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Jumbo Package: Alabama adds interior line help for 2024

As is his typical July fashion, Nick Saban is on an absolute tear on the recruiting trail right now.

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NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre Dame Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, check out CB’s coverage yesterday of Alabama’s newest commit, Casey Poe. With both Seth McLaughlin and Darrian Dalcourt being seniors, Alabama will have some holes along the interior next year that Poe will be able to immediately compete for with the flurry of other young, inexperienced players.

Poe’s commitment is significant to Alabama’s 2024 class as the Crimson Tide pulled a talented player out of Texas and addressed a position of need. Poe projects as an interior lineman but plays left tackle for his high school team; his lateral movement and good hand placement make him a strong asset at any position.

What’s most impressive about Poe is his ability as a run blocker. He plays with a mean streak and finishes blocks through the whistle, a play style that pairs nicely with Alabama’s culture. With expected departures along the interior of the offensive line after this season, Poe’s commitment adds much-needed depth.

After the trio of commitments this weekend, Alabama has jumped up to the 10th overall recruiting class in the country (from somewhere in the 20s), and things are only heating up. The highly sought after TE, Caleb Odom, is committing to someone this Saturday, and many are expecting it to be Alabama.

Which Alabama football players made Athlon Sports’ 2023 preseason All-SEC teams?

OL JC Latham– First team

CB/PR Kool-Aid McKinstry– First team

K Will Reichard– First team

RB Jase McClellan– Second team

C Seth McLaughlin– Second team

LB Dallas Turner– Second team

WR Ja’Corey Brooks– Third team

I think this is a pretty good list from Athlon Sports, at least based on what we’ve seen from some of these Alabama players. Kool-Aid is one of the best overall football players in the country, and JC Latham quietly put together a really solid debut season at tackle, and could very well develop into one of the top OL picked in next year’s draft.

I also think that second-year starters Jaheim Oatis and Terrion Arnold are both guys who could really put things together and become breakout players with a season of experience behind them now.

Alabama first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is a potential candidate in Northwestern’s coaching search, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. Rees hasn’t yet called a play for the Crimson Tide, but is believed to be on the target list for the Wildcats, who fired long-tenured coach Pat Fitzgerald this week following an investigation into alleged hazing that occurred under his watch.

“He’s entering his first season as Alabama’s offensive coordinator after a long tenure at Notre Dame, his alma mater. Despite being one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the country, Rees does have experience that Northwestern could value as it searches for a new head coach,” Feldman writes.

The list of early possible candidates for the job is vast, including several high-end Power Five coaches, current top-end coordinators — like Rees — and a few who could be looking to move up in the coaching ranks. Considering the Big Ten’s record-setting revenue numbers in recent years, Northwestern is a better job than most in other Power Five leagues not named the SEC.

Now that would be an interesting turn of events.

I have absolutely no idea what direction Nick Saban would go if Tommy Rees bolted at this point in the offseason. Maybe Holmon Wiggins would get his first shot at being an OC?

In any case, it seems pretty unlikely, as Rees is a guy that was barely qualified to be an OC at this point in his extremely young career, let alone a head coach.

Speaking of OC projects, check out this piece of work from the Aggies:

Joining forces with Saban worked out “famously well” for both sides, as Barrie said. Alabama won a national championship in 2015 and made another in 2016 before Kiffin was let go so he could take the Florida Atlantic job. Of course, Kiffin parlayed that into the Ole Miss job and maintains his special relationship with Saban.

Now, Fisher is taking a similarly unique path at OC. By bringing in Petrino — who had his own infamous firing after the motorcycle incident — he’s trying to catch lightning in a bottle just as Saban did with Kiffin. Petrino took Arkansas from a 5-7 record in 2008 to an 11-2 record in 2011. The offense also took strides, going from 21.9 points per game to 36.8 in that span.

So.... There’s some things to unpack here. First, Lane Kiffin had a reputation as a young offensive mastermind that was too immature for the head coaching jobs he wound up getting. Bobby Petrino? He had a good offense a decade and a half ago.... And he’s been fired for diminishing results at two more programs since then.

Second.... You’re comparing Jimbo Fisher to Nick Saban? Like, at all?