About Me

My photo
My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Practice: First Week News And Notes

The first day of practice was last Saturday, March 16th. It's not a coincidence that March 16th is also my birthday. Nick is so good to me. 

Anyway, that first practice was one of 15 practices before the A-Day Game on April 20th. There are 3 new assistant coaches this year.

Mario Cristobal is the most notable. He will be the O-Line Coach now. He came from Miami, where he held the same position, but he also has head coaching experience and is known as a great recruiter and teacher of his position.

Billy Napier is the new WRs Coach. He has been an OC at Clemson and has alot of recruiting knowledge as well.

Greg Brown brings 30 years of coaching experience to the defense, as the new DBs coach. Brown has coached in college and in the NFL and will no doubt be a good recruiter too, cause we all know how Saban goes about hiring.

Heading into the spring, Alabama has to find 3 new starters on the O-Line, 2 on the D-Line, and 2 more in the secondary. As we have seen in the past couple seasons though, we just keep losing 1st Rd talent and replacing it with more, so I'm not worried about this at ALL.

Day One News And Notes

Every year, we always see several guys move around to different positions. Sometimes it's for experimentation and sometimes it's a sign of where they are going to play at the coming season.

Cyrus Jones was a freshman WR last year, but he was working at corner. This might stick as his new spot. Dee Hart, RB, and Christion Jones, WR, were also working with the secondary, but they are likely to move back to offense when all is said and done.

Jeoffrey Pagan, Brandon Ivory, and Ed Stinson were the 1st Team D Line, with LaMichal Fanning, Darren Lake, and Xzavier Dickson being the 2nd Team.

Dickson was moving back and forth though between DE and LB and could very well end up being a starter at OLB this season. I think he should and will be.

Day Two

On Monday, the team practiced indoors due to nasty weather. It was found out that William Ming, Chris Bonds, and Jonathan Atchison were no longer part of the team, which was suspected earlier. The process, y'all.

Bradley Sylve is competing like hell with Deion Belue for the outside corner position opposite from Geno Smith. I think this battle will go into the fall and we'll be in good hands, regardless.

Landon Collins seems to be a sure starter to alot of people this year, but Jarrick Williams is looking really good and they are competing for that same spot. Another battle that might take awhile.

Day Three

Wednesday was the first day in full pads.

Kellen Williams was getting a look at LG, behind Arie Kouandjio. Another good battle. I love all these battles we have going on between such greatly talented guys. 

Day Four

On Friday, most everything was the same as has been mentioned above, except that we got to see Derrick Henry in some passing drills. Not so good yet. Dropped some passes. So there's an area that he will have to work on to move ahead of Drake and take that spot with Yeldon, though I fully expect by fall, he will have that locked down.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nick Saban Laughs At Ole Miss's Great Recruiting Class

Ole Miss surprised the world this year by having the best class they had ever recruited to Oxford. They got the No. 1 player in the entire nation, DE Robert Nkemdiche. They also got the No. 1 OT in the nation, Laremy Tunsil. AND they got the No. 1 WR in the nation, LaQuan Treadwell, along with a handful of other guys that were rated in the top 5 at their positions.

This type of shit just doesn't happen at Ole Miss.

Nick Saban's response: "Oh, I see what you did there. That's cute and all, but watch this".

Tonight, Saban hired Ole Miss's Director Of Recruiting Development, Tyler Siskey, away from them.

By the way, Siskey was also AJ McCarron's coach in high school at St. Paul's in Mobile.

This is a pretty good wrap up of Siskey's career.  He's an up and comer and a future star in the coaching world. Hugh Freeze had him a good one, that led Ole Miss to their BEST RECRUITING CLASS EVER. But Saban, even though Alabama had the No. 1 class for the 4th time in 5 years, will stop at NOTHING to dominate all opponents in this aspect.

This is what happens when you get a little above your raising and start to think you can run with the big dogs. Nick Saban hands you a subtle reminder, that while you may do some cool things from time to time, you are NOT the big dog.

Since signing day, Saban has hired Kevin Steele back, to JUST focus on recruiting. He has been one of the best recruiters as an assistant coach in the country these past several seasons and he was when he was at Bama for a couple years at the beginning of Saban's run. But now, ALL HE HAS TO DO IS RECRUIT.

