Happy Monday, everyone. We have reached SEC Media Days, which always signifies that the season is getting closer. As usual, Saban will speak on Wednesday, joined this year by JC Latham, Kool Aid McKinstry, and Dallas Turner. Today’s slate includes LSU, Mizzou, and Texas A&M.
I don’t think we need to tell you what will be at the top of everyone’s mind where Alabama is concerned.
Bryce Young is gone after being taken No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner was the key to Alabama’s offense for the past two seasons and replacing him will be difficult.
The candidates during spring practice included sophomore Jalen Milroe and redshirt freshman Ty Simpson. After neither of them stood out, Nick Saban brought in Tyler Buchner from Notre Dame in from the transfer portal.
Saban isn’t likely to have an answer when he takes the podium on Wednesday, but he and new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who coached Buchner at Notre Dame, need to make the right choice if the Tide are to regain control of the SEC.
For his money, Greg McElroy is pretty confident that Alabama will get good QB play from someone.
“But Ohio State, we give them the benefit of the quarterback. When was the last time the quarterback spot was a liability at Alabama? You’re gonna say 2010, 2009. Fair enough. I was quarterback then. I get it. I can take those jabs. Have absorbed them before and will do so again. But it has not been a liability enough to the point in which they are losing a bunch of games because of their quarterback play. It’s been since 2007 since that’s been the case. Or even before that, I don’t even know when. That was Nick Saban’s first year. I mean, I don’t even know. It’s been a while since they’ve lost a bunch of games in the season because of their quarterback play.
This is my feeling as well, but until we see it on the field, that position will be a huge question mark.
Travaris Robinson will have some additional responsibility this year.
Robinson has likely been coaching the entire secondary all offseason for Alabama with Kelly’s absence, which is not something new for the coaching veteran.
Last season was actually the first time in a long time that Robinson has specifically coached just one position group, dating back to when he was the cornerbacks coach at Southern Miss in 2009. Between then and last season he’s coached the entire defensive back unit at five different programs, three of which were SEC schools and includes a five year stint with South Carolina where he also served as the Gamecocks defensive coordnitor.
Alabama also published the jersey numbers for the newest additions.
Seven players were issued their new numbers after enrolling in the program this summer. They included quarterback Tyler Buchner (#8) and a couple of highly-touted prospects like Keon Keely (#31). The full list:
Tyler Buchner, QB – 8
Jaylen Key, DB – 22
Trey Amos, DB – 23
Richard Young, RB –25
Keon Keeley, LB – 31
Conor Talty, PK – 31
Yhonzae Pierre, LB - 42
With the addition of Caleb Odom, the handwringers over recruiting are left looking silly again.
It’s still somewhat early in the cycle, but with the commitment of four-star tight end Caleb Odom on Saturday, Alabama football moved up in the 2024 class rankings. Before he announced his intent to join Nick Saban and and company in Tuscaloosa, the Tide were No. 14 in the 247Sports composite.
Now, Alabama is fifth. The Tide has some heavy hitters ahead of it, with Georgia topping the rankings, followed by Ohio State, Florida and Michigan.
However, each of those schools has at least 18 listed commitments, and three of them have more than 20. Alabama has just 14.
Once Saban fills out his class, it will be right there competing for the top spot as usual. It’s good to see Billy Napier finally making some noise on the trail for Florida as well. Georgia needs a little competition in that division.
Last, the football turf was revamped with the latest technology. Article is behind a paywall so I will embed the tweet.
#Alabama installs new 'state-of-the-art' playing surface, SubAir system at Bryant-Denny Stadium— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) July 16, 2023
"To have the ability to keep that field at the same level that we have in September into December now, it's exciting for us, our players, our fans."https://t.co/Q3GMPzVBsr (On3+) pic.twitter.com/VLlPsvntZZ
The key feature of the SubAir system is a vacuum to suck moisture off the field when necessary. The Today Show recently featured the same system that was installed by the Philadelphia Eagles.
A better field reduces injuries and randomness in the games, both of which benefit Alabama. Insert your gripes about money being spent on football and not a basketball arena here.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.