• #101 by jbcarol on 18 Jan 2016
  • sports ‏@aldotcomSports 18m18 minutes ago

    The good news for Nick Saban is the Crimson Tide never has to rebuild, it simply reloads.

    Bama will likely have three players drafted in the first round, and that's not even including its Heisman Trophy winner. Bama loses its starting quarterback (Jake Coker), the nation's top running back (Derrick Henry), the nation's top center (Ryan Kelly), two of the nation's top defensive linemen (Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson) and its unquestioned defensive leader (Reggie Ragland).

    It doesn't hurt that top talent like Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams decided to return for another year rather than head to the NFL.

    What can fans expect in 2016? It's a long way before Alabama kicks off the season against USC in Dallas, but with departures all but finalized, here is an early look at what to expect from Alabama football's 2016 depth chart (via link above).
  • #102 by jbcarol on 21 Jan 2016
  • Michael DeCourcy ‏@tsnmike 2h2 hours ago

    #BBN #RockChalk and #CameronCrazies have same big problem. #Kentucky #Kansas and Duke are short on capable big guys.

    Why is Kentucky 13-4 overall, standing fifth in the Southeastern Conference and facing a tough road game Thursday at Arkansas? Why is Kansas 15-3, fourth in the Big 12 and recovering from a 19-point loss to an Oklahoma State team that had been flirting with the .500 mark? Why is Duke, the reigning national champion, enduring a three-game losing streak that dropped the Blue Devils to 14-5 and eighth in the Atlantic Coast Conference?

    Each of these three teams features guards who are talented or experienced or, in many cases, both. Duke’s three starting perimeter players average 45.1 points per game, followed by Kentucky’s 42.9 and Kansas’ 38.2. Together, however, they are 10-7 in 2016.

    Because, in the end, you need players to win. Guards, forwards, even centers. Bigs and smalls.


    Glaring issue: Although Kentucky isn’t asking its two starting frontcourt players to do much more than play hard – to rebound and defend – Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee haven’t consistently managed even that. And, worse, when they fail they invariably fail together. So Kentucky’s perimeter players are left to try to win many of the most challenging games on their own.

    Obvious symptom: In the two most recent losses, Poythress, Lee and freshman Skal Labissiere averaged a combined 48 minutes, 10 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 personal fouls. That’s the nice way of putting it. Per man, that’s 16 minutes, 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.3 fouls. Seriously.
  • #103 by jbcarol on 21 Feb 2016
  • Top SEC committed '17 Running Backs

    Najee Harris      6.1  Bama  Antioch Senior          #1 RB, #1 CA, #5 US

    Cam Akers        6.0  Bama  Clinton                     #2 RB, #1 MS, #21 US

    Brian Robinson  5.8  Bama  Tuscaloosa Hillcrest   #8 RB, #5 AL, #135 US
  • #104 by jbcarol on 01 Mar 2016
  • Bama’s 2016 running backs.
    Notable departures: Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake

    No program in the country has matched Alabama’s string of starting running backs since Saban arrived in 2007.

    Bo Scarbrough: 5-star sophomore from Tuscaloosa County High was one of the nation’s highest-rated prep players before enrolling at Alabama in January 2015. He saw limited action behind Henry and Drake, but showed enough to his older teammates to warrant serious hype. 6-foot-2, 235-pound Scarbrough has the ability to plow through defenders or use his surprising speed to race around them. An iffy right knee (torn ACL) is perhaps the only potential roadblock.

    Damien Harris: 5-foot-11, 205-pound sophomore, will provide the primary competition in spring camp.

    The best running back in the Class of 2015 got more playing time than Scarbrough last season, racking up 170 total yards and a touchdown while pitching in on kick returns. It’s widely speculated that Scarbrough and Harris will work as a tandem in 2016...

    Ronnie Clark is a flexible athlete who is more likely to contribute at defensive back, while Derrick Gore is a junior-college transfer who carried the ball six times last season and contributed on special teams coverage.
  • #105 by jbcarol on 04 Mar 2016
  • sports ‏@aldotcomSports 14h14 hours ago

    ICYMI, #Alabama lost talented RB commit Cam Akers, the Tide's second decommitment of the day:

    Cam Akers, a highly-regarded four-star running back from Clinton, Miss., announced his decommitment from Alabama on Thursday afternoon.

    The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Akers committed to Alabama last Aug. 4. According to the 247Sports composite, Akers is the No. 36 overall prospect and No. 1 player in the state of Mississippi.

    Bama still has two running backs committed in Antioch, Calif., five-star standout Najee Harris and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa four-star recruit Brian Robinson. Harris is the top prospect in the country, per the 247Sports composite.

