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Jumbo Package: Positions to watch during the A-Day Game

My eyes are right up the middle on both sides of the ball.

Georgia v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

With the race to destroy college football in full gear, there is one teeny, tiny piece of good news to report: No new bowls for this season.

Though there was some interest in creating new bowl games, officials decided to keep the bowl lineup at 41. Despite conversations about increasing the postseason eligibility standard to 7–5, potentially eliminating some bowls, the 6-6 mark will continue, Bowl Season executive director Nick Carparelli confirmed to Sports Illustrated.

“We had lengthy discussions with the 10 conference offices as well as the NCAA football competition committee about bowl eligibility criteria,” Carparelli says. “It was unanimous that we maintain 6–6 as the bowl eligible standard.”

5-7 Rutgers vs. 6-6 Colorado barnburners are off the table...for now. They’ve made no commitments about the future, however.

No, your eyes and instinct did not deceive you. The criminal negligence of the Fish medical staff damn near drove Tua into an early retirement last year.

Since that catastrophic double-concussion, Tua has doubled down on something he should have been doing for the last 5-6 years: learning to fall. Tagovailoa has been in Judo classes and working on body control going down. He needs it; he more than needs it. I’ve never seen someone who lands so awkwardly, so devastatingly on a more consistent basis.

247 has an interesting story on players they’re looking forward to seeing in the Spring game. I thought I would include Brent’s most anticipated:

CB – Earl Little II

Kool-Aid McKinstry is back as the most experienced cornerback on the road, and Terrion Arnold is, too, after starting seven games last season. But a lot of the corners have also worked at Star this spring, as Alabama attempts to replace four starters from its nickel secondary. One corner that has consistently manned the slot defensive back position is Little. The redshirt freshman has a chance to see the field this fall, especially if Malachi Moore plays at safety and Arnold sticks at cornerback. We’ll see if that holds up in this scrimmage.

Not only is this going to hold up in scrimmage, this will be your starting secondary: Kool-Aid and Terrion on the outside, Caleb at FS, Mal at SS, and Little at Star. THough, I would not be surprised to see Downs moved a bit early in his career. He’s a Minkah clone with potential to man the Star, free and outside spots. He’s a safety, for sure. But he’s got a lot of versatility. Meanwhile, Little is the next name to watch in outstanding corners. He could be a transformative Branch-type next year, or even move to the outside.

That said, I’m not looking forward most to the DBs or QBs. Nope, my eyes are going to be on two spots: Inside Linebacker — where Alabama has frankly been ghastly for half a decade, and the interior of both lines, where the Tide is thinner than Karen Carpenter at a Weight Watchers meeting and softer than Kat Dennings bustier.

Alabama has a whole lot riding on two emerging from: Dontae Lawson, Jihaad Campbell, Kendrick Blackshire, Trezmenn Marshall and Shawn Murphy on the inside. But that’s not all. Can Seth play more physical at Center? Is the Tide nastier at Guard? Did Oatis lose enough weight to be an every-down nose defender? How will Eboigbe’s health hold up?

Tell me what Alabama looks like right up the middle on both sides the ball on Saturday, and I will tell you how pessimistic I am for the season. These are not positions that you just instantly rebuild or improve in overnight. And, Alabama whiffed on several straight years of classes at these spots, as well as inexplicably chased Sanders off. It shows too.

CBS has Alabama No. 7 in their “never too early” preseason Hoops 25+1.

This ranking is based on the Crimson Tide returning five of the top seven scorers - everybody except Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley - from a team that won the SEC regular-season title and the SEC Tournament before securing the No. 1 overall seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Alabama should be the favorite to repeat as SEC champions.

When you look at it that way, then yes Alabama is in a lot better shape than many thought. But you can’t overlook replacing an entire coaching staff either. That there are three guys in the Draft lottery who are not committed to coming back even if they’re not drafted. Much will depend on Q, Sears, and Angry Chuck making a return appearance. But the sideline may have taken the biggest hit outside of Miller. The Tide staff returns only Nate Oats, the strength staff, and a backup redshirt towel’s going to take a while to get everyone singing from the same hymnal.

Another reserve DB hit the quitter hole yesterday. We see this late in the Spring every year, as A-Day rosters are starting to shake down. Players getting passed by, buried, and otherwise treading water. Such seemed to be the case with RS Fr. Tre’Quon Fagans.

GG see you down the road, maybe. This seems to be a depth chart casualty. There are a lot of young quality corners on the roster, and very few spots for them.


Matt Rhule is bringing back the FULLBACK to Nebraska football. I shit you not.

“So we’re doing a fullback camp this summer. We’re doing a one-day fullback camp. My thought process was there’s probably guys out there that play tight end. There’s probably guys out there that are big tailbacks. There’s probably guys in the wing-T that are fullbacks in other places across the country. Linebackers. They can come here for one day and just focus on one position: Play fullback.”

“You watch the 49ers and the versatility of (Kyle) Juszczyk. When you have a good one, they can add so much to your offense. People don’t see it very often. So we’d love to find one. We had a great one, Nick Sharga, at Temple who used to just demolish people. I’d love to find that type of kid here at Nebraska.”

Look, it’s nothing I would want with our roster, but you best believe Nubber will be appointment viewing for my Apostate Southerner self (the man long-called Big 10 at Heart)

Make Football Rugby Again

That’s it for today. Maybe? Maybe not. I have no idea. Have a great day though, in any event.


Fullbacks in 2023 college football...

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Will be catastrophic and hilarious in equal measure
    (30 votes)
  • 71%
    Could still have a place, with the right offense and conference
    (358 votes)
  • 10%
    Will likely never be more than a gimmick
    (54 votes)
  • 11%
    Will make me call my doctor. This is going to last a whole lot longer than four hours.
    (59 votes)
501 votes total Vote Now