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10 college football QB battles that will shape 2018 season

The quarterback compeitition for the Tide has gotten a ton of attention, but keep an eye on some others throughout the game. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No position on the football field has a greater impact than the quarterback. And as the 2018 season slowly approaches, several of the most respected college football teams have yet to identify which player will be leading the offense.

Interestingly, a handful of programs have a second option with previous starting experience. The incumbent No. 1 might end up being the backup.

Dozens more will have a quarterback battle in fall camp, but the result of these 10 competitions will shape the season.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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Michigan recruiting: Alabama CB commit Javier Morton considering Wolverines

Stay updated as Michigan rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Michigan recruiting reporter Evan Petzold. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Wolverines recruiting news.

Alabama CB commit Javier Morton calls Michigan ‘high priority’

Javier Morton thought his college future was set when he committed to Alabama on Dec. 1. But a conversation the 4-star cornerback from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., had with his coach recently could have shaken things up.

Michigan offered Morton on May 12, and he found out about the offer from coach Ron Gartrell.

“I’ve been receiving mail from them,” Morton said. “I called my coach and he told me they actually offered. My coach doesn’t want us getting all caught up in recruiting, so he just keeps some things to himself.”

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back has offers from 32 schools, including Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State and Texas A&M.

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Alabama Football: These summer enrollees will make an ’18 impact

Alabama football has a larger group of summer enrollees this year. Check out five newcomers, plus one more who will push for significant playing time. Even if the calendar does not say so, it is summer in west Alabama. Summer workouts have begun for the 2018 Alabama football team. There are 17 summer-arriving players for […]Alabama Football: These summer enrollees will make an ’18 impact - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Saban tired of taking heat for blocking transfers

SANDESTIN, Fla. - Alabama coach Nick Saban has made news in recent years for blocking his players from transferring within the SEC, and he says he doesn't understand why he's taken heat for doing so.

"I don't think it should be on me," Saban said.

Two years ago, Saban stood in the way of former defensive back Maurice Smith from transferring to Georgia. And this year, he's reportedly blocked offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, who is interested in Auburn and Tennessee, according to al.com.

Alabama coach Nick Saban says the SEC's restrictions on transfers keep players from leaving programs at the first sign of adversity. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Under current SEC policy, players are unable to transfer within the conference without a waiver. If they choose to do so anyway and don't receive a waiver, they must sit out a season before regaining eligibility.

But not all coaches have enforced the rule. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, for instance, allowed former running back David Williams to transfer to Arkansas last offseason.

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Nick Saban has legendary quote about new NCAA headset rule

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  By Gordon Dixon  |  Last updated 5/29/18

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Nick Saban talks Alabama QB, transfers, NCAA rules and 'elephant doodoo'

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Alabama men’s golf dispatches Texas Tech to reach semifinals at NCAA Championships

It went down to the last match, but the University of Alabama men’s golf team defeated Texas Tech to advance at the NCAA Championships on Tuesday morning.

The Crimson Tide were the first team to move on to the semifinals, which will be played at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., (par 72, 74,60 yards) on Tuesday afternoon.

No. 6 Alabama will face Duke for a chance to play for the national title. The Blue Devils came into the tournament ranked No. 28.

The Golf Channel will show the match beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.

“What a great match that was,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said in a release. “I mean, that was down to the last hole. We are thrilled and I’m proud of how our guys fought through a lot of adversity again today. Texas Tech is a great team and we are going to have to do it again against another great team in Duke. We are just excited to still be playing.”

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Jumbo Package: SEC Spring Meetings get underway as transfers takes center stage

California: Bad at math. This was a good use of legislative time, I’m sure.

An amendment pitched this week in the California state legislature would cap the salary at state schools for non-faculty positions at $200,000. Coaches are non-faculty positions, so that means college football and basketball coaches (among others) would be subject to the limit. Public hearings would be needed for salaries above that number.

So, let’s ignore the fact that, among Power 5 programs, coaching salaries are paid for by boosters and donors. And, in those cases where the salaries and perks are not fully met, the programs themselves are self-sustaining and more than cover the balance. You think UCLA, with a $6 million dollar football coach and departmental revenue of $100 million dollars is too chuffed about this? I doubt it. What about administrators? Most Provosts and Presidents aren’t faculty positions either. But, you think someone’s going to run a school with a $14-billion dollar endowment, in California of all places, for what would essentially be pauper’s wages in LA? Hell, $200,000 won’t even buy you half of a strength coach in Alabama.