    Cam Akers, a four-star running back from Clinton (Miss.) High School, announced his intentions to de-commit via his Twitter account.

    Akers recently visited Georgia and is high on the program. He also told SEC Country recently he plans on visiting Auburn after he picked up an offer from the Tigers last week.

    Crimson Tide still have two other running backs committed in this year’s recruiting class, with the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit in Najee Harris and four-star Brian Robinson, who is from Tuscaloosa.

    Even when Alabama had all three of those guys committed, the Crimson Tide were recruiting four-stars D’Andre Swift and Anthony McFarland, to name a few.
  • #106 by jbcarol on 09 Mar 2016
  • ESPN SEC ‏@ESPN_SEC 23h23 hours ago

    No. 1 RB Najee Harris committed to Alabama, still open to others...
  • #107 by jbcarol on 10 Mar 2016
  • Bruce Feldman ‏@BruceFeldmanCFB 14h14 hours ago

    Bruce Feldman Retweeted Ian Rapoport

    How loaded was #LSU's secondary?! Brooks was there 5 years and started 3 games in his career & gets this $$$ deal.

    Ian Rapoport Verified account

    #Eagles signed Ron Brooks to a 3-year deal worth $6M, source said. It can be worth up to $8.7M with playtime incentives. A Jim Schwartz guy
  • #108 by jbcarol on 11 Mar 2016
  • Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_CJ 13m13 minutes ago

    Sharing once more, with a look at the print treatment today for UK's Post Whisperer.

    When it comes to big men, Payne apparently has healing hands.

    “I spent a lot of time with him,” Labissiere said. “He’s definitely been on my side the whole year, pushing me every day, and that’s all I can ask for. I’m very thankful for him.”

    The magic usually kicks in before the final week of the regular season, but it always eventually does. When he was recruiting them, Payne gave post players Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns – all of whom became NBA lottery picks in the last four years – the same message.

    “There are going to be times that I’m going to be more committed than you’re going to be, and I’m OK with it, because at the end of the day, I’m never letting go,” Payne said. “When you give me 100 percent effort, I’m going to find a way to beg for 110. It may be from me hugging you. It may be me threatening to kill you, but I’m doing it out of love. Because success is not optional.”

    Labissiere really put that theory to the test this season, though. The 6-foot-11 forward with a smooth jump shot came to Kentucky hyped as another potential No. 1 overall pick, like Davis and Towns before him, but fell out of the starting lineup after 11 games and nearly disappeared altogether during Southeastern Conference play.

    He averaged 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds during his first 16 league games and was widely written off as a bust. During a particularly low moment, Labissiere said something that stopped Payne in his tracks: It’s like I’m the only one who has been through this.

    “And I had to take a step back and say, ‘Wow, he really doesn’t know,’” Payne said. “He didn’t recognize that Anthony Davis didn’t walk in the door just dominating. Even though Karl talked to him about it, he didn’t really understand that Karl struggled in the beginning. And as hard as he thinks (coach John Calipari) is pushing him, Cal was all over Karl Towns.”
  • #109 by jbcarol on 26 Mar 2016
  • How can John Calipari fit another recruit on the 2016-17 roster?

    My guess is Kentucky gets Marques Bolden, who plans to announce before his birthday on April 17, but if Jarrett Allen was ready to commit first and the choice was the Cats, they’d take him. Both are five-star big men who would round out what is already the No. 1 class in the country and assure UK of frontcourt depth it was missing this season... Evan Daniels broke it down very well, adding that while not the favorites for Allen, the Cats aren’t out of that race. The Bolden sweepstakes is officially down to UK, Duke and TCU (Bolden is a Texas native), although you have to think only Blue Devils are a serious threat. My moderately informed prediction is Bolden to Kentucky.

    I’ve not heard much about Tai Wynyard, the freshman from New Zealand who enrolled in December and redshirted this season, other than the fact that he’s very strong, is a good rebounder and sets vicious screens. As for his future role, it’s hard to say he’ll “forever” be a role player coming off the bench, but that’s certainly the expectation for next season. In addition to potentially having 6-9 seniors Marcus Lee and Derek Willis and 7-foot sophomore Isaac Humphries, the Cats have already signed 6-9 Bam Adebayo, 6-10 Wenyen Gabriel and 6-10 Sacha Killeya-Jones (all five-star forwards) – with the distinct possibility they’ll add 6-11 Marques Bolden, the nation’s No. 1 center in the Class of 2016. So … where’s Wynyard’s playing time coming from? He might get some in a very specific role, but a starting spot seems highly unlikely. Predicting his future beyond the next year, though, is foolish, because Kentucky’s roster is constantly in flux.

    So, yeah, if UK adds Bolden, Allen or any other player in the Class of 2016 – and John Calipari has said publicly he wants to add one more big man – it creates a numbers crunch. Every program is allowed 13 scholarship players at any given point. The Cats have already signed five new players and plan to add a sixth, so they’d need to clear six scholarships from the current roster...

    Poythress is definitely gone. Murray, Labissiere and Ulis are projected first-round NBA draft picks and thus expected to leave school early. So that’s probably four freed-up scholarships. Floreal came to UK as a walk-on and, as the son of the Cats’ track coach, I’d imagine he could easily go off scholarship again next season. So that’s five. Now where does that sixth scholarship come from for Bolden, Allen or a recruit to be named later?

    Briscoe and Lee have pro potential but their stock isn’t high right now, so they’d probably have to earn a combine invite and shine there to feel good about leaving. Those two are no sure things, and I’d predict at least one will stay. If both do, Kentucky would need someone else on the roster to transfer. Might it be Matthews, who played very little last season, or Mulder, the JUCO transfer who played even less? Some have speculated that Lee might play his final season of eligibility elsewhere as a graduate transfer –
  • #110 by jbcarol on 01 Apr 2016
  • sports ‏@aldotcomSports 11h11 hours ago

    A former No. 1 overall recruit, Da'Shawn Hand has had to be patient at #Alabama: 

    Talked to the Hand
    Despite his talent and credentials, Hand stepped into possibly the deepest defensive line depth chart in memory. For two years, he studied the science of A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed to reach this spring practice in position to make good on the recruiting hype.

    Reed and Robinson are now projected first-round draft picks. It's Hand's turn. Along with rising senior Dalvin Tomlinson, Hand is getting almost all the first-team reps this spring, Nick Saban said.

    Lessons remain from the two guys credited with developing an identity for the Alabama defensive line. Hand explained what they taught him.

    "Technique, man," Hand said. "Man, when I got out of high school, it was like one little step and the whole play can go by you. That was the biggest thing. Keeping your feet set and striking out first. Hips and hands and your feet will follow. In high school you could run and make a play because you were bigger and faster, but now everyone is bigger and faster. So it really comes down to technique."
  • #111 by jbcarol on 13 Apr 2016
  • Chris Low ‏@ClowESPN 16h16 hours ago

    Saban told me the Tide are thin at RB behind Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. Big opportunity for freshman B.J. Emmons to come in and play.
  • #112 by jbcarol on 20 Apr 2016
  • Alabama is still Alabama

    The simplest description of the absurdity of Alabama’s depth is that Rashaan Evans is being used by the Crimson Tide as an inside linebacker. Don’t get me wrong. He’ll be fabulous at that position. In fact, he had 17 tackles from that spot in the spring game.

    The point is that Evans is the kind of player that would anchor the pass rush for almost any other team in the country. Playing that caliber of athlete at inside linebacker is a luxury most programs can’t even imagine. It’s like having a Ferrari that you only drive to the supermarket.
  • #113 by jbcarol on 30 Apr 2016
  • Aaron Suttles ‏@AaronSuttles 10h10 hours ago

    Alabama has now had eight running backs drafted in the Saban era. Coffee, Ingram, Richardson, Lacy, Yeldon, Fowler, Henry and Drake.
  • #114 by jbcarol on 15 May 2016

    It can be a delicate balance with four scholarship quarterbacks vying for the spot vacated by Jake Coker's graduation. Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell, Blake Barnett and Jalen Hurts remain in the hunt.

    On one hand, coaches are looking for a starter while keeping depth for the unforeseen. There's also the reality that four former top recruits can't all start this fall. And with younger players in the running, it could be a few years before the job opens again.

    So how does Nick Saban manage the balance of keeping everyone satisfied in such a competitive environment?

    "We're giving everybody a fair opportunity and everyone knows they're getting a fair opportunity," Saban said Friday. "I think somebody has got to take the bull by the horns and sorta win the team over. I think somebody has to do that. That's not something I can make happen. That's not something I can do for them.

    "Hopefully they're all committed to their team and happy at the University of Alabama and continue to compete in that regard."
  • #115 by jbcarol on 18 May 2016
  • #116 by jbcarol on 27 May 2016
  • Todd Gurley: UGa deserves ‘RBU’ title over SEC powerhouses. Would know.

    There’s no denying the caliber of running backs that have come out of LSU in recent years, highlighted by current sensation and preseason Heisman Trophy favorite Leonard Fournette. The Crimson Tide have of course churned out a steady stream of all-star rushers, as well, including Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and reigning Heisman winner Derrick Henry.

    Gurley, of course, was one of the most dominant players at the position before his college career was cut short by a torn ACL. The Bulldogs’ backfield of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Elijah Holyfield may well end up being the most dynamic running back group in college football this fall.

    “That’s what we do at Georgia, we breed running backs. We’re Running Back U,” Gurley said. “LSU might think they’re Running Back U. Y’all after us and then maybe Bama.”
  • #117 by jbcarol on 09 Jun 2016

    So to the surprise of some, Alabama added a second quarterback to its 2017 class when Jacksonville, Fla., four-star Mac Jones committed on Tuesday.

    He joins four-star Tua Tagovailoa from Hawaii in the fold. Will both sign with the Crimson Tide? Of course.

    It probably means that one of the current quarterbacks for Alabama will end up traveling, as all have at least two seasons of eligibility left beginning this fall. Cooper Bateman is a junior, David Cornwell a sophomore, Blake Barnett a redshirt freshman and Jalen Hurts a true freshman.

    Do you see Alabama carrying six scholarship quarterbacks in the fall of 2017? I don't.
  • #118 by jbcarol on 15 Jun 2016


        Starter: Sony Michel, Jr.; and Nick Chubb, Jr.
        Backups: Brendan Douglas, Sr.
        Others: Tae Crowder, R-Fr.; Shaquery Wilson, Soph.
        On the way: Elijah Holyfield, Fr.; Brian Herrien, Fr
        The skinny: Michel may not be the superstar that Chubb is, but he’s still pretty good.
  • #119 by jbcarol on 17 Jun 2016

    This weekend is highlighted by 4-star wide receiver Jeff Thomas from East Saint Louis, Ill. Thomas had previously named Alabama his leader.

    Wide receiver spots are going to be tight considering 4-stars Devonta Smith (Amite, La.), Jerry Jeudy (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Henry Ruggs III (Montgomery, Ala.) are near locks for the Tide. Also, 4-star Tyrell Shavers (Lewisville, Texas) committed to Alabama earlier this week.

    The question with Thomas becomes will Alabama take five receivers? And if so, will the Tide take a commitment from him? Alabama would certainly take a commitment from 4-star Nico Collins (Pinson, Ala.) if he wants to join on National Signing Day, but the interest level in Thomas from the staff is unknown. Thomas rarely talks to the media and doesn’t talk much with college coaches either...

    If Thomas wants to commit this weekend, perhaps Alabama accepts his commitment. This could be his only chance to join the Tide if he wants in this class with wide receiver appearing nearly locked up.
  • #120 by jbcarol on 29 Jul 2016

    Bama now has two commitments at wide receiver with 4-star Tyrell Shavers being the other prospect.

    The Crimson Tide is expected to sign at least four wide receivers in the Class of 2017, and it’s very possible the team’s top targets are all committed before Alabama kicks off the season against Southern California.

    Devonta Smith, 4-star, Amite, La.
    Smith is scheduled to announce his commitment on Aug. 15. It would be a surprise if he chose anywhere other than Alabama.

    Henry Ruggs, 4-star, Montgomery, Ala.
    Ruggs was supposed to make his commitment on Aug. 1, but he recently delayed his decision after trips to Penn $tate and Auburn.

    Nico Collins, 4-star, Pinson, Ala.
    At one point, Collins was viewed as a lock for Alabama.

    Jeff Thomas, 4-star, East St. Louis, Ill.
    Anointed the fastest man at The Opening, Thomas currently has Alabama on top in his recruitment.

    Tarik Black, 4-star, Cheshire, Conn.
  • #121 by jbcarol on 11 Aug 2016

    6-foot, 190-pound Sheffield has gotten better, more comfortable and more confident after some struggles learning Alabama's defense and different things technique-wise since arriving in Tuscaloosa.

    "Kendall Sheffield, I think we just keep trying to work reps, reps, reps so that he can play his position with a little more naturally instinctive reactions," coach Nick Saban said. "He certainly has a lot of ability, and we're certainly trying to bring it out of him in every way we can. Right now it's a work in progress and he is making progress."

    It's a good sign for Sheffield, the super-athletic former five-star recruit who is entering his redshirt freshman season.
  • #122 by jbcarol on 20 Dec 2016

    having to play tailback on the Scout Team against that defense for four years along with the seven other five stars?


    He had that covered.

    “My single biggest fear every day was that I did not want to be the guy who caused the winning to stop,” Henry says.
  • #123 by jbcarol on 07 Jan 2017
  • Chris Low ‏@ClowESPN Dec 31

    Bo Scarbrough's career-high 180 rushing yards included 120 yards after contact, the most yards after contact for a Bama player in 5 seasons.
  • #124 by jbcarol on 08 Jan 2017
  • #125 by jbcarol on 09 Jan 2017
  • #126 by jbcarol on 10 Jan 2017
  • Chris Low: Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough, who was the Crimson Tide's most effective offensive weapon before leaving the game late in the third quarter, suffered a broken bone in his lower right leg against Clemson on Monday night

    Scarbrough, who was taken to the locker room after being dragged down from behind on a tackle, had rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in the Crimson Tide's 35-31 loss in the College Football Playoff National Championship...
  • #127 by jbcarol on 02 Feb 2017

    Saban expressed disappointment about the absence of an elite cornerback in the 26-person class , according to 247Sports. Only Kyriq McDonald comes close to fitting the profile and according to that scouting website the Madison product is a three-star recruit.

    "We obviously try to identify needs that we have each year and I think in this class we sort of hit every spot but one," Saban said. "We wanted to recruit at least one corner, maybe two. It just worked out that it didn't happen that way for us."

    It's somewhat odd that it didn't. Saban's area of specialty, after all, is the secondary.

    "There are not many things he hasn't seen or he doesn't have an answer for," said Derrick Ansley, who has the title of defensive backs coach at Alabama.

    The positions on the back end of the defense are highly valued by the Tide, which used its nickel and dime packages 85 percent of the time in 2016. Last season, Alabama played seven different cornerbacks. Explaining why Alabama wasn't able to land many players at that position this year after signing four in 2016, Saban pointed to the the seismic shift within the sport that favors the side responsible for producing touchdowns.

    "There are more skill guys on offense, just like in the draft," Saban explained. "Probably the number one position that has the greatest number of players to choose from is receiver. When we're out there recruiting, there are a lot of receivers out there to recruit. It's harder to find defensive players. If I were a high school coach, I would put my best players on offense.

    "The best athletes on my team I would give them the ball and score points. I wouldn't play them on defense. I would play them where they can get the ball and score points. So, sometimes you got to look at it like maybe this guy is not playing the position he could play so maybe he'll end up playing something else."

    To illustrate his point, Saban specifically mentioned Cyrus Jones, the former Alabama player who converted from wideout to defensive back his sophomore season and was later drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots.

    Of course, Saban could have also used a more recent example and dropped Eddie Jackson's name. Jackson came to Alabama known primarily as a three-star receiver before leaving as an all-conference safety. Saban left open the possibility that some of the players in the current signing class could also switch positions.

    "We may have to look at some guys on our team like that," he said. "But I can't say who right now until they get here."
  • #128 by jbcarol on 02 Feb 2017
  • #129 by jbcarol on 02 Feb 2017

    ATHENS – There were only three additions to Georgia’s signing class on signing day itself. They were all cornerbacks. They made it a total of five cornerbacks in the class, along with two safeties.

    Naturally, that brings us to Mecole Hardman.

    Hardman was one of the premier members of last year’s class, but hardly ever saw the field at cornerback, a position he was adjusting to after playing mostly offense in high school. And even though Georgia also loaded up at receiver this year, could Hardman move back to offense as a sophomore?

    “That’s certainly a good thought”
    -- head coach Kirby Smart

    Georgia lost nickel back Maurice Smith, who was a senior, and saw the transfers of Rico McGraw, Juwuan Briscoe and Kirby Choates. Who’s left? Smart cited the number of cornerbacks being available this spring as being four. That would appear to definitely include Hardman, the returning starters (Malkom Parrish and Deandre Baker), and top reserve Tyrique McGhee. Then it depends on how you categorize Aaron Davis (a starter at cornerback and safety), Reggie Wilkerson (a reserve at safety and cornerback), and J.R. Reed, a transfer who sat out last year.

    “So it’s not a situation where we are going to be able to throw guys out there at corner and move him around,” Smart said of Hardman. “He was developing nicely at corner and we want him to continue to do that. But we’ll have to find ways to get Mecole the ball or use him more on defense because he’s certainly a more skilled athlete.”

    Smart and Mel Tucker (defensive coordinator and secondary coach) may be worried about the cornerback numbers now, but they should be fine this preseason. And taller.

    The current cornerbacks are under 6-feet tall.

    five that Georgia signed are all over 6-foot: William Poole (6-0), Latavious Brini (6-2), Ameer Speed (6-3), Eric Stokes (6-1) and Tray Bishop (6-2).

