Happy Tuesday, everyone. The playoff must be getting closer, as Nick Saban held a short Monday press conference.
— Says he’s “not really” planning on changing much about his signs for this game. Says they always do something a little bit different but it’s not a major concern.
— Says Jase McClellan is doing well, but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll be able to play in the Rose Bowl.
— Says Coleman Hutzler is finishing the season with Alabama and he isn’t focused on whether Helow will be a full-time hire for the Crimson Tide.
— Says Kool-Aid McKinstry has made it through concussion protocol and is back in practice.
“I think every year that we’ve been in the Playoffs we’ve tried to bring somebody in ... somebody to do a little extra work that has good experience,” Saban said. “And when we get off the road, being able to give us a good scouting report of what we need to know. So that’s the purpose, just to add sort of a special assistant to me, whatever you want to call it, to when I come off the road be able to get me up to speed on what’s happening.”
Good to hear that Kool Aid will be OK, but not loving the sound of that for Jase McClellan. You can listen to all of Nick’s comments below.
Bruce Feldman went on Finebaum to talk about what opponents have told him about Alabama, then wrote a piece for The Athletic on what opposing coaches said about Michigan.
“One thing is probably we don’t talk enough about Terrion Arnold. The people I have talked to who have played him just come away raving about him, especially,” Bruce Feldman said. “I think you hear a lot about what kind of problems the corners present for people. I think [Caleb] Downs is a guy that people think will be a top 10 pick. It blows their mind how well a true freshman has played in that system, to learn what he’s had to learn and do it on the fly.”
Feldman shared that coaches who have faced Alabama are also impressed with the way the Crimson Tide have evolved on offense.
Alabama averaged more than 40 points per game over its final six games of the season.
“The other thing that I think is big is how much better the offensive line is than it was in Week 2 and Week 3. And I think a lot of credit, not just to Nick Saban. … But a bunch of coaches I talked to praised how Tommy Rees has managed things,” Feldman said. “And what the coaches I talked to thought was a shift around Week 6 where they started calling things and doing things much differently.”
“I think it’s the same old thing with Michigan,” said a Big Ten secondary coach. “They’re extremely talented, but if someone can hold up up front with them, I think they’re just too one-dimensional. … They’ve got to get explosive plays on the perimeter somewhere, and those are gonna be hard to come by because Alabama can match up with them outside and still be stern enough against the run.
“Michigan is going to have to play such a clean game.”
One head coach said he wouldn’t be shocked if Michigan won — but he’s picking Alabama. “If Milroe plays like he has lately, I think that’ll be too much for Michigan. There’s nobody like him in the Big Ten. (Alabama) has figured out how to use him, and that’s scary.”
It is honestly baffling that Michigan is favored in this game, but we’ll take it.
Alabama pulled a blue chip edge rusher into the 2024 class.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound athlete out of Liberty North High School in Kansas City, Mo., is considered the No. 6 player in the state of Missouri and the No. 21 overall edge prospect in the class.
He took his official visit to Tuscaloosa for the LSU game this past season and was primarily pursued by Freddie Roach and Coleman Hutzler. Ross chose the Tide over offers from Kansas State, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Alabama remains with the No. 4 overall class according to 247Sports, however Ross’s commitment bumps them into the No. 3 spot for the 247Sports composite, calculating other recruiting services rankings as well.
Last, there was some big recruiting news one state to the east.
NEWS: Top quarterback recruit Dylan Raiola (@RaiolaDylan) told ESPN he’s switching his college commitment to Nebraska from Georgia. He’s the highest-ranked recruit — No. 8 overall in ESPN’s rankings — to pick Nebraska since ESPN began ranking high school players in 2006. pic.twitter.com/20pKClyumt— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 18, 2023
You just hate to see it.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.