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Jumbo Package: A-Day? No. Groundhog Day! Receivers dropping passes; Offensive line getting whipped

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before...

Syndication: Online Athens Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

There’s not a whole lot of ‘Bama-only news today, so I’ll throw some things of national note in here as well.

1. Because they’re interesting, and
2. I’m the one typing this, not you. CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP.

The East

Let’s start with Georgia and the Six Munchkins in the East. Is that even correct, any more? I’m not so sure.

  • Sakerlina brought in a ton of talent from the Portal, and hit on a few big recruits. As Spencer Rattler goes, so goes their season, I suspect — and he had a very good Spring game. The defense will be there.
  • But the real guy to watch immediately is Billy Napier, who has installed as much of The Process as possible at Florida. Some coaches just get it, you know? Jimmy Mac, Kirby, Mel, even a renewed Lane Kiffin...you kind of get a vibe as to who’s on board with the program. We’re gonna go ahead and add uber-recruiter and manball enthusiast Billy Napier here too, who has become a CEO-type program-builder, creating as professional and physical a program as Gata has ever had, in just a few short months.

That’s not me saying it, that’s well-esteemed UF AD Scott Stricklin saying it.

A few guys can win a title, but great ones sustain it. You’re on the clock, Kirby.

247 undertook the yeoman’s work of cataloguing every player’s statistics for the Spring Game, as unenviable a task as I can imagine. But, it’s one that Josh Gumps will pore over for the next 150 days.

RECEIVING

Crimson team

JoJo Earle: 4 catches, 51 yards, 28 long, 12.8 avg.

Jermaine Burton: 3 catches, 36 yards, 22 long, 12.0 avg.

Traeshon Holden: 3 catches, 34 yards, 16 long, 11.13 avg.

Cameron Latu: 2 catches, 17 yards, 9 long, 8.5 avg.

Jahmyr Gibbs: 1 catch, 9 yards

Trey Sanders: 1 catch, 6 yards

Total: 14 catches, 153 yards, 28 long, 10.9 avg.

This was a cool story from AL.com, where they set out all the coaches and announcers observations during and after A-Day, including two areas that are making ‘Bama fans a bit dyspeptic:

— Saban noted to reporters after the game that Alabama was intentionally avoiding having tight ends help their offensive tackles in pass protection during the spring game, which allowed for more 1-on-1 evaluations.

— The ESPN crew asked defensive coordinator Pete Golding the position he was most uneasy about entering the summer, and he said cornerback. Alabama assigned Kool-Aid McKinstry and Khyree Jackson to the first team after they started the national championship game, and put Eli Ricks on the second team for the spring game. But Saban said all three are competing for starting jobs.

Aside from the front-seven, America’s best core group of linemen and linebackers, there were two undisputed winners of the Spring Game (though, I would add that Jermaine Burton was who we thought he was, and JoJo Earle has shown marked improvement):

Jalen Milroe:

Milroe led the second-team offense on seven possessions and five of them ended in scores, including four successful field goals and the scrimmage’s only touchdown pass. That came on a 52-yard lob from Milroe to sophomore wide receiver Christian Leary down the right sideline, part of the white team’s 25-7 victory over the crimson team.

And Jahmyr Gibbs (who I told you a month ago was going to win the RB1 job with a bullet. I stand by it. He’s a difference maker).

But it was running back Jahmyr Gibbs, a former All-ACC transfer from Georgia Tech, who had the most impressive moment of the game when he scored on a 75-yard run.

Saban said of Gibbs, “Fast is fast.”

“He gives us something at the running back position because he’s really good at pressing the holes, but he has a great burst to get the top speed quickly,” Saban added. “Very good running back. Very good receiver. Very good third-down back. So a very good addition.”

Two groups that did not cover itself in glory, however, were the receivers as whole, or the offensive line. Again.

What did I do to I wake back up in January again?!

It wasn’t A-Day...it was Groundhog Day: And not that cute one in Caddyshack either; the other hellish nightmare where you relive the same series of misfortunes over and over again.

Alabama’s offensive line was not the highlight of the afternoon, which confirms what Saban has said via his spring press conferences and the rumblings throughout t-town for the last month. I did not expect this unit to push around the top front seven in college football. However, I thought they would at least put up a fight and I did not see it in this group. There were times you could see some talent at certain positions, but if this team does capture hardware in Pasadena, California next January it will be because this unit did not get fixed by the new offensive line coach, Eric Wolford.

Saban mentioned coming out of the 2nd scrimmage that the wide receivers had too many dropped passes, this was not fixed in the last three practices of spring 2022 and will continue to be a hangover for the next 140+ days. Many would make an argument that if those drops vs. Georgia were caught in Indianapolis there might be a different champion in college football. Maybe that is why Saban continues to hang the help wanted sign in Tuscaloosa for receivers.

I would be stunned if Alabama doesn’t make a move for some proven wideouts and linemen via the portal, after Spring games conclude.

It was an uneven A-Day, for sure. But the photo montage is undefeated.

On the diamonds, Alabama softball gets to beat on some woeful stepchildren, with a double-header today vs. Norf Alabama and Alcorn State.

And, ‘Bama baseball finally gets a few games at home, starting with Alabama’s Med School tonight, and then hosting the 10th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs this weekend. Pitching matchups and miscellany here.

I want to do something on the High Tide Traditions when I get the chance to fully research it, but early results are positive. Four more signed deals yesterday.

That’s about all the news and notes for the day. Josh is out for a minute following an expected loss in his immediate family after a protracted illness. So when he returns, be nice to him, jackals.

Or, you know, send him some good vibes below.

That’s it for now, Roll Tide.

Poll

After the Spring, which position group are you most worried about?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Wide Receivers
    (58 votes)
  • 91%
    Offensive Line
    (683 votes)
  • 0%
    Cornerbacks
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (below)
    (4 votes)
749 votes total Vote Now