    “Length, man. We had to get length”
    -- Smart
  • #130 by jbcarol on 06 Feb 2017

        Returning starters: Dominick Sanders, Sr.
        Others returning: Reggie Wilkerson, Sr.; Rashad Roundtree, Jr.*
        Early enrollees: Richard LeCounte, Fr.; DeAngelo Gibbs, Fr.
        Analysis: Sanders seriously entertained during pro, but he’s back and will begin the year needing 5 interceptions to break the career school record, currently held by Rambo and Jake Scott.
        Bottom line: Sanders is the starter. The battle behind him will be interesting to watch

        Returning starters: Aaron Davis, Sr.
        Others returning: Jarvis Wilson, Jr.
        Early enrollees: LeCounte, Gibbs
        Analysis: Davis has quietly been a stalwart of the secondary the past three years, starting 30 games despite coming to the team as a walk-on four years ago. That doesn’t mean Davis is ensured a starting spot.
        Bottom line: This might get sorted out over spring. Davis has about a 75 percent chance — that’s this reporter’s guess — to start either at strong safety or nickel back. LeCounte and Gibbs will get a lot of attention, but don’t count out Wilson.
  • #131 by jbcarol on 09 Feb 2017

    Chadarius Townsend was sharing what Alabama coaches have told him, that they think he's capable of playing either wide receiver or defensive back.

    Then he smiled.

    "But I like the offensive side better, so I'm going to try that," a smiling Townsend said.

    The 6-foot, 190-pound Townsend gives Alabama flexibility.

    Crimson Tide coaches have told the four-star athlete from Tanner that he reminds them of ArDarius Stewart, a fellow high school quarterback who developed into a first-team All-SEC wide receiver for the Tide.

    Expect Townsend to line up at DB.
  • #132 by jbcarol on 17 Feb 2017
  • Recruiting rankings for the consensus top five SEC signed '17 WRs

    Jerry Jeudy             .9878  Bama  Deerfield Beach       #3 WR, #5 FL, #21 US

    Davonta Smith        .9679  Bama  Amite                    #9 WR, #2 LA, #64 US

    Jhamon Ausbon      .9626   A&M   IMG Academy      #10 WR, #14 FL, #75 US

    Henry Ruggs III       .9613  Bama  Robert E Lee        #11 WR, #2 AL, #77 US

    Tyrell Shavers         .9564  Bama  Lewisville             #12 WR, #11 TX, #88 US
  • #133 by jbcarol on 27 Feb 2017

    Arkansas All-SEC performers Dan Skipper and Sebastian Tretola don’t even have a case for being considered among the top three. Up next at Arkansas:  Frank Ragnow...

    Alex Collins, Arkansas (13-15): Though he’s one of Bielema’s highest-rated recruits ever, the 4-star more than lived up to the hype with the Razorbacks. Collins is one of just three SEC players (Herschel Walker and Darren McFadden) to rush for at least 1,000 yards in their first three seasons.  Up next at Arkansas: Rawleigh Williams III, Devwah Whaley

    Hunter Henry, Arkansas (13-15): Consensus All-American and Mackey Award winner, All-SEC teams three straight years.  Up next at Arkansas: Austin Cantrell, Jeremy Patton

    Darius Philon, Arkansas (12-14): One of the most underrated Razorbacks of the Bielema era, Philon ended up signing with Arkansas in 2012 after being committed to Alabama for months. The Crimson Tide had asked Philon — a 3-star recruit — to grayshirt in the days leading up to signing day, tipping his favor to the Hogs. He arrived at Arkansas coming off a knee injury... Up next at Arkansas: Sosa
  • #134 by jbcarol on 28 Feb 2017

    Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel: there are four reasons why the SEC has fallen from the top spot: overmatched head coaches, poor player development, lack of quarterback and The Alabama Effect.

    "It's just complete domination in recruiting -- no one has ever worked harder at it," Kiffin told Fox Sports of Saban. "Defensive players, they all want to go to Alabama. Even if you have to wait a year or two to play, you know you're going to go out and have a chance to play in the NFL."

    He cites the example of 2017 defensive end Jarez Parks, a consensus Top 100 recruit nationally who opted to sign with Alabama despite the fact he'll have to grayshirt for a semester. Guys like that used to be suiting up for the other teams.

    "We'd go to play last year, and we knew that no matter what, when we walked onto that field, our roster was more talented than every team we played," said Kiffin. "If you accumulate all of the (best recruits), now you're not playing against them."

