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Jumbo Package: Jase McClellan expected to declare for NFL Draft

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 CFP Semifinal - Rose Bowl Game - Alabama vs Michigan Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. If you are so inclined, Michigan will play Washington for the College Football Playoff championship. Should Washington win, that will make two consecutive national champions won by Super Senior quarterbacks, in addition to this year’s Heisman winner. 2025 will be the final year of Super Seniors unless someone is able to get an injury waiver for a seventh year. COVID affected things that are much more important than college football, but the stain it left on this sport is almost gone.

It was a profitable weekend from a recruiting standpoint.

On Saturday, Alabama football put the finishing touches on its 2024 high school recruiting class with two blue-chip commitments, both at a position of need. Four-star running back Daniel Hill and four-star defensive back Zay Mincey both announced their commitments to the Crimson Tide during the All-American Game (formerly the Army All-American game) in San Antonio, Texas. Both players signed privately during the early signing period and made those signings public Saturday.

Hill had two touchdowns in the game and Mincey had this athletic interception.

We’re still waiting to hear from Jase McClellan. According to Nick Kelly, he is leaning toward declaring for the NFL Draft with an announcement likely to come soon. If that is the path he chooses, best of luck to him as he pursues his dream. Alabama should be fine with Hill and classmate Kevin Riley joining Jam Miller, Justice Haynes, and Richard Young.

Matt Stahl has a late portal recap for you.

Malik Benson– Wide receiver

The speedy receiver, who transferred to Alabama from the junior college level before the 2023 season, entered the portal after the Michigan game. He finished the year with 13 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Earl Little II– Defensive back (Florida State)

Little, who suffered through shoulder injuries throughout his time in Tuscaloosa, never became a major contributor on defense for the Tide. He committed to Florida State on Saturday.

Both of those guys have been offered by Florida State, as was Roydell Williams. A fanbase that made so much noise about being better than Alabama this year is trying to fill out next year’s squad with our second string.

Greg Sankey called out the ridiculousness of it all.

“I didn’t need so many incoming emails I received,” Sankey said. “I can only imagine hearing from those on the selection committee who are volunteers what they received. I think some of the statements made in the immediacy of selection were disappointing to me as a colleague, and I would maintain that the strength of our league — sure we lost some games — but as I look at what were the four best teams, I would maintain that we had two of those four.

“But again, the selection committee makes that decision, and we respect the decision.”

Michael Casagrande wrote about memories from the 2023 season.

A few days later, Alabama’s bid to crawl from the depths of September ended with a late-game slide in the Rose Bowl. A play away from sealing the win, the Tide saw Michigan march down the field to tie the game in regulation and win it in overtime.

The 27-20 loss will forever be remembered for what could have been.

Instead, Alabama players sit at home Monday night and watch the first SEC-free national title game since they were in elementary school on the final night of the 2023 season a week deep into 2024.

Last, Derrick Henry may well be moving on, and if so then he leaves Tennessee with a bang.

If Derrick Henry’s career with the Tennessee Titans truly is over, the four-time Pro Bowl running back and two-time NFL rushing champ made his finale a day to remember.

Henry ran for a season-high 153 yards, reeling off an 18-yard touchdown run and a 69-yarder to set up the clinching score to help the Titans beat their oldest division rival 28-20 and cost the Jacksonville Jaguars a second straight AFC South title.

“This is a great way to go out, especially against a division opponent, an opponent that I grew [up] down the street watching and looking at and following as a kid growing up,” Henry said. “So it’s all full circle, which is great to be able to finish with the win and finish with class.”

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

Roll Tide.