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Jumbo Package: Can you believe Kool-Aid McKinstry is the Tide’s most veteran cornerback?

Does that sentence terrify you?

NCAA Football: Mercer at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

There’s just not much going on folks; that’s why people go on vacation during the Summer, I suppose — just not enough ‘Bama.

Sadly, there’s not even much to spit hot takes about either :(

So, we’ll play straight man for a change.

One of those typically undervalued four-star Mississippi prospects, No. 27 LB Jordan Lockhart, visited the Tide yesterday, and picked up an offer. He seemed very happy about it too. The Tide doesn’t have much luck prying kids out of the Magnolia State (nor does anyone else, for that matter); they tend to stay local. But this one feels different. The Ole Miss commit may move to the bright lights, big city of Tuscaloosa. (Look, in Mississippi, Tuscaloosa would be both the second-largest city and the second largest MSA).

Lockhart has great size for a prospect with two more years of growth ahead of him: 6’3”, 210. He’s listed as a OLB, but I would almost be willing to bet he eventually moves to WDE — he’s very good at holding the point of attack, and does have some decent skills rushing the passer. But overall, his game seems more suited for hybrid run-stuffing rather than as a pure edge.

One of the players who just never panned out, WR Javon Baker, finally landed at another major program after trasnferring out of Alabama and then blowing his shot at Kentucky. The social media maven took his Twitter-fingers to the talent-hungry UCF Knight.

Not to kick a man when he’s down, but if Baker couldn’t get on the field last year, then he simply was never going to mature as a player enough to do so.

Alabama picked up two (perhaps three, with Eli Ricks) starter-ready players by way of transfer; both Jahmyr Gibbs and Jermaine Burton could be legitimate stars. But the Tide are hardly the only SEC team benefiting from totally-not-free-agency.

Here are several to keep an eye on (including one I’m very curious about, and it’s not one of the five new portal QBs either).

Tennessee — WR Bru McCoy: As a former five-star prospect, McCoy carried a ton of hype dating back to his recruiting days. However, multiple transfers between USC and Texas, coupled with his 2021 suspension stemming from a domestic violence arrest, have hurt his career. Could he finally live up to the hype after leaving USC?

Not sure what the hell Lincoln Riley was thinking, but he inherited a team that perpetually reeled in Top 10 classes at one of the most stable programs in America, and in a league that moved heaven and earth to favor them, and then bailed to take over a hot mess USC program.

That’s not the silly part. The silly part is all-but declaring that he couldn’t win a Natty at Oklahoma, while shoveling a little fertilizer on one of football’s dynastic bluebloods:

“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.”

Well, what can you not get to in Norman, Riley?

Individual awards? Conference titles? Playoff berths? Huge salary? Recruits? Media attention? It can’t be any of those things. So, you’re either saying that the program can’t get you to the mountaintop or that you, personally, aren’t man enough to get it done there. And we know which it is. So, yes, it was totally about the SEC — unless you’re claiming the Oklahoma is some backwater like Kansas State, where it is impossible to win big. If you can’t get it done there, you can’t get it done anywhere...and those soon-to-be awesome regular seasons at USC will be exposed if and when you get to the Playoffs.

I detest this guy — easily one of the most entitled in the country — a man who truly epitomizes the old saw of being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple.

247 continues its countdown of the Top 25 players for 2022, and today Potter highlights a guy I think we’re going to be hearing a lot from: Kool-Aid McKinstry.

McKinstry appeared in every game as a true freshman this past season and was one of the few newcomers to start multiple games by the season’s end. The former 5-star recruit was already seeing the field as a special teams contributor and reserve cornerback, but injuries to both Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis led to opportunities to McKinstry, who started six games. He had 25 tackles, one sack, one interception and one pass breakup in his first year of college and was a defensive player of the week by the coaching staff for his play against Mercer.

With Armour-Davis and Jobe moving on, McKinstry has more starts in a crimson jersey than any cornerback on the Crimson Tide’s roster and will look to start the 2022 season the same way he ended the 2021 campaign – in the starting lineup He spent spring drills working with the ones and started for the White team in the A-Day Game opposite Khyree Jackson. Those two and LSU transfer Eli Ricks exited the spring in competition for the two openings at corner and will continue to battle this summer. McKinstry, being the youngest, has made progress.

Both Khyree and Kool Aid showed some promise, when pressed into action last season and then asked to do the impossible. With a full offseason of work with the 1s, I am looking forward to seeing how they (and the raw Eli Ricks) develop.

But, man, that inexperience issue has to make you a bit dyspeptic.

We bid farewell to one of the better forgotten players of the post-Bear transition years: All-American NT Robert Stewart.

Robert Stewart, an All-America nose tackle at Alabama in the early 1990s, has died. He was 55.

Stewart died over the weekend in his adopted hometown of Charlotte, N.C., where he had settled after a lengthy Arena Football career. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Regarded as one of the strongest players in Alabama football history, the 6-foot, 308-pound Stewart was known as much for his prowess in the weight room as on the field. He played three different positions for three different coaches during his Crimson Tide career: Ray Perkins, Bill Curry and Gene Stallings.

The AL.com link is a great writeup on Stewart and his career — including an 11-year tenure as an Arena Football all-star lineman.

Rest in peace and Roll Tide, Robert. May the ground lie softly on you.