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Jumbo Package: Tide near unanimous #1, but secondary flies under the radar

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama Spring Game Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Lindy’s released its preseason top 25, and Alabama is unsurprisingly at the top.

Lindy’s slotted Alabama at No. 1, as have everyone else this summer. Armed with Bryce Young and Will Anderson, arguably the nation’s two best players overall, Alabama received a maximum of 125 points in the 247Sports post-spring update. Alabama addressed a couple of needs with high-end additions through the transfer portal and could look for another prior to fall camp. Offensive line play is one area to watch early and was a point of emphasis this spring from Saban, despite a couple injuries that limited how this group actually looks in a few months.

The rat poison isn’t going to stop this offseason. Pete Fiutak has Alabama in the national title game vs. Ohio State, and he’s buying into Sleazy Riley.

College Football Playoff Semifinal: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Saturday, December 31, 2022

4:00 or 8:00, ESPN

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

Last Year: Michigan State 31, Pitt 21

Bowl Ties: CFP vs CFP

Bowl Projection: Alabama vs USC

It wouldn’t take much of a contender to run the table in the Pac 12, but Riley had a habit of losing to far less talented teams in Norman. Guess we’ll see if that trend continues.

David Cobb of CBS doesn’t believe that Alabama’s secondary warrants top five billing in his rankings. He loves the Georgia secondary, however.

Georgia ranked 13th nationally in passing defense last season, allowing just 190.9 yards per game through the air. That was especially impressive since opponents were airing it out while typically playing from behind. Even with some attrition, this group should be elite again, and it’s led by elite cornerback Kelee Ringo. The redshirt sophomore and former top-ranked corner from the 2020 class was recently projected as the No. 4 pick in an early 2023 NFL mock draft by CBS Sports draft expert Ryan Wilson. If West Virginia transfer Tykee Smith can return to his 2020 All-American form after dealing with injury last season, it would further solidify Georgia’s case to be at the top.

Guess we’ll see, but Eli Ricks is widely projected as a first rounder next April, Jordan Battle and Demarcco Hellams should be among the best safety tandems in the nation, Brian Branch has created plenty of buzz for himself at nickel and sophomore Kool Aid McKinstry may be the best of the bunch. This group should be in the conversation for the top spot

Saban is hoping to pull another stud lineman out of Iowa.

The Iowa native announced Friday evening that he was now only considering his home state Hawkeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Not only has Proctor cut his list down but he has also canceled his official visits to Penn State, Oregon, and Michigan. Proctor will now visit Iowa June 24-26.

Nick Saban and Alabama must have made a fantastic impression on the 6-foot-6 320-pound prospect last weekend for him to make such a quick decision following his visit.

Proctor would be Alabama’s first signee from the Hawkeye State since Ross Pierschbacher.

Eddie Jackson is hoping to get back to ball hawking this year.

After having 12 takeaways and five defensive touchdowns in his first two seasons, Jackson had four takeaways and no touchdowns in his past three, so when Brisker told Jackson he “likes to be in the box” as a strong safety, Jackson didn’t quibble.

“I’m willing to play both,” Jackson said on Tuesday. “It don’t matter. Just knowing that he’s accepting that role, he’s really buying into it, he can go ahead. I’m going to let him get it. …

“Just having somebody who loves to play that position kind of takes the weight off your shoulders and I can focus on roaming and getting the ball.”

Last, Lane Kiffin decided to take a little credit for Alabama’s loss in the title game.

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

Roll Tide.