Former Tide RB Damien Harris to visit Cowboys on Wednesday

© Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

With Josh Jacobs improving his 40-time and Quinnen Williams scheduled to meet with the Oakland Raiders, things are going according to plan for two stars from the Crimson Tide that project as first-round picks for the NFL Draft. 

Damien Harris, another former Tide standout, is anticipating hearing his name called during the venue – which goes from Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27 from Nashville, Tenn. 

A native of Kentucky and former five-star prospect, Harris will meet with the Dallas Cowboys for a visit and a pre-draft workout on Wednesday.

News came from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network as Dallas lacks depth in its backfield behind four-year veteran, Ezekiel Elliot. 

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Five-star RB sets Alabama visit

It wasn't long ago that Alabama landed a five-star running back from California when Najee Harris opted for the Crimson Tide as a part of the 2017 recruiting class.

The Tide is back in the Golden State in 2020 with its sights set on five-star ball carrier Kendall Milton.

Alabama offered the Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan product over a year ago, but has yet to get Milton on campus for a visit. That will change April 17 when the nation's No. 2 running back plans to make it out to Tuscaloosa.

Originally, Milton told BamaOnLine earlier this year that he planned to be on campus April 16.

The five-star back had a connection to the program though former defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi who played at Cal with Milton's head coach. And even though Lupoi is no longer on the staff, there's still a connection with the aforementioned Harris who Milton has a relationship with due to the relative proximity of their hometowns.

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Justin’s Recruiting Bites

Alabama Recruiting Update

Alabama’s 2020 recruiting class is getting busy early as the Tide has 14 verbal commits. Seven of them are from the state of Alabama, continuing the trend of Alabama keeping the talent within the state. As this recruiting cycle gets more interesting, commits and targets are setting visits to Tuscaloosa and other places.

One of the Tide’s in-state targets released a final five recently and has some official visits set. The Tide 4-Star DB commit, Jahquez Robinson, also has some visits set as he plans to camp at a couple of SEC schools and one of the Tide’s 5-Star targets are set to make their announcement this month. All of this and more is below in Justin’s Recruiting Bites:

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Ranking SEC coaches by name recognition

ByKirk McNair Apr 2, 4:30 PM

Many years ago I was making the rounds of the Waldorf Astoria in New York with Alf Van Hoose, the late sports editor of the Birmingham News. We were there for the annual National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame induction banquet, at that time a black tie, stag affair attracting virtually all of the head coaches and athletics directors in the nation.

Prior to the banquet we were visiting various rooms hosted by the likes of ABC and Sports Illustrated. We had been to a reception in the elegant apartment of W.W. “Foots” Clements, a Tuscaloosa County native who had been a back-up end to Don Hutson and Paul Bryant at Alabama and had risen to CEO of Dr Pepper. (There are apartments in the Waldorf and Clements’ was across the hall from the widow of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.)

We planned to make one last stop before the banquet and joined a group boarding an elevator. A well-dressed woman was already on the elevator. Noting that the hotel was full of men in tuxedos, she asked if it was “some sort of football thing.”

A small man in our group replied, “Yes ma’am, it is.”

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Josh Jacobs Reruns 40 Yard Dash at Second Pro Day

via: Mark J. Rebilas USA Today Sports

According to Ian Rapoport, former Alabama running back and first-round hopeful Josh Jacobs ran his 40-yard dash again today at the teams second pro day.

The 220-pound tailback had times which ranged from 4.52-4.56 which is an improvement over his times from his first pro day which ranged from 4.63-4.66. Jacobs who faced much criticism over his times was also battling a groin injury before the pro day and was not nearly 100 percent healthy.

The NFL Draft will take place on Thursday, April 25 and Jacobs has been projected as a mid to late first round pick. Maybe his performance today will help tip the scales of some NFL front offices.

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AAF Suspends Play Due To Finances, Is This the End?

Has the end already come for the new AAF football league? Will we ever see the first season end with a championship? Read and see what you think.

By: Larry Burton

Just eight weeks into their inaugural season the AAF, professional football’s fledgling spring league, is suspending operations, at least for now, according to reports from  Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal.

The key word here is suspending, not ending. The problem as with most of the startup leagues is money and this one is no exception.

Tom Dundon, the league owner, made this decision over objections from the founders of the league, Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian who have been vocal about keeping the league going. This reported by The Action Network’s Darren Rovell. There have been stories for weeks of the league hemorrhaging money and Dundon as owner stands to lose almost 70 million should the league fold because he has been using his money to prop things up in the short term.

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Breaking: Alabama Punter Mike Bernier Enters Transfer Portal

via: Touchdown Alabama

According to Al.com, Alabama punter Mike Bernier entered the NCAA transfer portal earlier today. Bernier a redshirt senior, was the punter for the last eight games of the 2018-19 season.

Sophomore Skyler Delong is now the only punter on the roster.

More details to come.

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Alabama punter enters NCAA transfer portal

Another Alabama football player has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Redshirt senior punter Mike Bernier is now in the transfer portal, 247Sports has confirmed. Matt Zentiz of AL.com was first to report the move.

