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Jumbo Package: Julian Sayin headlines early enrollees at Rose Bowl practice

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama has opened bowl practice, and Austin Hannon at SI has a rundown of Alabama’s early enrollees who are participating. You all know who headlines that list.

Likely Alabama’s top recruit of the current cycle is Julian Sayin, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound quarterback from Carlsbad, Calif. Sayin is 247Sports’ No. 3 rated quarterback in the Class of 2024 — he is alone atop On3’s quarterback rankings.

He has been one of the most talented high school quarterbacks in the state of California for three years now. Sayin came onto the scene his sophomore year. This past season, he was responsible for 28 touchdowns and just one interception during his senior season at Carlsbad High School.

Blake Toppmeyer writes that the NCAA is looking for Alabama to keep Michigan out of the nationat title game.

Imagine the NCAA’s embarrassment at having to recognize Michigan as the national champion while investigating the program for cheating. Alabama can prevent that possibility on Jan. 1 and continue writing what has become one heck of a story in Tuscaloosa.

Saban has assembled plenty of juggernaut teams. This one isn’t.

I’m not going to try to convince you that this roster is full of underdogs who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. Alabama isn’t 2022 TCU, but it also isn’t 2020 Alabama.

This was a talented but raw, young and unpolished group that looked a wreck in Weeks 2 and 3. Then they did what we love to see teams do: They stayed the course and improved, led by a quarterback whose charisma is nearly as big as his arm. Best as we can tell, they did this without flouting NCAA rules.

Not only is Milroe charismatic and an outstanding leader, but he has also graduated in only three years.

Speaking of graduation, that’s kind of a sore subject in Athens right now. The AJC’s Chip Towers wrote a piece about Georgia’s dead-last-in-the-SEC football graduation rate for three consecutive years, and trending downward. Georgia fans jumped all over him about guys leaving early for the NFL, but Georgia is hardly the only program that loses guys early. Football is ultimately going to be detached from academic requirements altogether, but Kirby got an early jump on it.

Bleacher Report is piling on a little rat poison.

Jim Harbaugh has a very good team—there’s a reason Michigan is ranked first in the nation—but the Wolverines really only played two good opponents all year. They haven’t played a team as talented as Bama.

The past two years, Michigan has been the buzzworthy team coming out of a regular-season finale win over Ohio State. Both times, the Wolverines failed to get it done in the semifinal.

Given that JJ McCarthy hasn’t thrown for more than 150 yards in any of his last four games and his team mustered 213 yards against Iowa, they aren’t exactly striking much offensive fear in opponents. A one-dimensional team won’t beat Bama.

Michigan has an early exit for the third year in a row.

A couple of transfers decided on their next destinations.

Barnes will join Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders ahead of his second season. Colorado’s defensive coordinator Charles Kelly was with the Crimson Tide through Barnes’ commitment and his two seasons. Alabama had two of its 21 outgoing transfers in 2023 head to Colorado (Jahquez Robinson and Demouy Kennedy).

Brooks joins a Louisville team that saw drastic improvement during Jeff Brohm’s first season as head coach. The Cardinals are currently 10-3, dropping their last matchup, the ACC championship, against Florida State.

Louisville will play Southern Cal in the Holiday Bowl to end the season. Brooks’ former teammates at Alabama are set for a Jan. 1 Rose Bowl matchup with No. 1 Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

We have the usual NFL roundup for you. Amari Cooper had a key 51 yard TD catch from ... Joe Flacco? Yeo, that dude is still playing football. Coop had a big day to key the Browns’ victory.

“Great football player,” Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski said of Cooper after the game. “You’re always trying to find ways to get Amari the ball. Joe fit it in a very tight window, and then Amari did the tightrope down the sideline. Very heady player. Has made huge plays for us in these ballgames, and we need him.”

Cooper had four receptions for 109 yards on Sunday, leaving him 15 yards short of his seventh 1,000-yard season.

Cooper had the 10th touchdown reception of his career of at least 50 yards in his 34th 100-yard game.

Last, this is great. Alabama has officially taken over the NFL, but Q really doesn’t have to pick on his buddy Jaylen.

You’ve been told that Tua is only good now because of Tyreek Hill, but Hill missed the game yesterday and Tua lit up the Jets anyway.

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

Roll Tide.