ranked player from the state of Florida.

Incoming freshman Amari Niblack out of Lakeland, FL is an exciting prospect at the position, but he didn’t have quite enough credits to graduate in time for a January enrollment, so a transfer at the position would make sense. Trigg held offers from both Nick Saban and Nate Oats out of high school.

Shane Lee has found his new destination.

Alabama has one starting inside linebacker in Henry To’o To’o returning for his senior season in 2022 but will need to fill its other starting role after Christian Harris entered the NFL draft. Jaylen Moody returned to Alabama last week for a fifth season after a stint in the transfer portal, and the Tide also has Deontae Lawson, Kendrick Blackshire, Ian Jackson, Demouy Kennedy and incoming freshman Shawn Murphy as potential options at the position.

Best of luck to him, and as you can see from the excerpt, that position is loaded with blue chips. Some more attrition after the spring semester is likely.

James Rojas has impressed his teammates.

“Having Ro[jas] back is huge for us,” said junior guard Jaden Shackelford. “He’s about all the right stuff. His injuries are unfortunate, but he attacked his rehab when he was out, and obviously he got back at a good time for us. He goes out there and makes big plays. You know, he got six points off three offensive rebound tip-ins today. That was huge for us, and it just goes to show how much he cares about doing the big, tough plays for us.”

Rojas doesn’t play a pretty brand of basketball and his shots probably need to be limited, but he gets after it and seems to provide a spark when he’s in there. Hopefully they can keep it rolling.

Saban and Kirby were both spotted at Arch Manning’s basketball game on Friday.

That has to be a distraction for the rest of the team. We’ll see what Arch decides in time.

Last, in case you missed it, last night’s game between the Chiefs and Bills was perhaps the most entertaining NFL game I’ve ever seen. There were 24 points scored in the last two minutes of regulation, and the Chiefs won it in overtime.

The Bills had scored a touchdown to take a three point lead with a mere 13 seconds to play, but Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce managed to get them into field goal range by essentially drawing a play in the dirt.

But with only one play left to get in field-goal range, the thought had to be running through Kelce’s mind. Was he really going to go off script and do his own thing here ... in front of the whole world? That was when the words of reassurance came. When Kelce lined up as the only eligible receiver to the left, he heard Mahomes give him all the certainty he’d need.

“Do it, Kels! Do it! Do it, Kels!” “I was like, ‘Aight, here we go, boys,’” Kelce said afterward with a smile. Oh and another thing. Replays show Kelce and Mahomes probably wouldn’t have had time for Kelce’s originally called route if it had any wiggle at all.

What a fantastic finish. Most were rooting for a Bills team that hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the days of Cornelius Bennett, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, but what a game it was. The final four are now set: The #4 seed LA Rams will host the #6 seed San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title, while the Chiefs likely outclass the 5th seeded Bengals in the AFC. The Super Bowl is being held in the Rams’ home stadium. They would be the second consecutive team to play in a home Super Bowl after the Bucs last season, who were the first ever to do it. Sports can be so strange.

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

Roll Tide.