Greg Schroeder at USA Today interviewed Saban on a wide range of topics. As usual, CNS was terse in dryly humorous way. I liked the initial response he had to the CFP Committee:

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Alabama football: Nick Saban offers scholarship to quarterback recruit

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Alabama offers 2021 quarterback

Alabama recently added a quarterback for the 2018 class. The Crimson Tide also got a commitment from 2019 quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama recently set its sights for the future. Coach Nick Saban offered a scholarship to 2021 quarterback commit Preston Stone. 

MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday

In other headlines…

Third-round issues at the NCAA Championships have Alabama men’s golf’s season on the brink.

Alabama and LeBron James share similarities

Alabama won the national championship in football, which means good things for Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. Every year that Alabama has won the national title since 2010, a James-led team has also won a championship. James is currently heading back to the finals after beating the Boston Celtics. 

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Alabama National Champions: What Tide team will win No. 28?

There are a total of 27 Alabama national champions won by Alabama athletic programs. Five Alabama team sports have won National Championships: Football; Gymnastics; Men’s Golf, Women’s Golf and Softball. What team will win No. 28? Measuring Alabama national champions against every major collegiate athletic program is not easy. There are so many different team sports. […]Alabama National Champions: What Tide team will win No. 28? - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Alabama men’s golf hold on, advances to match-play quarterfinals at NCAA Championships

It was like watching something at an amusement park or musical chairs, only with a lot on the line.

The University of Alabama men’s golf team began the fourth round of the NCAA Championships in ninth place, needing to ascend the standings in order to make the eight-team quarterfinals at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. Like numerous other teams, the Tide went up and down the leaderboard, reaching third at one point, only to return to the cut line moments later.

When the music stopped, Alabama occupied sixth place, securing a place in the match-play portion of the tournament.

The seeding at the end of stroke play will be as follows:

1 Oklahoma State vs. 8 Texas A&M4 Oklahoma vs. 5 Auburn3 Texas Tech vs. 6 Alabama2 Duke vs. 7 Texas

Alabama is the top-ranked team in its side of the bracket at No. 6 and Texas Tech is No. 13. The winner will face the team to advance between No. 28 Duke and No. 15 Texas. The teams ranked No. 1, No 2, No. 3 and No. 9 are all on the other side of the bracket.

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What’s next for Alabama on recruiting trail after flurry of commitments

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk about what’s next for Alabama on the recruiting trail. 

What else Alabama needs on the recruiting trail 

The last two months for Alabama have been hectic for the Crimson Tide on the recruiting trail. Of the team’s 14 commitments, 11 of them have pledged to Alabama in either April or May.

Alabama has the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, and I don’t think the Tide are going to finish below the top spot in this cycle after failing to finish No. 1 in 2018, which was the first time since 2010.

With 14 commitments, I believe there are 12 to 13 spots remaining. I still haven’t gotten clarity on whether Layne Hatcher, the quarterback who flipped from Arkansas State to Alabama over the weekend, is on scholarship right now. He may be offered one if either Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa or Mac Jones transfers.

But here’s a look at other players still in the mix for the Tide.

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Multiple reasons why Nick Saban bought more insurance for the quarterback room

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast with Ryan Fowler. In this edition, we talked with former Alabama running back and radio host, Martin Houston, about Nick Saban adding more depth in the quarterback room.

Topics discussed:

Some possible reasons why Saban decided to add another quarterback to his 2018 roster.Quarterback Layne Hatcher will now enroll at Alabama instead of taking a grayshirt at Arkansas State.Houston shares some thoughts on the latest Alabama headlines.We discuss some possible scenarios that led to adding a new recruit to the roster this late in the recruiting season.Some predictions on which quarterback will win the starting job in 2018.Houston is a popular radio host in Tuscaloosa on Tide 102.9. You can connect with him on his Twitter account.The Alabama Crimson Tide podcast on Friday featured former Crimson Tide legendary quarterback Scott Hunter to talk about playing for coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and his thoughts on the dynasty Saban has built.

Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast right here.

NEXT WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama teammates visit Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

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WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama teammates visit Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Several Alabama players, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, visited the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor over Memorial Day weekend, and it provided some pretty compelling video.

Courtesy of AL.com, Tagovailoa toured the memorial with his teammates and younger brother, Taulia Tagovailoa. Here’s the clip:

“In honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to honor all of those who came before us to serve and protect our country,” Tagovailoa said in the video. “We’re here to remember what they’ve done. And at the same time, this is just a good opportunity for our guys to see the Arizona Memorial. So we’re here to learn.”

