“Byron Young continues the Alabama lineage of early-round defensive linemen,” Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy told AL.com on Tuesday. “He has disruptive tools and played the best ball of his career down the stretch this season. We’re excited to get Byron to Mobile.”
He is the second Alabama player confirmed for the upcoming Senior Bowl, the annual all-star game and NFL draft showcase that takes place Feb. 4 at Mobile’s Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Alabama offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor accepted his invitation Monday.
Congrats to Byron and Emil for getting to the Senior Bowl. In a college football world increasingly becoming obsessed with skipping postseason play and good players all leaving as juniors, there is still definite value in this game. Some NFL team execs place a lot of stock into this game as a place where they can find players with strong leadership abilities. And it only takes one GM to draft someone high.
For Byron Young, I think his particular skill set is one that might see him rise higher in NFL circles than most expect. Having a 300+ pound guy who can make disruptive plays in the backfield a couple of times per game is a rare commodity. And the fact that he showed improvement every single year in his 4 years starting will go a long way as well.
Offensive guard Emil Ekiyor was the lone first-team member from the offensive side of the ball. The defensive representatives included Will Anderson Jr and Henry To’o To’o along with defensive backs Jordan Battle and Kool-Aid McKinstry. Former Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders was the other linebacker on the first team after transferring to Arkansas.
Alabama’s second-team members included Javion Cohen (offensive line), Jahmyr Gibbs (running back/all purpose) and Tyler Steen (offensive line). Special teams players included Will Reichard (placekicker and kickoff specialists) and McKinstry (return specialist) rounded out the second-team selections by making special teams appearances.
Quarterback Bryce Young didn’t make either team as Georgia’s Stetson Bennett was the second-team selection. Young was the second-team All-SEC quarterback as voted by the Associated Press.
The lack of Brian Branch on this invalidates the whole thing, and I’ll leave it at that.
At Alabama, Baker won a national championship ring as a freshman and could have competed for more if he had stayed. But at UCF, where national titles hopes are an annual long shot, Baker is actually seeing the field and putting his performance on tape for NFL scouts.
That puts Baker a step closer to fulfilling what a “prophet” visiting his family’s church once told him.
“That was the first time we had met him,” Baker’s father said in a 2019 interview. “He was filling in for our pastor, and he toward the end of the service, he told Javon, he singled Javon out and said, ‘Stand up.’
“He said, ‘Son, I’m telling you, this is what the Most High has for you.’ He says, ‘You’re going to break records in the NFL that has never been broken.’”
Well, that is certainly something... Hmmmm... I wonder if maybe, just maybe, these adults putting absolutely ridiculous amounts of pressure and unreasonable expectations on 17-year-old kids might be contributing to the mental health issues and transfer portal bonanza?
Five former Alabama players scored touchdowns during Week 13 in quarterbacks Jalen Hurts (Eagles), Mac Jones (Patriots) and Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) and running back Josh Jacobs (Raiders) and wide receiver DeVonta Smtih (Eagles). Jacobs (rushing) and Smith (receiving) both topped 100 yards. It was the sixth 100-yard game of the season for Jacobs, and Las Vegas is 5-1 in those contests. The Raiders are 0-6 when he hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards.
Hurts had a huge day against the Titans, throwing for 380 yards and accounting for four total touchdowns. He was eight yards shy from surpassing his previous career-high in passing yards, but Hurts did become just the 26th player in NFL history, and the first Eagle, to record at least 380 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing score in a single game.
Mark Ingram didn’t have quite the same numbers as some of his fellow Alabama alums, but the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner because just the 30th player in NFL history with 8,000 rushing yards and 300 receptions. He is the first Crimson Tide player to accomplish that feat at the next level after entering Monday night’s matchup with the Falcons with 298 career catches.
In the NFL, Josh Jacobs continues to look like the best RB in the world. His main competitor for the title? Derrick Henry.
And the MVP race is looking like we might well get yet another round of Jalen vs Tua arguments like its spring 2018 all over again.