Happy Monday, everyone. Guess what? Football practice starts on Wednesday!
Before kickoff on Sept. 2, Alabama will see how its roster developed since the spring in fall camp. Players are set to report next Wednesday, Aug. 2, with practices starting thereafter.
“The team is taking shape. We are still evolving as a team. Lots of new players, some experienced players to go with some of the good, young players that we have in the program. New coaches evolving into the system, and trying to get the young players on our team to be able to develop in the system and so far the players are very enthusiastic and very committed to developing the talent that we have on our team,” head coach Nick Saban said during SEC Media Days.
We will be along with positional previews and whatnot in the coming days.
Former Alabama golfers had a big weekend on the links. Lee Hodges won his first PGA tournament title...
“The process I went through, I’ll take this week forever,” Hodges said. “I’ll just try to keep replicating this week every time I show up to a tournament.”
Hodges, who started the day with a five-stroke lead on J.T. Poston, was up by three entering the par-5 last hole on his 65th career start. After Poston’s gofor- broke approach yielded a triple bogey, Hodges tapped in a short putt for his third birdie of the round.
“I had to try and give it a shot and see if there was some way I could make 3 there at the end and put some pressure on Lee,” Poston said.
The 28-year-old Alabama native hugged and hoisted his wife, Savannah, in celebration after she hustled out to the green to greet him. Then Jay Seawell, Hodges’ college coach at Alabama, surprised him with a special appearance and a milkshake in hand. Not bad for a guy from the small town of Ardmore.
“I’m super proud to be from there and represent those people,” Hodges said. “Man, I’m sure there is a party going on in north Alabama right now.”
...and Davis Shore won one on the Canadian circuit.
Matt Stahl refreshingly reported on upcoming position battles other than QB.
The left side is more of a question mark, though Saban and company have recruited the spot well. Kadyn Proctor could be a solution at the spot, coming in as a six-foot-seven, 330-pound true freshman from Des Moines, Iowa.
Proctor was the No. 1 ranked tackle in the most recent recruiting class according to 247Sports. However, he’ll have competition for the starting spot at tackle.
Elijah Pritchett, a redshirt freshman who played in two games last season for the Tide, also will factor in. He saw the field against Austin Peay and scored a knockdown block against Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.
Pritchett has a very long way to go if he is to start at tackle. My guess is that he ends up in the mix at guard, and Proctor locks up the left tackle spot. We shall soon see.
Of course, you can’t go a full day without talking QBs.
If Milroe or Simpson had distanced themselves with impressive play, Alabama wouldn’t have been in the market for an impact transfer. Buchner drew good reviews from Notre Dame’s coaches this spring, competing with Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman. “There was a reason why Tyler was the starter last year,” Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman told ESPN. “Tyler is an extremely talented football player. The problem is, he lost 10 games [to injury].” At Alabama, Buchner is competing with less-proven players in Milroe, who backed up Young in 2022, and Simpson, ESPN’s No. 34 overall recruit in the 2022 class. Milroe led Alabama’s offense for a game and a half when Young injured his shoulder, showcasing strong dual-threat ability by rushing for 172 yards on 23 carries against Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Barnett transferred out to Palomar College to be eligible to play for Arizona State. In 2018, he transferred again, this time to South Florida, where he played in 15 games over two season. In 2018, he passed for 2,705 yards (214-350, 12 TDs, 11 int.). Bateman ended up at Utah, but never played in a game. Cornwell transferred to Nevada, but ended up playing just one game in 2017.
Meanwhile, all four starting quarterbacks for Alabama since then have gone on to be first- or second-round draft selections and starters in the NFL. They all finished in the top three in voting for the Heisman Trophy (although Hurts did so at Oklahoma), with Bryce Young becoming the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the award in 2021.
This Texas bro has drunk all the Kool-Aid.
Texas is the better football team. It has more offensive playmakers, a better offensive line and, at the present time, a better quarterback than Alabama. There is no Quinn Ewers, Ja’Tavion Sanders, Xavier Worthy, AD Mitchell or Kelvin Banks suiting up for the Tide. There certainly aren’t any players like Isaiah Neyor or Jordan Whittington manning the third and fourth receiver spots.
The star power isn’t there for the Tide, but the team should face better playing conditions. The advantage for Alabama is a home field environment that will not be for the faint of heart. It still isn’t a valid excuse for the Longhorns losing the game this season.
Last, it has been widely predicted for about a month that Foley WR Perry Thompson would flip to Auburn, and he made it official.
Thompson added that wide receivers coach Marcus Davis and director of recruiting relations Trovon Reed were two members of AU’s staff who played a big role in his recruitment, saying the latter is like an uncle: “Just that family feeling.”
“When I get up here just know, we’re going to change Auburn around and get them back to how they was,” Thompson said.
“How they was” is 7-9 wins a year. Auburn has reached double digit wins twice in the past decade, five times in the last 20 years and 7 times in the last 30 years. Best of luck in getting them back there, Perry.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.