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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Alabama pulls in an elite recruit for the 2023 cycle as the Tide plans it’s future domination of college football

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl Classic-Cincinnati at Alabama Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it last yesterday, Alabama picked up a commitment from 5-star cornerback Jahlil Hurley, and CB has you covered:

If you are big follower of Crimson Tide recruiting, you are going to love this coming Class of 2023. The state of Alabama has a plethora of top-shelf recruits this circuit and this humble observer expects most of them to end up in Tuscaloosa.

Jahlil Hurley is the first of these of prospects to commit to Bama. The Florence, AL denizen made his announcement on his mother’s birthday Tuesday. He is a 5-star cornerback ranked #22 overall by the 247sports composite rankings.

Hurley actually committed to coach Nick Saban last month, but didn’t reveal his choice until Tuesday.

“I swear I’m not lying … he cracked the biggest smile,” Hurley told 247Sports about Saban’s reaction. “And then when I walked out of his office he was like, ‘I’m depending on you.’ I kid you not.”

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, Hurley boasts impressive speed and length to be a major contributor in college football. The industry standard 247Sports Composite rankings rates Hurley the No. 24 player in the nation and a consensus five-star recruit.

There’s obviously a long ways to go, but it’s good to see the dominoes already starting to fall the Tide’s way with an in-state class that is absolutely loaded this year. Plus, maybe we don’t have to worry about the Gumps whining about Alabama’s small recruiting class this early in the spring.

Overall rank: No. 30

Former school: Alabama

Wheaton, a true freshman last season for the Crimson Tide and former five-star signee, did not see the field in his first campaign after suffering a meniscus injury in practice, according to head coach Nick Saban. Wheaton was not able to practice for much of the fall schedule, redshirting his first year at the collegiate level.

“Camar Wheaton got injured in practice, and he was a really good young player that people don’t know about yet,” Saban said during an early-September radio show. “… He was a real speedster and really a guy that could have probably been helpful to us this year, as well.”

I’m not sure exactly what it says about the state of the transfer portal that a guy who’s yet to see a collegiate snap is the #2 ranked guy in the portal... But it doesn’t seem very good. I don’t know if we’ll ever really know the story behind Wheaton’s single season departure from Alabama, but it was ominous from very early in the season with the way Saban wouldn’t say much about him in the media.

Alabama has officially added Derek Dooley and Nick McGriff as off-field analysts, according to the school’s staff directory. Last week, news broke that Dooley was expected to join the staff.

Dooley most recently served as the New York Giants’ tight ends coach this past season. With the Giants making a coaching change, hiring former Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their head coach, Dooley is returning to college and reuniting with Nick Saban.

Dooley worked with Saban at LSU from 2000-04, first as tight ends coach (2000-02) and then as assistant head coach and running backs coach (2003-04). He followed Saban to the NFL in 2005, working as the tight ends coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06 before landing his first head coaching job at Louisiana Tech, where he spent three seasons (2007-09).

The Saban Coaching Rehab Program is in full swing, this time bringing in yet another failed Tennessee head coach. And I actually missed this at the time, but check out the 3rd new analyst for the Tide this year:

The additions of Dooley and McGriff bring the number of analyst hires to three. Alabama also hired former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger as an off-field analyst earlier this month.

Hopefully, he can stay on his own two legs while in Bryant-Denny this time around.

Defensive end Mekhi Brown became the first player from an Alabama high school or college selected in the USFL Draft on Tuesday night.

Brown went to the Tampa Bay Bandits with the seventh selection of the second round.

Brown spent three seasons at Alabama. He was a redshirt in 2015, saw some special-teams duty in 2016 and made seven tackles at linebacker in 2017.

Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. Hopefully, Brown is able to catch on and carve out a nice little career in this league while he has the chance.

Finally, enjoy this Tweet thread of Derrick Henry’s best runs of his NFL career thus far: