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Jumbo Package: Examining the questions for 2023 as camp opens

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. The day before camp, Chase Goodbread and Nick Kelly are asking questions.

Is this Dallas Turner’s year to shine as Alabama’s primary edge rusher? And if it’s not, who else can generate heat on opposing quarterbacks? Questions elsewhere include turnover at tight end and defensive back, positions where UA said goodbye to Cam Latu, Jordan Battle and DeMarco Hellams. Apart from personnel, the woeful number of penalty flags that flew against Alabama last year demands some camp attention too, especially on the offensive line, which accounted for 27 of 103 flags in 2022.

Camp gates open Thursday.

Answers begin unfolding in a month, and quarterback is only one of many.

It’s finally August, so the answers will be here sooner than later. Kelly asserts that who Alabama will start at QB is less critical than what they will need from the position.

The supporting cast around the starting quarterback this season figures to be improved, perhaps greatly. New additions such as running back Justice Haynes, receiver Malik Benson and tight end CJ Dippre figure to make an impact early. Plus, young receivers such as Isaiah Bond, Kendrick Law, Emmanuel Henderson and Kobe Prentice sit in a prime spot to take a big step forward in their sophomore seasons. Tight end Amari Niblack figures to have an opportunity to do the same in his sophomore season. With veterans such as running back Jase McClellan and receivers Ja’Corey Brooks and Jermaine Burton also in the fold, Alabama has plenty of intriguing weapons competing for snaps.

In other words, playmakers don’t figure to be in short supply. Maybe not all will be big-time threats, but there should be enough who emerge from that group

A couple of recruiting nuggets for you on this Tuesday:

It should be noted that class rankings aren’t finalized in July and Alabama doesn’t gauge its success on the trail via other people’s evaluations. Still, the pure number of decisions in Freeze’s favor is a building block for the new coach, especially with arguably more talented prospects in the class of 2025, including 5-star Auburn legacy and Tide commit Ryan Williams of Saraland.

Here are four of Alabama’s remaining undecided prospects and where they’re trending as the season nears.

Gilbert’s decommitment from Ohio State football is a welcome turn of events for the legendary coach. Saban lost five-star wide receiver Perry Thompson to his fiercest in-state rival Auburn football this past weekend.

Thompson could’ve beefed up Alabama football’s wide receiver corps for the 2024 NCAA campaign. Unfortunately, Saban will coach against him next season. The best-case scenario for him is seeing Jontae Gilber and Alabama football getting the better of Perry Thompson and Auburn in the 2025 Iron Bowl and beyond.

Last, odds seem to be increasing that the Pac 12 falls apart.

Or Robbins can view Colorado as a rat jumping off a sinking ship, lose patience with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff’s oft-delayed (and perhaps cash-poor) media rights deal and follow the Buffs to the Big 12.

To do so, UA would either have to navigate its partnership with Arizona State or bring the Sun Devils along with them (the two schools share a board of regents). If so, Utah would likely follow.

And just like that the once-proud Pac-12, the so-called Conference of Champions, would look like a crumbled Jenga Tower – Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State trying to piece together a future while individually seeking any better option available.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.