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Jumbo Package: Gump Day thinks Alabama is going to run for elebenty billion yards on Utah State

Even the white walk-on fullbacks are going to have a good day

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

That headline is apropos of little except as a teaser. Tomorrow we’ll have the year’s first Giving Away Money, and yes, Alabama will be a feature piece.

Well, maybe it’s also reflective of just how awful Utah State’s already-bad, thin, underconditioned defensive line looked against the worst team in D1 football. UConn whipped their ass at the LOS with a bunch of future Toyota salesmen.

If Alabama doesn’t rush for 300 yards at home, and have at least two players with 100+ yard days, I will go to midfield of BDS and perform a Human Centipede on myself. It’s going to be an old-fashioned, RTDB, #manball whoopin’; the kind where you call your father and apologize for disgracing entire generations of your family, and where your mom gets shunned at Sunday school. That kind of beating.

Gump so hard!

Yesterday, Josh hit on a source of anxiety for many: the new-look WR corps for the Tide. I veer the other direction though, TBH. If Ja’Corey Brooks — a 5-star who flashed a lot of potential last season — is a backup, then this must be as loaded a group as any in the country.

It’s just a matter of getting Bryce time to throw and developing chemistry with them.

“But regardless, it’s just making sure we’re pushing ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. We’re always communicating, we’re always talking. I think it’s encouraging to me to see the growth that we’ve both had, me and all the receivers have collectively. The more reps we get, the more we talk about things, you can definitely feel the chemistry and connection growing throughout the offseason.

“I’m excited to watch it continue to grow and to keep putting in the work. It’s a process, but it’s encouraging.”

And absolutely expect Traeshon Holden to become Young’s security blanket. He likes him, he trusts him, he already has rapport with him. And Young as emerged as a surprising leader. I suspect those intangibles, more than any raw talent advantage, are why Holden was tabbed as a starter. rightly hit on the WR corps as well, there have been a lot of surprises from this group over the Fall, including Prentice out of nowhere, and Harrell, the burner from Luhvl.

Harrell, a fifth-year junior who began to emerge last season as a deep threat for Louisville, was not lacking in confidence, either.

“Obviously, we trying to win the natty,” Harrell told Whistle. “By me being a part of that team, we’re definitely going to achieve that goal, or reach to it.”

Also standing out in Alabama’s two preseason scrimmages was Prentice, helping him solidify his role to start the season.

“He’s had great energy since the moment he stepped foot on campus,” Young said of Prentice. “He’s someone who wants to work with you after and always wants to be coached. He’s worked hard. He’s been able to make some dynamic plays for us in practice and in the scrimmages, and he’s obviously worked his way up the depth chart.

Speaking of competition — and there are legitimately eight solid options in the passing game just on the outside — corner has seen a very competitive camp as well, with five potential starters vying for just two spots. And, like the wide receivers, one player has emerged that we didn’t fully expect: Terrion Arnold:

“He’s played with a lot of consistency,” Saban said of Arnold. “He’s got a lot more confidence now. I think he’s a lot more comfortable with what he’s supposed to do, how he’s supposed to do it, why he’s supposed to do it that way. He’s played really well all fall camp. I’m really pleased with the progress that he’s made.”

Senior safety Jordan Battle echoed Saban’s thoughts on Arnold’s development this offseason.

“Terrion Arnold is like one of my little brothers,” Battle said. “He’s progressed very well on the field and off the field. He’s becoming more of a leader as a young guy for this team. He’s stepping up into the role very well. He’s playing very well, playing very confident, and I think that’s what really changed from last year is his confidence. When he’s confident, he’s playing very well, and we like that.”

With the new coaching of Travaris Robinson, and the healthier depth at corner, I feel a lot better about this group than I did in May.

That Gumping out of the way, it was a tough one yesterday for ‘Bama players in the pros. After just two seasons, the Raiders foolishly cut Alex Leatherwood, Matt Rhule cut Cornbread, and just a few weeks after one of the most curious signings of the offseason, the Bills decided that it was easier to pay OJ Howard $2.3 million to not play for them than it was to keep him on the roster.

I’m not really sure what Howard’s issue is. He has been a tremendous bust despite having all the tools to excel in the modern game. But if even Captain Dump-off Tom Brady won’t give a TE some looks, you’ve probably worn out your welcome with the Shield. Cornbread was fairly simple to understand: he’s a limited player who’s struggled with weight. The Panther’s identity is much more balanced now with the threat of a passing game and a McCafferey whose body showing all that high city mileage. It’s not a smash-mouth team anymore.

But Leatherwood is the one I really don’t understand. He struggled some, but was that really cause to dump him already? They didn’t even attempt to develop him. I actually had to explain Leatherwood, the player, to one of the Vegas beat writers on Sunday.

TL; DR — Alex takes time and coaching. It took 3 years for Alex to become good. But the Raiders gave him neither. This is almost as foolish as the Dolphins tanking for Tua, then hiring an offensive coordinator from the 90s with a coach who didn’t want to develop a rookie, and expecting Tua to magically be on-par with his peers who were given tools and the ability to take their lumps.

I could be wrong, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of Leatherwood. I suspect he’ll reemerge somewhere else as a high-end player, if not ever a star.

One guy had a great day though: laying in his room, hopped up on painkillers after being shot during an attempted robbery and aggravated assault, B-Rob made the 53-man for WFT (no, I’m not calling you “Commanders”).

Aye Ell has the rest of the cuts from the NFL over here.

It seems like every year, there is a player who catches fire in the offseason and all we hear are rave reviews for weeks. Last season, it was JAD and JaMo — good calls, as it happens. This year, among others, it’s been the now-svelte Jaheim Otis.

He’s being lauded to the moon by his peers and elders. From Will Anderson:

“He’s one of the freshmen who came in, worked hard and didn’t complain. He did exactly what he said he was going to do. I remember I was on Twitter and he was (saying) he was going to come in and lose weight and compete for a spot. I remember I looked at Coach Roach and said these are the type of players we need in our locker room.”

From Darian Dalcourt:

“He’s a young player, he’s a great player. He’s strong, heavy, I’ve never really seen a freshman be built like that so early on, but he’s a great player. Great addition to the D-Line.”

Excited yet? More here on a player we think is heading for superstardom...which is fairly impressive for a nose tackle.

I do know one thing: with the quality players on Alabama’s defensive line, a healthy and veteran Henry To’oto’o, and the ungodly pass rush Alabama will unleash, if Otis is half the player he’s being hyped up as, then this could be the most dominating front seven of Saban’s career...even over 2016.

And, judging from Byron Young’s remarks yesterday, the offensive line is also leaps and bounds ahead of last year’s group — even winning a few days against the talented Tide front. It has been a very physical, spirited Fall camp in the trenches. This team sounds tougher, for whatever that is worth.

This is sort of a PSA, but now in year four or so mobile ticketing, folks still haven’t sorted it out. UA has directions and suggestions here that you should check out. The sooner you can flash your ticket, the sooner you can get in line for one of those delicious lukewarm $22 Coors Lights.

And, finally

A Thai zoo’s escaped animal drill is going viral after photos and videos emerged showing a zoo employee in an ostrich costume fleeing from keepers.


Does Alabama rush for 300+ yards against Utah State?

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