    "There's the Sabanization Effect," SEC on CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel said in the piece. "You try to copy what they're doing, and you end up doing something you're not comfortable with and it ends up costing your job.

    "When Will Muschamp got to Florida, he tried to make it be like Nick's (program). They played great defense, but he went through three offensive coordinators. Gene Chizik won a national championship (at Auburn), then (hired a pro-style coordinator) and tried to out-Alabama Alabama. He went 0-8 (in the SEC in his final season).

    "It will be interesting to see if people can figure out other ways to play rather than trying to out-Alabama Alabama, because no one has been able to do that. Clemson did not beat Alabama by trying to beat them at their own game."
  • #135 by jbcarol on 19 Mar 2017

    INDIANAPOLIS — It’s not an ideal strategy in most situations, but Kentucky’s Wenyen Gabriel is trying to think less.

    “When your mind’s racing like that it’s kinda hard to go out there and compete,” he said.

    Gabriel’s game has gone astray and his minutes have been minimal for the last month. The freshman forward got a steady diet of 20 minutes or more in 13 of Kentucky’s first 22 games, but he hasn’t played more than 20 minutes since Feb. 21.

    A gradual decrease in minutes has been matched with a sharper decline in scoring. Gabriel poured in a career-high 23 points on February 7 against LSU. In the 11 games since then? Just 20 combined points.

    “I haven’t been taking good shots,” Gabriel said. “I haven’t been taking as many 3-pointers. I think I’ve been playing to not make a mistake rather than just playing the game.”

    And that’s where Gabriel’s “think less” mentality comes into play. It’s affecting his scoring, but his bigger concern is on the other side of the floor.

    “He’s just gotta focus in more on defense because he breaks down a lot,” senior guard Dominique Hawkins said. “Other than that he’s been terrific. With a player like him he can go for 20 any night. He’s a difference maker on defense because of his length.”

    That athleticism helps Gabriel naturally compensate for botched assignments. “Motor” is the word coach John Calipari and Gabriel’s teammates often use to describe him. Fellow freshman Malik Monk said Gabriel’s feet can be slow, but that he never stops hustling.

    Seniors Hawkins and Mychal Mulder agreed that the biggest adjustment for freshmen is on the defensive end.

    “It’s all mental,” Mulder said. “I feel like as soon as his mind’s right, he’s a great player. It’s gonna be fine for him.”

    Gabriel played 9 minutes Friday night in Kentucky’s first round win over Northern Kentucky...
  • #136 by Vantage 8 dude on 19 Mar 2017
  • Which current SEC major sport coaches have been on a recruiting roll, including stockpiling more four and five stars at a position than there are a reasonable number of minutes to spread across a college career?

    Generally top recruits have enough information to gauge whether there is a spot for them at a certain school and whether their goals can be met with respect to playing time and the impact on their pro future. But some coaches have defied the playing time odds and “Uncle Buck” odds and continue to bring in 5-star upon 5-star for their five-deep.

    You cannot blame a coach for assembling as much top talent as possible. He mitigates injury or other eligibility risks, creates healthy competition for his stars, keeps opponents from utilizing the players he has on the scout team, and sometimes takes the top recruit in another state away from a rival or up-and-coming star recruiter to create drama for his competitor.

    Also the coaches generally have a track record of putting players into the pros. The stats on how many sure-fire prospects saw their career end with that coach or lose time and momentum due to transfer is rarely summarized.
    Hands down and no debate: Alabama in football, Kentucky in basketball. Perhaps the Hogs in track; however, every year it seems there's more and more a "dog fight" when it comes to the thin clad sports.
  • #137 by jbcarol on 25 Mar 2017
  • #138 by jbcarol on 26 Mar 2017

    Devin White acted "childish" — that’s his word for his early days at LSU last year.

    He resisted and avoided learning LSU’s defense, the one coordinator Dave Aranda spent hours trying to get him to digest.

    He was frustrated, too, at his position move. He wanted to return to running back, move away from this linebacker thing, where he had to read guards and tackles, call out plays and recognize formations.

    His days as a high school running back at North Webster were so easy.

    “You just get the play and go!” he said.

    This was different, and he didn’t like it.

    He soon learned what it meant: no playing time.

    “You can’t put a guy like me in the game — young and without knowing everything,” he said Thursday in his first interview since arriving at LSU in January 2016.