Saban also hired Mario Cristobal away from Miami to be our new OL coach. Cristobal has been an up and comer who should get a nice head coaching job one day. He already has head coaching experience at FIU. Steele has head coaching experience too at Baylor several years back.

At this point, Saban is just seeing other schools' recruiting success and raising them the hiring of their coaches that led to their recruiting class.

Nick Saban is GOD to me right now. It's getting ridiculous. I don't think anyone's gonna stop Alabama until he retires and I don't think that's gonna be for another decade.

Roll Damn Tide.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Departing Alabama Players: NFL Draft Projections And Notes


***Alabama NFL Draft History***

1st Round NFL Draft picks from Alabama in the 20 NFL Drafts from 1988-2007 under Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike Dubose, Dennis Franchione, and Mike Shula:

  • Derrick Thomas             1989
  • Bobby Humphrey          1989
  • Keith McCants               1990     
  • George Teague            1993
  • John Copeland              1993
  • Eric Curry                      1993
  • Antonio Langham         1994
  • Dwayne Rudd               1997
  • Fernando Bryant          1999
  • Shaun Alexander         2000
  • Chris Samuels               2000

Total: 11

1st Round NFL Draft picks from Alabama in the past 4 NFL Drafts under Nick Saban: 

  • Andre Smith                2009 
  • Rolando McClain         2010
  • Kareem Jackson        2010
  • Marcell Dareus           2011
  • Julio Jones                  2011
  • James Carpenter      2011
  • Mark Ingram              2011
  • Trent Richardson      2012
  • Mark Barron              2012
  • Dre Kirkpatrick          2012
  • Dont'a Hightower     2012

Total: 11

Since 1936, in 77 NFL Drafts, Alabama has had a total of 46 players taken in the 1st Round.

Nick Saban has accounted for 24% of Alabama's total 1st Rd Draft picks in HISTORY. In only 4 drafts. If 3 Bama players are selected in the 1st Rd this April, as are expected to be (It COULD be 4 or 5), then Saban will have 14 of 49 all time. 28%. In a 5 year span.

Bear Bryant had that same number of 1st Rd Draft picks, 14...in 25 years at Alabama.


***The NFL Combine***

The NFL Combine is a yearly, week long event where players who are leaving college workout for NFL scouts. Alabama has several former stars showing their stuff in Indianapolis this week. 

10 departing Alabama players were invited to participate. As opposed to only 3 from Auburn, but I just added that because LOL. 

Before I get into to those who are there, I would like to point out one big time guy who was not invited. Michael Williams, who was the best blocking tight end in college football the past few years, as well as developing into a solid trusted target for AJ McCarron, especially in the endzone. It is a travesty that the pride of Pickens County, AL isn't there to show what he can do. But he will have Alabama's Pro Day on March 13th to show NFL scouts why he would be a great addition to their teams.

Of the ten that were invited, most aren't going to be able to participate because they are coming off of injuries or surgeries. That's what a grueling SEC season under the tough coaching of Nick Saban will do to you. You leave it all on the line. But our boys are tough. They will all be ready to make their marks by the fall.

So this isn't gonna just be about the guys that are at the Combine, but all of our former players who will be drafted or could find their way onto an NFL team next year through free agency, if not.


***The Players***

For my purposes, I am listing them here in the order that I think they will be drafted. The order is my opinion only and I could be wrong about any of them. Especially with the existence of the Oakland Raiders in the NFL Draft. Because God knows, they might accidentally draft Burt Reynolds or something.

Dee Milliner

Millbrook, AL
Stanhope Elmore HS

6-0 200

3 year starter

#1 rated cornerback recruit nationally, 2010.

Chose Alabama over Auburn

nfl.com draft profile

CBS Sports Scouting Report

2010: Played in all 13 games as a true freshman, starting 11 games. Was named Defensive Player Of The Week 3 times by the coaching staff. 55 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBU, and 1 forced fumble.

