247 did a Top 10 of players who helped themselves the most, and I was looking to see if a specific name appeared on there.
Yup. It does:
Alabama was super thin at tight end this spring with only three scholarship players on campus, but that allowed for Cameron Latu and the younger guys to receive plenty of reps. The player that seemingly benefited the most from that was Ouzts, who Saban said was “one of the most improved guys” on the roster. Ouzts was the No. 2 option alongside Latu in two-tight end sets and hauled in a couple of passes for 13 yards in the A-Day Game. As he enters his second year in the program, Ouzts is poised to see a much larger role in the offense this season.
The other nine are here.
We touched on proposals for NIL this past Tuesday, adding Nick Saban to the growing chorus of coaches very concerned about the direction that NIL has taken football as a recruiting tool (to the thinly veiled P4P), but perhaps no one has been as vocal a critic of the insanity as Lane Kiffin. Call it his ox being gored, but the ungodly amount A&M spent this crootin’ cycle essentially buying players, was jaw-dropping even to a guy who has spent a decade in the SEC and cut his teeth under Pete Carroll — neither of which are particularly noted for being 100% above-board.
His solution? An honest-to-god salary cap.
I know this is going to surprise you, but every Gump’s favorite
thirst trap pitcher, Montana Fouts, has made the shortlist for USA Softball’s POTY honors.
The third-time SEC Pitcher of the Week has had an incredible season, thus far, pitching 123.2 innings, picking up: 81 hits, 37 earned runs, 36 walks, 203 strikeouts, seen home runs and a 2.09 ERA.
If won, this award would just add to her highly decorated career, winning: 2021 NFCA Pitcher of the Year, co-SEC Pitcher of the Year, SEC Tournament MVP, and 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year, just to name a few.
Speaking of Kiffin, in the preseason prospectus game, Sallee at CBS has pegged Ole Miss as Alabama’s primary competitor this season.
I think, as with South Carolina, a now-veteran defense will be perfectly serviceable. But as the QB goes, so goes this offense. And you don’t lose a three-year starter at QB — functionally the first and last word on the offense — and get better. When Matt Corral exited the Sugar Bowl with an injury in January, it was a grim offensive picture. Jerrion Ealy could not carry a team, and even he’s gone — as are two other backs. Ole Miss will instead rely on two transfers to hold down the running game.
And there’s the matter of Jaxson Dart being tasked with coming in via USC to be the savior of the offense, behind an offensive line that is still susceptible to good pass rushers, and must do so in a conference that is far less forgiving than the PAC 12.
The Rebels are going to have to prove it to me, in other words.
AL.com takes a look at the crowded ‘Bama backfield
It’s hard to imagine there’s been an Alabama personnel group that’s seen crazier fluctuations than the running back room.
Perhaps middle linebacker in 2019 or outside linebacker in 2017 when injuries did about the same thing to the Crimson Tide running back room the last eight or nine months. A rash of injuries had a once-overstocked depth chart down to using a linebacker in an emergency role late last season.
Now the cupboard is stocked again with some complicating factors.
There’s not any complication, as I see it.
Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan will likely split time as 1 and 1A, with Trey and Roydell as 2 and 2B. And, if what we saw on A-Day is any indication, then Jamarion Miller will get reps in mop-up. It’s going to be hard to keep him off the field. I would expect Emmanuel Henderson to wind up red-shirting. He’s a small-division product, won’t arrive until Fall Camp, and the cupboard is too full. However, next season, Gibbs is likely to be gone — and Roydell and McClellan could be as well. That’s not even counting transfers
Gun to my head about possible transfers? Trey Sanders seems the most likely. It’s not that I don’t like him and don’t feel bad for how his career has been derailed so early, I do. But like Wheaton, a whole lot has been expected from him, and little delivered. Even writing off last season (which seems fair), I just didn’t see anything this past Saturday that he does better or as well as the guys in front of him sufficient to unseat anyone. Trey may decide that a fresh start — and a healthy start — with a clean slate is just what his career needs.
Enjoy the depth now, however. Alabama could lose at least one, and perhaps as many as four, running backs by 2023.
BUT, that running back situation could be complicated in the future, as 5-star RB and the No. 3 back for 2023, Richard Young, has narrowed his choice down to the Buckeyes and the Tide.
The Crimson Tide is believed to be the slightest favorite.
Draft puff pieces? Sure, why not.
This one on how John Metchie III discovered football in the 8th grade was interesting. We may remember that he’s Canadian, but I think we sometimes forget )or never knew) that he’s originally from Ghana, a small West African nation wedged between Ivory Coast and Togo — not exactly a feeder for NFL talent.
Headcase and Pro Tweeter, Agiye Hall, has found a new home at what is becoming quite the refuge for lockerroom cancers — Texas.
Burnt Orange Nation is rightly skeptical of this one, as the deal with the devil that a thin roster dictated
Saban also hinted at another mistake by Hall, but ultimately the need at the position out-weighed any potential concerns about how the Florida product will fit in at the program still trying to build a winning culture after more than a decade of struggles on the field .
If Sark lets the inmates run the asylum, I’m sure Agiye will be just fine…until he’s not. But if Hall is held to account and has actual standards imposed upon him that a winning culture requires, I’m far less bullish.
We’ve seen how this plays out far too often. A guy who repeatedly screws up leaves Alabama, but his next school is not the last. There are usually multiple transfers. I’m genuinely curious to see how Sarkisian runs a program with all of these tough disciplinary cases that he’s rolling out the welcome mat for.
This is perhaps the most enigmatic draft of our lifetimes. The reason is fairly apparent too, and especially when you look at the 2021 CFB season: there just were not many draft-caliber skills players (and I discussed in October particular how bad offenses were in tandem with evolving defensive schemes).
How thin is the draft? We may get all the way to No. 10 (NJY) before a non-lineman is taken from that side of the ball), which would be the first time in about 85 years that has happened.
And that is the consensus among scouts in 12 NFL clubs.
This could be the first draft since the NFL began the “Annual College Player Selection Meeting” in 1936 that has no one who touches the ball getting picked in the top 10.
No running backs, of course. Quite possibly no wideouts; the Jets, picking 10th, look to be the first place a receiver might go. And with the quarterback picture so lousy and so cloudy, who knows? We all know Carolina, picking sixth, could well take a quarterback. And we know a desperate team for one (Pittsburgh, picking 20th?) could be motivated to move up for one. “But unless Carolina takes one,” one GM said, “I can’t see any team picking one in the top 10.”
Doing the #Oversigning math, it was clear that ‘Bama needed to shed some schollies, and some players needed to seek opportunities elsewhere. The post-Spring “tough talk with Coach”-season is upon us.
Hall and Billboard have already left. To that pair, we now add the departure of reserve DL Stephon Wynn. Wynn is simply a depth chart casualty, especially with the emergence of Jamil Burroughs, Tim Smith, and Byron Young (among others) on the inside. He’ll be a perfectly serviceable starter almost anywhere he transfers. Best of luck to him.
And while we’re at it, maybe someone can cipher up a tally for me. What are we at? 88-89?
Even if Alabama has a backfield by-committee, who is winning the starting running back job?
Tim Castile (jumbo packages only)
521 total votes