Happy Gump Day, everyone. Yesterday we got the annual leadership lake trip video, and as usual a good time was seemingly had by all.
Leadership Lake Day— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) June 7, 2022
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Former lake day participant Christian Harris is impressing the veterans in his first NFL camp.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Houston linebacker Christian Kirksey said Harris fits Smith’s rookie requirements.
“Man, he’s quiet,” Kirksey said last week. “He don’t say too much, which is good because he’s a sponge. He’s soaking up all the knowledge he can. Man, the kid is fast. He’s athletic. Obviously coming from a great program in Alabama, I know that Nick Saban polished him well and got him ready to go, but I’ve seen flashes of him being able to go out there and contribute now. You don’t see that all the time in a rookie, but he’s picking it up fast, and I’m happy that he’s here.
Lincoln Riley totes wasn’t scared of the conference realignment, y’all.
The climb up the SEC hill was to too big for him with the Sooners transitioning from the Big 12. It’s easier to win in a trending-downward Pac-12 than either the Big 12 or SEC.
“I heard the whole SEC narrative,” Riley told CBS Sports. “To me, the SEC has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the program that you’re at and the position you think you can get to.”
I don’t know, Lincoln. It sounds like you just admitted that you weren’t confident in your ability to get Oklahoma into prime position while competing in the SEC.
He also said that he is still young and wasn’t really looking for a place to retire when he made the move, indicating that USC won’t be his last stop, and he really didn’t appreciate somebody finding his new $17M house and putting pictures of it online.
Bless his heart.
Speaking of privacy, there was debate at SEC meetings over whether NIL contracts will or should be made public.
“I think that’s a tough question, because you have student-athlete privacy,” he said. “Obviously, I don’t know that all of y’all’s income is made public; I know mine is, and that’s not always necessarily fun, and it’s not always necessarily an intrusion on somebody’s life. So, I’m not sure that’s a fair or appropriate for a student-athlete, although it would make more sense for us from a modeling sense of everybody knowing what’s kind of occurring.”
When Kiffin was asked if he thinks NIL contracts will eventually be made public, he responded, “I have no idea.”
The lack of certainty was par for the course during the coaches’ trip to the Emerald Coast last week.
Saban was calling for oversight on whether work of any kind was actually done in exchange for the money, and Kiffin reiterated Saban’s point that players are getting money that has nothing to do with their ability to promote a business. There are plenty of players who do have the charisma and business acumen to build a brand, but there are also plenty who don’t and those traits aren’t required for one to become a great football player.
Last, Brad Crawford at 247sports has three college football position groups ranked ahead of Alabama’s linebackers this year.
4. ALABAMA’S LINEBACKERS
Let’s face it — this group could’ve been ranked No. 1 nationally in this position ranking without much of an argument. That’s how elite the Crimson Tide’s set of outside linebackers are this season with two future top-10 selections leading the way in Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner. The duo combined for 26 sacks and 41 tackles for losses last season. Anderson is college football’s best defensive player and Turner is a rising superstar. And if he wasn’t playing behind two pass-rush monsters on the outside, Chris Braswell would likely be receiving similar praise heading into the season. BamaOnLine reports coming out spring that Nick Saban will likely use all three on the field at the same times in spots this fall.
I don’t know what Brad is smoking, but this group is hands down the best in the sport. He didn’t even mention freshmen Jeremiah Alexander and Jihaad Campbell, both freaks themselves who flashed in the spring game.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.