  • 1st Team Freshman All-American

2011: I refer to this as the "Lost Year" for Dee. For some reason, he was moved to 3rd on the depth chart behind DeQuan Menzie, who was great, but I always felt Dee should've started every game instead. I felt like he was better than Dre Kirkpatrick already, and Dre went in the top 10 of the NFL Draft after this season. Dee only started 6 games, even though he played in all of them. 27 tackles. 3 INTs, PBU. In the BCS Championship Game against LSU, he came off the bench to make a single tackle on special teams. I will always feel like he was shafted this year. But he's gotten his due, and then some by now. I hope he's drafted higher than Dre. Alot of people think he will be.

2012: Started 12 games. 54 tackles, 2 INTs, 20 PBU, and a 17 yard fumble return. 

  • Unanimous 1st Team All-American
  • Finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player Of The Year)
  • Finalist for the Thorpe Award (Nation's Best Defensive Back)

The Combine: With a torn labrum that required surgery, Dee was thought to not be participating. However, Dee had heard the talk that he wasn't as fast as he claimed or athletic as NFL teams would like. So he chose to put off surgery in favor of running the 40 for everyone. And all he did was run a 4.31. Freaking ridiculous. By comparison, Dre Kirkpatrick ran a 4.51 a couple years ago. He is about to be Dee Millionaire very very soon.

Detroit free press: Attention, Lions. You need Milliner

SI's Peter King said if NFL teams want to draft DeMarcus Milliner, they will have to trade up ahead of the Lions who have the No. 5 pick. Detroit has long been rumored to have Dee at the top of their board and they desperately need a guy like him. He could be a day 1 starter for them, as well as many other NFL teams. I thought in 2010 that Milliner was a better cover corner than Dre Kirkpatrick and I still have no idea why he wasn't on the field half the time in 2011. But once he got his chance to be the leader of the pack at corner last year, he showed himself to be the best in the country at his position.

Self-confidence, stopping short of cockiness, is not something that DeMarcus has a problem with. He was asked by a reporter at the Combine what he would say to analysts who say he doesn't possess elite athleticism or top-end speed. His simple response: "Watch the Combine". He obviously knew what he was going to do LOL.

2012 Highlights

Where he could go: 3rd to the Raiders (SHOOT ME), 4th to the Eagles, 5th to the Lions, 6th to the Browns (OH GOD PLEASE NO), 8th to the Bills, 9th to the Jets (AGAIN. PLEASE NO), 12th to the Dolphins, 13th to the Buccaneers

Pretty much half of the teams in the NFL would gladly take Dee with their first pick, so he's unlikely to make it to Tampa. Unless someone goes crazy and trades way up, like the Falcons did for Julio Jones a couple years ago, I think the Lions will get our man.

"I feel like I'm the best DB in all of this. No offense to all of them other DBs, just I believe in what I can do

- Dee Milliner, to NFL reporters at the combine.

"We know that he can bump and run. I love the fact that he's been working on his off coverage. That says alot about his expectation and what he's preparing himself for. I love his swag, man. I love his swagger. I love his confidence. I love the aura about him. When I spent some time with him yesterday, he had swag out of this world" 

- Deion Sanders, on the NFL Network


Chance Warmack

Atlanta, Ga

Westbrook HS

6-2 317

3 year starter

#16 rated OG recruit nationally, 2009

Chose Alabama over Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia

sbnation scouting report

2009: Played in 5 games as a backup. Didn't really do anything to get noticed much.

2010: Started all 13 games, more than easily replacing the departed Mike Johnson, who was drafted by the Falcons. He never really garnered much attention, but he was solid for most of the year. People said he had the potential to develop into a possible All-SEC type of player down the road, but he was seen as just another guy by most at this point. Still, he was an unsung member of the line. He was named the SEC Lineman Of The Week against Florida in his 5th start ever. By the middle of the season, he was a dependable blocker that opened up alot of holes. But overall, he never really got noticed much that season because Bama threw the ball too much and alot of the focus was on Heisman-Winner Mark Ingram following up the season he had on 2009. We struggled throwing the ball, and as a result, we struggled running the ball and lost 3 games. Julio Jones was about the only member of the offense that year that did anything special.

2011: Started all 13 games. Became a solid veteran on the squad and was honorable mention All American. Did not allow a sack. Not a flashy player, he rarely was noticed or appreciated for all that he did or how vital he had become to the line, but he played well enough that going into the next season, he was on the preseason "Watch List" for just about every award a lineman can get.

