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Jumbo Package: Alabama golfer makes history, Kalen DeBoer lands a couple of transfers

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Syndication: Desert Sun Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Monday, everyone. It was about as awful a weekend possible on the hardwood, as the men were blown out by Tennessee and the women were blown out by Auburn. Fortunately the Gym Tide are looking as strong as they have in a few years at this stage of the season.

And, in case you somehow missed it, current Alabama golfer Nick Dunlap scored a rare amateur win on the PGA Tour.

Dunlap’s score of 29-under par was one stroke better than South African professional Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who finished second.

But despite besting a host of pro-golfers, he won’t be able to take home the $1,512,000 prize due to his amateur status.

Instead, runner-up Bezuidenhout will receive the first-place prize. The three players who tied for third place will be paid as if they finished in a three-way tie for second place.

“I’ve learned so much today, and I’m so grateful to be here,” Dunlap said in an interview posted by the PGA Tour page on X, formerly Twitter. “To see some of the people rooting for me was really special.”

Dunlap is the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since 1991, when a young Phil Mickelson won the Tucson Open. Dunlap is also the youngest amateur to win a tour event since 1910.

For some perspective, ~90% of American homes had no electricity in 1910. Just an incredible feat, and he isn’t allowed to take a dime of the prize money. Young Nick has a fine career ahead of him though.

In football news, Kalen Deboer added a couple of his former Washington players, first center Parker Brailsford and then receiver Germie Bernard.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Bernard recorded 738 all-purpose yards (419 receiving yards, two touchdowns) for the Huskies last season as they won a program-best 14 games on the way to the College Football Playoff National Championship game, where they lost 34-13 to Michigan.

Bernard, who transferred to Washington from Michigan State prior to last season, was part of a very talented receiver room for the Huskies. The quartet of Rome Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan and Bernard helped quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb (who has since joined DeBoer in the same role at Alabama) engineer the country’s second-best passing offense at 343.7 yards per game in 2023.

Bernard will essentially take the scholarship vacated by Isaiah Bond, and it’s interesting that he had more yards from scrimmage as Washington’s 4th leading receiver than Bond did as Alabama’s leader. We’re likely to sling the ball around quite a bit more this season, which will put a huge spotlight on the quarterback competition. As many have noted, it will be interesting to see Jalen Milroe play quarterback with consistent snaps. Chase Goodbread did some film work on Brailsford below.

Christopher Walsh wrote about how to honor Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa.

The Saban Expressway has a nice “ring” to it (pun intended). So does Champions Highway.

University: Nick Saban Field at Bryant-Denny Stadium sounds pretty good. But so does Bryant-Saban Stadium.

Generally speaking, removing someone’s name usually isn’t the way to go with something like this. But consider the following:

Denny Stadium, which opened in 1929 with a seating capacity of 6,000, was named in

honor of George Hutcheson Denny, the 15th president of the university who wisely used football as a way to promote the school. It was built to replace Denny Field, which was located a couple of blocks away from where the stadium was built and still stands (albeit much bigger).

It seems like a nice comprise, and better tribute for all involved, would be Denny Field at Bryant-Saban Stadium. Plus there’s still Denny Chimes in the heart of campus.

I’ll let y’all hash that out, but the man deserves the highest honor possible, to say the least.

Last, this is some fine news in my book.

The NFL rulebook states: “If a ball is fumbled in the field of play, and goes forward into the opponent’s end zone and over the end line or sideline, a touchback is awarded to the defensive team.” Although it’s a rare occurrence, seemingly every time this rule is enforced in a game, it is met with criticism.

Jones reported in September that one issue regarding a potential change was what the alternative ruling would be. Instead of automatically awarding possession to the defense, could the line of scrimmage for the fumbling party be pushed back to the 20-yard line? Could this be treated like an intentional grounding penalty with a loss of down?

Hey, that rule could have kept Taylor Swift Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs out of the next round, so now it has to be looked at. Seriously though, it’s a stupid rule with a very simple solution: a fumbled ball that goes out of bounds is returned to the spot of the fumble. This is how it’s done everywhere else on the football field, and I see no reason that the end zone would be any different. The defense should not gain possession without a legal recovery. Hopefully this gets fixed and then the college game follows.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.