Also joining the Tagovailoa’s were Joshua Casher and Alex Leatherwood.

“I’ve always been intrigued by this, just growing up and learning about World War II,” Casher said in the video. “This is a sacred place. I feel like when you come here, you show it some respect.”

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Alabama football: Tua Tagovailoa shows progress by throwing for first time since injury

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Road to recovery

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa missed most of spring practice with a finger injury. At first, it looked like he was going to be able to play in the A-Day game, but he suffered a setback that held him out for the game. Fellow quarterback Mac Jones filled in nicely for him. He threw for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Tagovailoa’s injury put the quarterback race on hold. Now, it seems like he is getting close to being healthy. Tagovailoa shared a video of him throwing for the first time since the injury.

MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday

In other headlines…

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Alabama Football: The best and the worst SEC football coaches

It is a foregone conclusion Alabama football coach, Nick Saban is the SEC’s best head coach. Let’s consider who is the worst. The almost universal acclaim Nick Saban receives as the Alabama football head coach includes being considered the SEC’s best. Which coaches live at the other end of the SEC coaching spectrum? Let’s consider […]Alabama Football: The best and the worst SEC football coaches - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Join Tua Tagovailoa and his Alabama teammates as they tour the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

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Bo Perasol says Jboy Gob 'a welcome addition' to UP Fighting Maroons

The UP Fighting Maroons aren't done recruiting just yet.

After getting high-flying forward Ricci Rivero earlier this month, UP has acquired the services of former La Salle Green Archer big man Jboy Gob according to head coach Bo Perasol.

After months of speculation, UAAP standout and Gilas cadet Ricci Rivero is now taking his talents to the UP Fighting Maroons.

Mark Dyke makes his return to the Green Archers. And it looks like he'll be a vital piece for La Salle's quest to bring the title back to Taft.

Just days after Jordan Sta. Ana bid farewell to UST, he was picked up by his former coach Jeff Napa to play for the Letran Knights in the NCAA.

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Third-round issues at NCAA Championships has Alabama men’s golf season on the brink

The University of Alabama men’s golf team’s players and coaches have repeatedly said during the postseason that they play their best when their backs are against the wall. That’s exactly where the Crimson Tide found themselves at the NCAA Championship on Sunday afternoon.

Similar to another team, No. 6 Alabama went from setting the course team record at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., to falling down the team standings and being on the brink of elimination. After shooting 9-under par 279 on Saturday, it came back with a +13 (301) and fell to ninth place on Sunday.

“We will learn from today,” Coach Jay Seawell said in a release. “We got punched in the mouth and this is the first time that I remember in which we didn’t punch back. I believe in these guys and everything that we have worked for is right there in front of them. We just talked about getting our minds right and we need to wake up tomorrow and execute our golf shots like I know we can.”

Alabama’s two All-SEC players, senior Lee Hodges and junior Davis Riley, both shot +5. Hodges was +2 overall on the individual leaderboard, tied for 34th, and Riley +4. Senior Jonathan Hardee was +4 on the day and +5 for the tournament.

Freshmen Davis Shore and Wilson Furr were both +2 on the round. Shore was at +4, and Furr +11.

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Alabama Baseball Looks To The Future

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team was picked to finish 14th in the 14 team SEC by league coaches in the preseason. The Tide lived up to that not so lofty prediction, but did show improvement in a number of areas. First year coach Brad Bohannon was brought in last June to replace the fired Greg Goff. Goff lasted only one season after replacing Mitch Gaspard and “led” the Tide to a 19-34-1, 5-24-1 record in his one disastrous season. Bohannon’s first squad finished 27-29 overall and 8-22 in the SEC.

IMPROVEMENTS

Improvement was shown in several areas. The strength of schedule improved from 40 to 22, the RPI went from a dismal 175 to a respectable 82. The home record was 21-13 compared to 14-22 in 2017, while the midweek game record jumped from 6-5 to 10-4. The in-state opponents record was 7-7 in 2018, and 5-5 in 2017. However the 2017 team was 3-1 against Auburn, while the 2018 group finished 0-4 against their arch rivals. Bama was 6-8 in one run games in 2018 and 5-13 in 2017.

OFFENSE

On offense the team batting average went down from .263 to .256, but runs per game improved from 5.19 to 5.54. Stolen bases remained a problem with 34-51 in 2018, matched again 27-51 in 2017. On base percentage improved from .351 to .369. The team had 44 home runs in 2018 and 46 in 2017.

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