2012: Once again, started every game. 37 pancake blocks (led team). Only 2 penalties all season. Only missed 7 assignments in almost 800 snaps. Allowed only 2 sacks.
  • Unanimous 1st Team All-American
  • Twice named SEC Offensive Lineman Of The Week
  • Finished his career with 40 straight starts at LG

The Combine: Chance only participated in two events: The 40, and the Broad Jump.

He ran the 40 in 5.49, which will cause at least one NFL GM to pass on him, because it's really important for offensive guards to be able to run really fast way down the field.

Cowboys Exec Compares Warmack To Larry Allen

The last time an offensive guard was taken in the top 5 of the draft was 1975. Warmack probably won't pull that off, but it wouldn't be a surprise and he has a decent chance of it. Several teams with top 10 picks are really interested in him. Never do you see a guard get this much attention and buzz, but this is the one guy who deserves every bit of it. 

Chance weighed in at 6-2, 317 lbs. A few ignorant NFL scouts, who put too much stock in measurables, are saying his lack of "ideal" size is a negative. But then they go on to absolutely GUSH at how awesome he looks on tape and what a great player he is on the field. 

2012 Highlights

Where he could go: There are rumors he could go as high as the No. 1 pick to the Chiefs. The Eagles will look at him long and hard at the 4th pick, as Chance's position coach at Alabama just took the same job at Philly. Todd McShay of ESPN says he will go 10th to the Titans. But if he's still around, the Rams will probably take him at 16.

I don't think he will make it past the Rams at 16, but he shouldn't make it that far. I'm gonna predict the Eagles and his old coach Soutland will take Warmack at 4th overall. But if not, then he will go to the Titans.


DJ Fluker

Foley, AL
Foley HS

6-5 339
3 year starter

#1 rated OL recruit, 2009

Chose Alabama over Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Florida

nfl.com draft profile

walter football scouting report

2009: Redshirted

2010: Started 9 games as a Redshirt Freshman at RT. Was an extremely hyped, popular guy that was showing the potential to live up to expectations. He certainly looked like a 24 year old NFL vet from his first day on the field at Bama.
  • Freshman ALL-SEC

2011: Started all 13 games and became one of the most feared run blockers in all of college football. Calling a running play in his direction, you were assured of at least one opponent getting knocked out of the Trent Richardson's vicinity, if not completely on the ground. Had some major issues with pass blocking though and had yet to earn any recognition. Much was expected of him in 2012, and he delivered.

2012: Was the most dominating RT in all of college football. Second on the team to Warmack with 33 pancake blocks. Only allowed 3 sacks.
  • 2nd Team All-American
  • 1st Team ALL-SEC
  • Started 36 straight games.
The Combine: DJ weighed in at 6-5 339 lbs, after being 355 at the Senior Bowl and ran a 5.31 40. DJ's putting in some WORK.

Where he could go: The Chargers are looking at Fluker, though he might be a stretch for the 11th pick. The Bears are really interested in him. They have the 20th pick in the 1st round. If he is still there at that point, they'd be likely to pick him up.


    Barrett Jones

Germantown, TN
Evangelical Christian School

6-5 302

4 year starter

#18 OL recruit nationally, 2008

Chose Alabama over Tennessee

nfl.com draft profile

walter football scouting report

2008: Played in 3 games before a shoulder injury ended his season. He was able to get a Medical Redshirt, so he didn't lose the year of eligibility.

2009: Started all 14 games as a Redshirt Freshman at Right Guard. Was the lesser appreciated, but most vital member of the best offensive line in the nation, that paved the way for Marck Ingram to win the Heisman Trophy.

2010: Started 11 games at Right Guard. Missed the last two regular season games against Georgia St and Auburn because of a high ankle sprain. But returned for the Capital One Bowl and helped lead the Tide to 275 yards rushing, which was the 2nd highest total of the year. 

  • 1st Team Academic All American
  • 3rd Team All American
  • Was on the watch list for the Outland Trophy
  • 1st Team All-SEC

2011: Moved to Left Tackle to replace James Carpenter, who was drafted in the 1st Rd. of the NFL Draft. Proved himself to be the best offensive lineman in the nation, and most versatile, moving from Right Guard to Left Tackle and actually improving. Missed two games due to a sprained ankle.

