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Nate Oats’ first staff at Alabama is slowly coming together.
Assistant coach Bryan Hodgson has been removed from the Buffalo website and has changed his Twitter profile to read “Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at The University of Alabama. #Rolltide”
“Bryan Hodgson came with me from Buffalo,” Oats said Monday. “Bryan and myself, for the most part, recruited the entire roster at Buffalo. He’s an unbelievable recruiter. We were getting Top100 players at Buffalo, so I can’t wait to see what we do down here. When you walk in with this on, you get some credibility right out of the gate playing in an unbelievable league. He’s been my right-hand man for four years. He’s coming. We’re getting the support staff put together.”
Hodgson flew to Tuscaloosa, Ala., with Oats last Wednesday and has since been recruiting for the Crimson Tide. In four seasons, Hodgson helped guide the Bulls to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances. He led the Buffalo recruiting efforts and oversaw the 2018 class that was ranked 76th nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite -- the highest ranking in program history.
Along with Hodgson, Oats is bringing his director of operations Adam Bauman to Tuscaloosa. Like Hodgson, Bauman has edited his Twitter bio to reflect the career change. Prior to his stint at Buffalo, Bauman was a video coordinator at Mississippi State from 2012 to 2015.
ByCharlie Potter 3 hours ago
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama head coach Nick Saban held a press conference Wednesday evening following the Crimson Tide's 10th practice of the spring. Below is everything Saban said in his fifth press conference of the spring and only one before Saturday's second scrimmage.
“To summarize the week, I thought the players were really good on Monday. We had to go inside because the field was a little too wet. Today, every now and then, as a coach you feel like people get the 'Poor mes.' If you know what the 'Poor mes' are, they're exactly what I said. 'Poor me, my leg hurts. Poor me, my shoulder hurts. Poor me, it's hot out here today. Poor me, I don't feel like practicing. To me, I'm not big on the Poor mes. I like people not to do what they feel like doing but to choose to do what they need to do to get better and that has been very, very good all spring. Today, it could have been better. I think practice went better as we went. We need to keep working on that. That's a signal to me of mental toughness, ability to sustain in difficult circumstances, which we're certainly going to have our share of in the competitive environments that we play in. That's one of the things that you try to develop in the offseason.
“This scrimmage, this week, will probably cover some other situations. I would hope that a lot of the young players who probably had a lot of anxiety last week relative to first time playing, first time being in the stadium, first time college scrimmage, those guys would probably make the most improvement. But last week I thought we really played well on offense. The first defense was OK but certainly some areas to improve in. But the depth of our team overall has got to improve. We need more people who can be responsible and accountable to do a job to a standard where we feel like they can play winning football. That's certainly going to be the goal that we continue to work on.
“We have spent time this week on other opponents. We started that this week, which we usually do this time of year. Things that we don't really see much from the offense and things that the offense sees that they don't really see from the defense. So that's something that's been very beneficial, I think situationally to a lot of players. That’s a really beneficial thing and it takes a lot of preparation but our coaches have done a really good job of that.”
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban was pleased with how his Alabama team responded on the practice field Monday following the first scrimmage of the spring. Wednesday? Not so much.
“To summarize the week, I thought the players were really good on Monday,” Saban said. “We had to go inside because the field was a little too wet. Today, every now and then, as a coach you feel like people get the ‘Poor mes.’ If you know what the ‘Poor mes’ are, they’re exactly what I said. ‘Poor me, my leg hurts. Poor me, my shoulder hurts. Poor me, it’s hot out here today. Poor me, I don’t feel like practicing. To me, I’m not big on the ‘Poor mes.’
“I like people not to do what they feel like doing but to choose to do what they need to do to get better, and that has been very, very good all spring. Today, it could have been better. I think practice went better as we went. We need to keep working on that.”
Early in Wednesday’s practice, Saban said the players sent him a signal that the “mental toughness” and “ability to sustain in difficult circumstances” need to be points of emphasis this offseason.
The Crimson Tide is two-thirds of the way through its spring season and will have one more practice Friday, April 5, before returning to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its second scrimmage this Saturday.
ByDenon McMillan 5 hours ago
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama was back outside for Day 10 of spring on Wednesday.
Check out photos from Wednesday evening's session.
Ale Kaho, Jaylen Moody, Dylan Moses
Here are several observations from the media viewing portion of Wednesday’s practice.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Tua Tagovailoa put together a record-breaking season in 2018. But in all likelihood, it could have been even more impressive had Tagovailoa stayed healthy the entire year.
This time last year, the stunning sophomore was dealing with a hand injury after the first day of spring drills. During the season, he sustained a lingering knee injury in Week 6 at Arkansas and an ankle injury that knocked him out of the SEC Championship Game against Georgia.
“No,” Saban said earlier this spring. “I mean, we can seven-man protect every time and send three guys out so that they could double cover them all.”
About the answer one would expect, right?
ByHank South 15 hours ago
Alabama sits atop the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Ranking thus far in the 2020 recruiting cycle, a position it’s held for quite some time.
Luckily for the Tide, there is no shortage of options on the table that the staff has been in pursuit of this spring.
Here, BamaOnLine takes a look at a handful of the more intriguing names at the quarterback position to track this offseason.
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.
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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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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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 latter gave his reaction to the latest developments and where he stands with his decision to roll with the Tide.
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.
Najee Harris , Brian Robinson
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.”
Alabama wide receiver pledge boosted his stock at the Adidas 7on7 National Championship this past weekend in Florida. He was busy helping recruit for the Crimson Tide, too.