    “I had to learn,” the sophomore continued. “(Duke Riley and Kendell Beckwith) sat me down and talked to me. They were like, ‘Devin, you’ve got to know this stuff. Because when you’re in, we’re counting on you to know everything.’ ”

    White started learning, began playing and, a half dozen practices into spring drills, is serving as LSU’s starting rover, one of two inside linebacker positions in Aranda’s defense. He’s playing alongside Donnie Alexander, the starting Mack.
  • #139 by jbcarol on 30 Mar 2017

    The last image of Bo Scarbrough's breakout sophomore season was limping off the national title game field. His leg was broken.

    Now, almost three months later, Alabama's rising running back star is participating in some spring practice drills. The buzz about his condition entering March was a top storyline considering the monster games he had against Washington and Clemson.

    Nick Saban had an update:

    "Bo is doing more and more every day," Saban said after the fourth practice of spring. "He did quite a bit today in practice, non-contact stuff, but he's sort of gaining confidence. Our goal for Bo is by the end of spring, he's fully confident that he can do everything he needs to do. Whether he ever scrimmages is really not something that we're not that concerned about."

    Scarbrough was the third-leading rusher last season with 812 yards on 125 attempts.

    The top returner was also dealing with an injury Tuesday. Saban said Damien Harris sprained his foot Saturday practicing indoors, but expected he'd be back for Thursday's workout.

    Saban also said they had been working freshman Chadarius Townsend at slot receiver the last two practices. The early enrollee from Tanner, Alabama was listed as an athlete by most recruiting services.

    Depth isn't an issue at running back this season. Even Saban, who isn't big on creating expectations, couldn't downplay that reality.

    "We do have a lot of good running backs," Saban said. "We went from not having very many to having a whole bunch. I think they've all done really, really well."

    About the other two true freshmen -- Najee Harris and Brian Robinson -- were both "done a nice job," Saban said. He also noted sophomore Josh Jacobs has done a nice job...
  • #140 by jbcarol on 30 Mar 2017
  • #141 by jbcarol on 29 May 2017
  • #142 by jbcarol on 04 Aug 2017
  • sports‏Verified account @aldotcomSports 10m10 minutes ago

    Concern after losing defensive linemen to the NFL?

    No problem.

    "We're Bama. We just reload."

    Jonathan Allen and Dalvin Tomlinson went in this April's draft.

    A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed were selected a year earlier.

    That's four top-55 draft picks in two years from Alabama's defensive line. All but Robinson were seniors --

    "I think there are obviously some talented players there that haven't played a lot," Nick Saban said. "Those guys are going to have to develop consistency in performance. One of the goals we had coming out of spring practice, we wanted to make some improvement in consistency up front. I think the players have the capability of doing it. We have a lot of new faces there. This camp is going to be real critical for how those guys develop and the consistency that they play with."

    A few key pieces return in Da'Ron Payne and Da'Shawn Hand. Joshua Frazier is a senior with three years of reserve experience. Raekwon Davis got some action as a true freshman while Quinnen Williams --

    Newcomers include JUCO transfer Isaiah Buggs and five-star freshman LaBryan Ray.

    Starting offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher has played across from the last two stacked defensive lines. The differences are few in what he's seen so far.

    "Just new faces," he said after the first fall practice Thursday.
  • #143 by jbcarol on 06 Aug 2017

  • Bama is not ruling out roles for each of their 5 top RBs

    The summer transfer of former top recruit B.J. Emmons still leaves Alabama with five scholarship backs -- three who were five-star prospects coming out of high school. The entire stable that finished last season is back with No. 1 running back Najee Harris and four-star Brian Robinson added to the mix for 2017.

    New offensive coordinator had to smile talking about the palett from which he can work this fall.

    "Look," he said, "running back is a position that you can't have too many of."

    That said, he's not ruling out roles for each of the backs.

    Four Alabama players ran the ball at least 85 times last season led by quarterback Jalen Hurts' 191 attempts or 29 percent of the total.
  • #144 by jbcarol on 11 Aug 2017
  •  Antonio Morales‏Verified account @AntonioCMorales 18h18 hours ago

    Ole Miss has three former 4-star TEs on its roster, but a walk-on sits atop the depth chart

    OXFORD — Ole Miss signed three four-star prospects and a three-star at tight end in its past four recruiting classes.

    Surely, one of them would step in to replace Evan Engram

    Walk-on Dawson Knox has unexpectedly asserted himself as Ole Miss' top option at tight end, while still keeping that walk-on mentality about him.

    "It's really a day-to-day thing. You've got to come out with a mindset that you're not No.1 but you're fighting for that spot," Knox told reporters Monday. "I feel like the moment I start getting content with it, that's when I'll start slipping up, so I'm going to go out every day with the mentality I'm fighting for that spot."