  • Unanimous All American
  • Won the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's best lineman. 3rd Bama player to win the award.
  • Won the Jacobs Trophy, which goes to the SEC's best blocking lineman
  • Won the Wuerffel Trophy, which is an all around award recognizing the player to best combine great community service with great athletic and academic achievement.
  • Won the ARA Sportsmanship Award, for great sportsmanship overall
I think Barrett did pretty well in 2011 lol

2012: Made yet another move, from Left Tackle to Center. And once again didn't miss a beat. This guy can do EVERYTHING. Was the unquestioned leader of the best offensive line in America. This was talked about as possibly the best line of all time, and rightly so.

  • Won the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's best Center. This guy was the best in the country at 3 different positions in his career. Think about that.

NFL Combine: Barrett is not participating, due to having foot surgery.

Nick Saban has compared Jones to Hall Of Famer Bruce Matthews. He's one of the all time greats to play at Bama.

Where he could go: Had he left after his junior season, he was seen as a high 1st Rd possibility. As it stands now, with injuries that he has had and alot of talk around NFL circles, it appears that he will fall to the 2nd or maybe even 3rd Rd.


Eddie Lacy

Geismar, LA
Dutchtown HS

6-0 220

1 year starter

#13 rated RB recruit nationally, 2009

Chose Alabama over Oklahoma, LSU, Tennessee

nfl.com draft profile

Atlanta Falcons Draft Spotlight: Eddie Lacy

2009: Redshirted

2010: Ran for 406 yards and 6 TD's as the 3rd team back behind Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Already showed that he would've been a starter at most other SEC schools. Huge contributor on Special Teams and was named Special Teams Player Of The Week by the coaches a few times. Ran for 86 yards in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan St to end the year, but most of the came on the 63 yard TD run at the end of the game when Saban was just trying to run out the clock. Saban looked pissed when Eddie broke a couple tackles and was gone lol.

2011: Ran for 674 yards as Trent Richardson's backup. Actually ranked 9th in the SEC in rushing despite not being a starter. Caught 11 passes for 131 yards. Was named Offensive Player Of The Week 3 different times by the coaching staff. Missed most of the second half of the season with turf toe injuries. 

2012: Entered the season as the heir apparent to Trent Richardson and never disappointed. Even though there was a new kid on the block, in freshman TJ Yeldon, that was actually the team's leading rusher in the first week of the season. Ran for 1,322 yards and 17 TD's on the season. The 17 TD's are 4th all time in Alabama's single season record books. Alabama's Offensive Player Of The Week 6 times.

The Combine: A hamstring tear kept Eddie from participating, but he made the trip to interview with scouts nonetheless. He has the Pro Day on March 13th, which should make a great impression, since he should be healthy.

Where he could go: Most NFL Draft experts, AT THE MOMENT, have Eddie as an early pick in the 2nd Rd or somewhere in the middle of the 2nd. I think the Pro Day workout will impress enough teams that he will make it into the 1st Rd.


Jesse Williams

Brisbane, Australia
Cavendish Road HS

6-4 320

2 year starter

Wasn't ranked out of high school. Went to Junior College.
#2 rated JUCO player, 2011

Chose Alabama over LSU, USC, Oklahoma St

walter football scouting report

sbnation scouting report

Bleacher report scouting report with highlights

That Bleacher Report one is a damn good read.

2009: JUCO: Made 46 tackles, 7 TFL, and 4 sacks in 11 games

2010: JUCO: Made 30 tackles, 6 TFL, and 2 sacks in just 7 games.

2011: As soon as he set foot on campus and went through the spring, he earned a starting spot at DE. In passing situations, he would move inside to DT and a LB would take the DE spot.

2012: Made 37 tackles, 2 TFL. Had 22 tackles in the last 4 games of the regular season, after only 14 in the first 7 games of the season.

The Combine: Did 30 reps on the bench press, which is slightly above average. Didn't really standout, but didn't do anything to hurt his prospects at all.

