Happy Monday, everyone. It wasn’t a great weekend overall, as baseball battled but still dropped two of three in Fayetteville, softball won two of three but ended the weekend on a sour note against SEC doormat Mizzou, and gymnastics came in last at regional finals to end their season, despite coming in ranked higher than two of the four opponents. To be fair, the Gym Tide put up a nice 197.650, only to watch 16th-ranked Ohio State put up a program record score and 9th-ranked Kentucky do even better.
Noah Clowney has officially declared for the NBA Draft, which was expected.
“Ever since I could pick up a basketball, playing in the NBA has been a dream of mine,” Clowney wrote in a message thanking Alabama fans. “... Thank you to Coach Oats, all the coaches, trainers and basketball staff for preparing me every day to be great and challenging me to be the best version of myself.”
Clowney joins Brandon Miller, Charles Bediako and Jahvon Quinerly as other Alabama players who intend to test the professional waters. Miller is a projected top-five pick, Bediako and Quinerly are exploring interest from teams and Clowney is a late-first or early-second-round selection in some mock drafts.
Alabama has a decent chance to get Bediako and/or Quinerly back for another season, but Clowney seems to be gone for good. Hopefully he is able to grab a first round paycheck.
Nick Saban landed a huge lineman named Short.
Short, 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, chose Alabama over in-state Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and Clemson.
Short, the No. 70 recruit in the nation and No. 6 tackle according to the 247Sports Composite, plans to take another unofficial visit to Alabama on April 15 after visiting in January.
“When I first stepped on campus I felt at home,” Short told On3. “Especially after I was able to build relationships with the coaching staff. I felt that I could be developed into a better man, a better player, and be held accountable to play at my best against the best.”
At that height he will need to add some weight before he’s ready to play in the SEC, but he certainly sounds like a Saban recruit already and is only entering his junior year.
James Parks over at SI sees good things for the Tide this season.
Most people are talking about what Alabama is losing, but the Crimson Tide also boasts what could be the core of another high-profile quartet of playmakers on offense: dual-threat quarterback Jalen Milroe, wide receivers Jermaine Burton and Ja’Corey Brooks, and running back Jase McClellan, who shared the lead in rushing touchdowns on this team a year ago.
Bama returns plenty of depth on the defensive line and at linebacker, so shouldn’t be short of options to build on, but the departure of Will Anderson and Henry To’o To’o leaves two big holes to fill. This team lost two games (to Tennessee and LSU) by a combined four points last season; UT looks more beatable this year and LSU comes to Bryant-Denny.
So much of it will come down to the quarterback position. There has been a ton of buzz around Jalen Milroe after that video dropped. Hopefully he has made a big leap in his development as a passer, because with apologies to our other Jalen from Texas he is hands down the most explosive runner at the position that Alabama has had in the Saban era. There is a lot of talent on hand at QB, hopefully one of them is ready to be great.
Of course, whoever wins the QB job will need someone to throw to, and as Nick Kelly notes, Jermaine Burton came on strong late last season to look more like the player Alabama fans expected.
He had a 50-yard catch against Austin Peay. The next week in the Iron Bowl, Burton caught a pass for 52 yards. Then in the Sugar Bowl, Burton had a 47-yard catch.
In both the Iron Bowl and Sugar Bowl, he finished with three catches for 87 yards.
That’s 18 receptions for 350 yards and four touchdowns over the final four games of the season for an average of 4.5 receptions, 87.5 yards and a touchdown per game.
Burton and Ja’Corey Brooks should be the leaders of what could be a strong group, though Malik Benson has been getting some buzz.
I’m not sure that we’ve talked about him enough. Dude looks like a player.
When your CFF friends tell you to watch a player – you watch.— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) March 4, 2022
And you come away with this: Malik Benson, JUCO WR w/ offers to Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State, among others.@Leek_leek5 is definitely a name to watch. pic.twitter.com/2zw2OLEIYm
Nick Saban continues to lead as the program does good things in the community.
Terry Saban on Friday watched her husband, University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, paint the corner of a wall in the Habitat for Humanity house that Alabama players were helping paint and she decided to give the coach a few tips. Miss Terry adjusted the coach’s technique much like he might give pointers to one of his defensive backs on their correct hand position.
Even more evidence that Miss Terry may be the real brains behind The Process.
DJ Dale is looking like a middle rounder in the draft. As NFL.com notes, he was a bit miscast in the middle thanks to a smallish overall group of DL.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: Undersized nose tackle with good play strength and technique to make up for a lack of desired mass and length. Dale was a three-year starter for a talent-rich defense, using nimble feet and sudden hands to keep from being engulfed by bigger bodies. He can set edges or attack gaps but matchups against bigger NFL interior defenders will be much more challenging. A lack of desired size and pass rush might put a ceiling on his draft stock, but he should offer immediate rotational help as a middle-rounder.
Dale measured 6’1” and 302 lb.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.