A former walk-on who earned the starting punter job for the matchup with Tennessee in Knoxville, Bernier started the final eight games of the Crimson Tide’s 2018 season. He punted 25 times for 951 yards to average 38.0 yards per boot with a long of 55, dropped five punts inside the opponent 20-yard line and forced 10 fair catches on the season. He was selected as one of the coaching staff’s special teams players of the week for his play against the Volunteers.

Bernier is one of two punters on Alabama’s 2019 roster along with sophomore Skyler DeLong. The Tide also signed Hoover (Ala.) product Will Reichard this offseason, and the true freshman kicked field goals and punted in the first scrimmage of the spring this past Saturday.

“We have a new freshman kicker, who kicked well today. He also punts, and he punted well today,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “And then we have the other guys, who actually were better today than what they’ve been in the past, which is what our hope is that we can develop them and get them to improve.”

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Alabama's John Petty officially withdraws from transfer portal

ByCharlie Potter Apr 2, 12:05 PM

There is one less Alabama name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Sophomore guard John Petty has been officially withdrawn from the portal, 247Sports has confirmed. Petty entered the portal Wednesday, March 27, following the Crimson Tide and head coach Avery John parting ways. But he is returning to UA to play for new coach Nate Oats.

Petty averaged 9.9 points and 33.5 3-point shooting percentage per game a season ago.

“Petty’s a great shooter,” Oats said Monday. “We’ve got to get him a little bit better going off the dribble. Think Herb (Jones) is unbelievable coming downhill at the rim, but he didn’t have a lot of space like we play with. He’s going to be great with that. We’ve got to develop his shooting. Petty’s got to get a little bit better handle on it, Herb’s got to get better shooting it. We want guys that can pass, shoot and handle at all positions on the perimeter.” 

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Wright wanted to be part of the Crimson Tide family

De'Rickey Wright became commitment No. 14 for the Crimson Tide last week when he committed to Alabama over offers from LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, among many others.

“I just really wanted to go there,” the Attalla (Ala.) Etowah product said. “I didn’t want to waste any time, so I just went ahead and committed. I really didn’t have the urge to build it up and everything. I just wanted to be a part of the Crimson Tide family, so I pulled the trigger.”

The Tide staff, including his primary recruiter Holmon Wiggins, were happy to learn of Wright’s decision.

“They were excited and they were ready for me to get back down there,” Wright said, recalling how the coaches reacted when he told them. “It was exciting.”

Excitement is an understatement when it comes to hometown reaction, as Wright says people out in public have been telling him Roll Tide and congratulations since he’s announced his decision.

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Malachi Moore plans to enroll early

Malachi Moore announced he plans to graduate early and enroll in the school he signs to in January on Sunday via Twitter.

Moore is a 2020 4-Star defensive back out of Trussville, Alabama,. He is the No. 1 ranked defensive back in the state. His physical nature has other teams still on the hunt for him as they attempt to get him away from the grasp of the Tide.

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Tua, Taulia Tagovailoa break down scrimmage film after midnight

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Hours after Alabama’s first spring scrimmage ended and most everyone had left the football facility on Paul W. Bryant Drive, film study started for Tua and Taulia Tagovailoa.

The older brother provided the younger brother with some late-night advice after his first scrimmage.

“Just things that I see,” Tua said Monday. “I had the opportunity to bring my brother up here late at night, probably about 12:30 to 1, and just sat down with him in our offensive staff meeting room and just watched film with him. He just wanted to know the things that I’m seeing out there, and I got to help him with that.”

Tua does that with all of Alabama’s quarterbacks, but a trip to the facility after midnight is likely only reserved for a member of his family. But just like the other signal callers, the Crimson Tide’s incumbent starter wants to see Taulia succeed and is more than willing to help him do that.

“There’s a lot of things he can work on,” Tua said. “We talked about it in our quarterback room, things that I can work on, things that the other quarterbacks can work on. It’s all about getting better in our quarterback room. So, he knows he’s got to get better, and we all know we’ve got to get better. We’ve just got to push ourselves and one another.

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Jumbo Package: Tide returns to practice looking to improve upon scrimmage performance

Freddie Kitchens may or may not win with the Browns, but he’s going to be entertaining along the way.

The birth of a powerhouse swim and dive team is well underway. The men took 7th at NCAA Nationals — their fourth top-10 finish in the past five years and sixth top-15 finish in a row at the national championships. The women placed 14th (its best finish ever) and Kensey McMahon earned All-American honors. Both teams are coached by Denny Pursley.

Tua Tagovailoa spoke to the media yesterday, and recapped his scrimmage as well as what Coach Sark does differently than the Locks/Enos tandem:

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Hey, Coach: This time, it was Oats doing the toasting — New basketball coach promises culture change

New basketball coach Nate Oats made an appearance on “Hey Coach” at Baumhower’s last night. And, buddy, was the hyperkinetic head man spitting fire.

From demanding Bob’s staff tear down posters of Avery Johnson...