Where he could go: He could sneak into the end of the 1st Rd or he could fall to the 2nd. Some NFL scouts compare him to Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots. He will be a solid pickup for whoever gets him.


Nico Johnson

Andalusia, AL
Andalusia HS

6-3 245

4 year starter

#2 rated LB recruit nationally, 2009

Chose Alabama over LSU, USC, Auburn

nfl.com draft profile

bleacher report: Comparing Nico Johnson to Jon Beason

2009: Had already seen the field quite a bit, but when Dont'a Hightower was hurt against Arkansas, he quickly became the replacement and didn't disappoint. Finished his true freshman season with 28 tackles, 4 TFL, and 1 sack.

  • Freshman ALL-SEC

2010: Played in all 13 games, started 6. 33 tackles, 1 INT, 3 TFL

2011: Played in every game. Whether you could say he started or not depended on the formation that the defense started the game in, but he was one of the "starting" linebackers and finished 4th on the team with 47 tackles. Had 6 TFL, a forced fumble and recovery, 1 INT and 3 PBU. Established himself as one of the most dependable, yet quiet, leaders of the best defense in the nation.

2012: One of the leaders of the defense, Nico had 54 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 forced fumbles and was named defensive player of the week twice as well as special teams player of the week once. 

Nico has been one of Alabama's most dependable players, filling in for an injured Dont'a Hightower in 2009, as a true freshman, and playing just as well as Hightower had played. 

Nico has always been one of my favorite guys.

The Combine: He is not participating in the Combine, due to having hernia surgery.

Where he could go: NFLDRAFTSCOUT.COM has Nico ranked as the 5th best LB prospect. He will probably be drafted in the 3rd or 4th Rd.


Robert Lester

Foley, AL
Foley HS

6-1 220

3 year starter

#33 rated safety recruit nationally, 2008

Chose Alabama over Auburn

nfl.com draft profile

cbs sports scouting report

2008: Redshirted

2009: Played in 8 games, mostly on special teams. Had 8 tackles on the season. Was named the Special Teams Player Of The Week once. Was very important in that area.

2010: This was his coming out year. Heading into this season, Rod Woodson and Robby Green were expected to compete for this position opposite Mark Barron. Those two guys had their troubles that led to them leaving the team, but our third team choice at the time didn't turn out too bad. Lester took over and led the SEC with 8 INTs and had 52 tackles and a sack on the season. Also returned a fumble 89 yards. Came out of nowhere to be one of the best DBs in the country, when he would've been buried on the depth chart if not for the mishaps of those guys ahead of him.

  • 2nd Team All-SEC
  • 2nd Team All-American

2011: Was a solid starter, but not the flashy player he appeared sure to become following the 2010 season. Was always in the right position. Very important player, just not the standout of the year before.

2012: Veteran leader of the secondary at this point. Had 4 INTs on the season and had 42 tackles.

  • Ended his career tied for 5th all time in interceptions with 14

The Combine: Ran a 4.68 in the 40. Which isn't terrible, but isn't that great. Not elite. 

Where he could go: Somewhere in the 4th to 7th Rd.


***Others That Could Be Drafted Or Sign As Free Agents***

Quinton Dial

Pinson, AL
Clay-Chalkville HS

6-6 304

Played in every game, never started

#33 rated DT nationally, 2008
#9 rated JUCO player, 2010

Chose Alabama over Florida, Auburn, Clemson

nfl.com draft profile

Was highly ranked out of high school, but couldn't make the grades to go to Alabama right away. Spent 3 years at a JUCO before finally being able to transfer to Alabama as a junior for the 2011 season. Had 24 tackles in 2011 and 21 in 2012. Never earned a starting spot, but was an important backup. Has alot more pro potential than he had time to show in college.

The Combine: Dial is not participating in the Combine, due to foot surgery.

Where he could go: 7th Rd or Undrafted Free Agent


Damion Square

Houston, TX
Yates HS

6-3 290

3 year starter

#9 rated LB recruit nationally, 2008

Chose Alabama over Texas A&M, Auburn

nfl.com draft profile

al.com: "Alabama is greatest show on earth" - Square

Was a 3 year starter who became a vocal leader in 2012. Never really stood out and never got alot of recognition but helped the team alot.

