Two of Turner’s sacks came in the national championship game, one of six games in the final seven in which Turner had at least one sack. He also took down Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett in the SEC championship game.
“He’s gonna be a great football player,” former Georgia offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer said of Turner at the NFL combine earlier this month. “Great young kid. I talked to him a little bit after the game. He’s gonna be special. I’m excited to see him develop.”
After an entire decade of edge rusher being pretty much the only position on the football field that Nick Saban never developed a true superstar, he now has one of the best to ever do it in Will Anderson and a rising young star in Dallas Turner.
The linked article has all kinds of quotes from Saban, Anderson, Chris Allen, and more talking up Turner’s preparation, study and work habits, and natural talent.
If Turner ramps up the production in year two at even 70% of the rate that Anderson did last year, then it could become the best pass rush duo college football has seen in a long, long time.
It certainly appears Alabama has stuck gold again with the off-season acquisitions of running back Jahmry Gibbs, wide receiver Jermaine Burton, and defensive back Eli Ricks. The Tide has its eyes set on another prize in Vanderbilt offensive line transfer in Tyler Steen.
Steen entered the transfer portal in January and entertained several top schools from coast-to-coast. He started 33 games during his time with the Commodores including the last two seasons at left tackle.
His father, Daris, informed BamaInsider last month of the plan to visit Alabama. Tyler will announce a final decision at some point by next Monday. The choice will come down between Alabama, LSU and Virginia. His brother, Blake, signed with the Cavaliers in February.
While I’ll never say no to an influx of talent, I worry that Alabama’s continued recruitment of the former Vandy lineman is a negative reflection of the current development of the depth on the roster. I’d rather get to see young guys like JC Latham, Tommy Brockermeyer, Tyler Booker, Damieon George, or Amari Kite have the chance to step up and develop into multi-year starters... But if there aren’t two ready out of the group, then a veteran 1-year stopgap will be the best bet for Alabama to maximize their National Championship chances with Bryce Young and Will Anderson on the team.
The University of Alabama will host its annual Pro Day at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday, March 30. Coverage of the event will air live on the SEC Network and the NFL Network from noon-2 p.m.
The list of draft-eligible Crimson Tide players participating in some portion of Pro Day includes Jalyn Armour-Davis, Slade Bolden, Christian Harris, Phidarian Mathis, Evan Neal, Chris Owens, LaBryan Ray, Brian Robinson Jr. and Daniel Wright.
If you hang around Twitter later this morning, you’ll probably get some snippets of the Pro Day results from many of these Alabama players. Evan Neal will be the most watched, as the likely top-5 pick didn’t do any drills at the NFL Combine.
Guys like LaBryan Ray, Chris Owens, and Daniel Wright will be getting their last shot to make a final push to catch the eye of NFL evaluators with a good test or two. While none of the three are very likely to get drafted, a blistering 40 or shuttle time might get someone to drop a late-round flyer on them.
Again, Sirianni was on the same page as his general manager on Tuesday. The coach said he had confidence that Hurts would be able to build on his first season as an NFL starter.
“I go back to the type of guys that maximize their football potential,” Sirianni said. “And what are the common denominators of those guys? They have high character, they have high football IQ, they love football, they’re tough and they’re competitive. Jalen is all of those things, so Jalen is working every angle he can to get better, whether that’s working with a quarterback guy or studying film, different ways of doing that. He’s doing everything he can to get better.”
While his first season as a starter wasn’t the kind of year that lit the world on fire, Jalen Hurts did quite well for a first year starter on a below-average team, and his contributions to the run game helped Philly be the best rushing team in the NFL.
In year 2, he’s going to have to minimize and eliminate many of the tendencies that NFL defenses are going to try and exploit to stall their offense. Here’s to hoping he has the right coaching staff to help him do it.
In hoops news, we got some interviews from the duo of high-profile recruits who will be reinforcing the Tide next season:
Miller boiled down Alabama’s struggles to one problem: Lack of leadership.
“One thing I feel like I can bring is a lot of leadership,” Miller said. “I think that was missing, just a little bit of leadership this year. That’s why the season ended real early. I think the big thing with that is just communication with everybody on the team and everybody buying in.”
So, with the No. 6 overall class in the country coming in, what should the expectations for Alabama be next year?
“It’s definitely going to be high,” Miller said. “All the recruits’ goal is to win a natty and I feel like we can actually win a natty.
How has it been getting to know (fellow McDonald’s All-American and UA signee) Brandon Miller and spend time with him before teaming up next year?
“We have a great connection. I’ve been to a couple of his games this year when I was injured, just trying to build that chemistry so next year on the court it’s already there and we can get it going from there.”
How do you see yourself stepping in and helping Alabama back to the tournament and potentially making a deeper run?
“I just think as soon as I get there, I’ll kind of sit down with the coaches and kind of see what my role is for the guys, see how the team’s looking. Just go in there and do the best and try to get us some wins on the board. That’s my main goal.”
Miller and Bradley are both McDonald’s All-American 5-star players who will be looking to come in and make a major splash for the program. Both seem to understand the direction of the program and want to be part of the push to get Alabama into the elite tier program that they’ve been fringing on becoming since Nate Oats arrived.
Add in a couple more top-60 recruits in Rylan Griffen and Noah Clowney as well as a top JUCO forward in Nick Pringle, and the Tide is bringing in an entire new rotation of players for the 2022-2023 season.