To knocking the team’s lack of conditioning and rudimentary skills level...

“Things were definitely a lot different,” Oats said at Baumhower’s Victory Grille. “The pace of play is nothing like any of them had been accustomed to. They were a little gassed and worn out. We’re not doing any conditioning, just the drills we’re running (laughs) at a little bit of a different pace than they’re used to doing. We were third in the country in offensive pace of play at Buffalo, we were ... first in transition points per game. We’re going to run that system.

To their accustomed effort...

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Tide hoops signee believes in Oats

ByHank South Apr 2, 8:05 AM

It’s been a busy last few days to say the least for Alabama men’s basketball.

Nate Oats was announced as the Crimson Tide’s next head coach last Wednesday, new offers have been extended, and visits are being made as the program looks to finish its 2019 recruiting class with a bang.

The Tide inked a three-man class last November during the Early Signing Period of Juwan Gary, Jaylen Forbes, Jaden Shackelford.

The latter gave his reaction to the latest developments and where he stands with his decision to roll with the Tide.

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2019 Alabama Crimson Tide Spring Football unit preview: Quarterback — the best player in the country

Enjoy him for 15 more games.

By Erik Evans Apr 2, 2019, 7:45am CDT

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Superstar

This Tua Tagovailoa kid is pretty good. I think we should keep him. He didn’t throw an interception until the 9th game of the season, a road win over LSU, which was also the first time he had to actually play in the fourth quarter. Along the way, playing mainly in the first halves of games, Tua completed 355 of 455 passes (69%, nice) for 3966 yards, 43 passing touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He didn’t have a multi-pick game until the SECCG. And, while a testament to his escapability as much the offensive line’s excellent play, he only had one game where he took more than one sack (MSU 4). He chipped in another 5 scores on the ground, rushing 57 times for 190 yards. And, importantly, Tua led a ‘Bama offense that scored almost 50 points per game and became the first team since the 1988 Yale Elis to beat all of its regular season opponents by 20+. While his first half could have gone better against Clemson — to put it mildly — he still had a complete game that would otherwise be quite acceptable against an elite defense: 294 yards, 65% completion percentage, 2 TD, 2 Ints, just one sack taken.

People were impressed, and his trophy case grew fat:

Sporting News College Football Player of the Year; CFPA National Performer of the YearMaxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, National Quarterback Club College Quarterback of the YearHeisman Trophy runner-upFirst-Team All-American, First-Team All-SEC, Consensus All-AmericanSEC Offensive Player of the Year

SEC (also are school records):

QBR (199.4. Surpassed Baker Mayfield’s 2017 FBS record)Yards per attempt (11.2); yards per play (10.1)Passing TDs in a season (43)Single-season passing yardage (3,966)

Alabama

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Photos: Day 9 of spring practice

ByDenon McMillan Apr 1, 8:30 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Wet fields pushed Alabama's spring practice indoors for Monday's session.

Check out photos from inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.

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Players 'gassed, worn out' after first on-court work with Oats

Nate Oats hasn’t been on the job a week yet, and he’s already worn out his Alabama players.

On the court, at least.

On Monday, the Crimson Tide men’s basketball team went through its first on-court workout with the new head coach, and during his first Hey Coach show, Oats said it was an eye-opening experience.

“Things were definitely a lot different,” Oats said at Baumhower’s Victory Grille. “The pace of play is nothing like any of them had been accustomed to. They were a little gassed and worn out. We’re not doing any conditioning, just the drills we’re running (laughs) at a little bit of a different pace than they’re used to doing. We were third in the country in offensive pace of play at Buffalo, we were ... first in transition points per game. We’re going to run that system.

“We’ve athletes down here to run it, and we’ve just got to get the culture right to where they’re going hard every day in practice.”

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Alabama to grow more consistency at inside linebacker for 2019 season

© Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

He carries as much enthusiasm as other game-changing inside linebackers before him at the University of Alabama; however, Dylan Moses cannot do everything on his own.  

A native of Baton Rouge, La., the former five-star and returning junior finished last season as one of three finalists for the Dick Butkus Award – which goes to the best linebacker in high school, college and professional ranks. Lyndell “Mack” Wilson wanted the title of calling plays defensively, but it was Moses that was more prepared for the role through 15 games in 2018. 

He led the team in total tackles (86) as a sophomore and was among team leaders in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (3.5), to help the Crimson Tide secure a Southeastern Conference Championship and a 45-34 victory over Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl. 

Regardless of Moses being back as a leader and potentially first-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the inside ‘backer spot is the weakest one for Alabama this spring. No one else matches him with in-game experience and following the first scrimmage on last week, Nick Saban said the players at the position (especially the young ones) have a lot of work before fall camp. 

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Practice Report: Henry Ruggs III Absent From Practice

via: Touchdown Alabama

With A-Day officially two weeks away, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide headed indoors today to refine their skills from the scrimmage last week and to work on the chemistry between position groups.

Listed below are notes from practice:

-Ben Davis and Shyheim Carter were both in black, non-contact jerseys.

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