Where he could go: 7th Rd or UFA


Carson Tinker

nfl.com draft profile

al.com: Tinker and Kevin Elko Speak at hoover high school

Carson will get a spot as an UFA somewhere.


Michael Williams

cbs sports scouting report

turfshowtimes scouting reports/other links

Very underrated guy who will have a decent NFL career as a team's 2nd Tight End. Great Redzone threat. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nick Saban Is A Big Ole Meany: My Defense Of Oversigning

As it stood a few weeks ago, Alabama had 95 players returning that were part of the recruiting classes from 2009 to this current one. The limit for players you can have on scholarship going into the fall of any given year is 85. For perspective, you can read THIS ARTICLE by Matt Hinton on CBS Sports and see how many more players Alabama has to somehow part with than any other school.

Also from CBS Sports, HERE IS A CHART  that shows the Alabama players that were scheduled to be a part of Alabama's team this year organized by recruiting class.

It is true that Saban runs his recruiting machine differently than alot of other schools. Every year, every school is going to lose at least a few guys in the offseason, whether it is to criminal activity that gets them dismissed or they just transfer cause they want more playing time or they are not happy there. It's a reality, I believe, that some players are taken into an office when they are juniors or seniors going into that season, and told the  truth that they are not going to be seeing any playing time this coming season. At this point, some of them choose to transfer, and some have injuries, major or not, that can technically be used within the rules to justify a "Medical Scholarship", which means they can still stay in school but are no longer on the football team and therefore free up another scholly.

Nick Saban is the all time master at this wizardry.

Those rosters above still include the 4 who were arrested and dismissed and they also include Marvin Shinn who is planning to transfer, as well as Danny Woodson Jr, who is suspended and looking like he may be leaving as well.

So just like that we are down to 89 possibly. 

But the thing about all this is that Alabama's official list of players that are on scholarship and count toward the 85 limit is not public information. There may be a few players who are well off enough to pay their own way and not count toward the 85. We are never allowed to know that, but it does happen. One thing is for sure though. The NCAA pays alot of attention to this stuff, especially from a school that is constantly accused to breaking these rules, as well as any other rules opposing fans and schools can come up with. Real or imagined. 

I have no doubt that Saban finds a way for the team to be legally at or below the 85 number.

Another way players can part ways, and this is something that happens every year at Alabama, is that there are a couple of players who are seniors by eligibility, but already have their degree, and aren't going to play anyway. Some of these guys voluntarily give up football.

And there are also a couple of this year's incoming recruits who are going to have to grayshirt, which means they won't enroll until next season and therefore won't count against this year's limit.

Saban uses every one of these legitimate methods of trimming the roster down to 85 and being able to sign at least 25 new players every recruiting class. 

He could just be a pussy like a lot of coaches in the Big Ten who feign outrage and look down on the SEC from their phony moral high horse. These guys only sign the amount of players they have scholarships available for at the time. Which SOUNDS like the way you should do it, if you're a child or don't understand the development of football players, or real life. For these coaches, when the season comes and they've had guys transfer or are no longer on the team for whatever reason, they are just short of the maximum amount of players they are allowed to have. If I were a fan of one of those teams, I wouldn't think my coach was doing his job to the fullest extent if he was allowing us to have less players on the team than he could.

I think it is a head coach's JOB to do everything possible to make the team as good as possible so that you have the best chance to win. Nick Saban does this in every possible way. And those ways are all legal.

So all y'all that get on your moral high horse about this stuff can just admit that you are jealous of Nick Saban and Alabama's sustained dominance right now and if it was your team, you'd be perfectly fine with it and thrilled.

And hey, if you think Nick Saban is unethical or wrong about any of the things he does concerning roster management, you should check out WHAT LES MILES DID! Les let a kid sign with LSU, put the kid on scholarship, let him move into his dorm and start taking classes...then realized he didn't have room for him and sent the kid home. At least Nick Saban's players know what the deal is when they sign. The guys who might have to grayshirt are told during their recruitment that this might become a possibility when the time comes. They sign with all that in mind. They are not lied to or manipulated. Les promised a guy a full ride and a spot on the team right way, and then snatched it away after the kid had already started being a part of the team.

But Nick Saban is such an evil bastard.