Go inside Friday's practice at Alabama to watch the Crimson Tide's inside linebackers at work!
Roll Tide Nation
Here are several observations from the media viewing portion of Friday’s practice.
The Alabama Golden Flake A-Day Game, scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on April 13 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, will include a full day of activities and experiences, including the opportunity for fans to take the field at the conclusion of the game.
The A-Day game will serve as the 15th and final practice of the spring for the Crimson Tide. Gates open at 10 a.m. and admission will once again be free to the public.
It will be the program's 13th A-Day Game under the direction of six-time national championship coach Nick Saban. A myriad of activities punctuates the 2019 Golden Flake A-Day Game that will be televised on ESPN2 with Tom Hart and Todd Blackledge working from the booth while Laura Rutledge calls the game from field level.
Game day will get started with the Mercedes-Benz Fan Fest and the Coca-Cola Kick Off Zone, which will both open at 9 a.m. adjacent to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Fan Fests will feature giveaways, sampling, the Coca-Cola Kids Zone, live radio remotes, vehicle displays and other fun fan activities open to the general public. Numerous food vendors will also be open on the Walk of Champions Plaza starting at 9 a.m.
Alabama's 2018 Orange Bowl trophy will be on display at the Mercedes-Benz Fan Fest. Free photo opportunities with the trophy will begin at 9 a.m., while former Alabama football players will also be in attendance signing free autographs at the Coca-Cola Kick Off Zone. Check RollTide.com and UA Athletics social media pages for updated appearance confirmations and times.
Nate Oats has reportedly added another assistant coach to his staff at Alabama.
Oats is expected to hire current Windy City Bulls coach Charlie Henry, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. It’s worth noting that previous reports have indicated Henry was set to join Fred Hoiberg at Nebraska as an assistant coach, but no hire has been officially announced.
Henry has experience working with both coaches as he got his start in the profession under Oats at Romulus (Mich.) High School in 2009. He later joined Hoiberg at Iowa State as director of player personnel in 2013 and was later promoted to an assistant in 2014-15. Henry followed Hoiberg to the NBA where he served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls for two years.
Most recently, Henry was the head coach of the Windy City Bulls of the NBA’s G League.
Oats has already filled a few positions on his staff, including one assistant in Bryan Hodgson. Hodgson was Oats’ right-hand man in Buffalo and led the Bulls’ recruiting efforts. Hodgson and director of operations Adam Bauman have joined Oats in Tuscaloosa. Both have been removed from Buffalo’s website and changed their Twitter profiles to reflect their moves to Alabama. Oats is also bringing strength and conditioning coach Mike Snowden, though that is not official yet.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The secondary will be one of Alabama’s most experienced position groups in 2019 as five defensive backs that started in its dime package in at least six games are back.
But one of the players having a quietly productive spring is safety Jared Mayden.
“Jared has really done a nice job for us,” coach Nick Saban said. “He really showed up well in the scrimmage, played really well. Did a good job of tackling, played with more toughness in the game and he’s been pretty consistent. I think he has a pretty good understanding of what is expected of him. I’m very encouraged with his progress and very happy with his performance so far.”
Mayden was the Crimson Tide’s sixth defensive back last season, entering games as a safety in dime formations while McKinney moved down to Money. With Deionte Thompson declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft, Mayden could take over as a full-time safety, though Alabama has options.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama’s three starting receivers, as well as its top reserve, are back for the 2019 season. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will lead the Crimson Tide’s passing game, along with Tua Tagovailoa, for the second year in a row.
Head coach Nick Saban shared exactly which young receivers have shown promise this spring.
“I think Xavier Williams has made a lot of progress. I think that (John) Metchie has shown flashes and doing things really, really well. I think Slade Bolden has made some plays, and (Tyrell) Shavers is better,” Saban said following Wednesday’s 10th spring practice. “So, I feel much better about the depth at that position than in the past, and I think that’s a good thing.
“And it also helps on special teams because a lot of those guys are good special teams players.”
That’s great for the Crimson Tide and its recent pipeline to the league, both Jacobs and Harris and the positive effect potential draft results like that deliver for recruiting graphic quotes and a lot more. But it also leaves Alabama’s current roster lacking experience for the 2019 season.
Nick Saban, however, is pleased with the next two players up at the running back position.
“I really feel like Najee (Harris) and B-Rob (Brian Robinson) are both really good players,” Saban said during his Wednesday post-practice press conference. “I think both of them have got a significant amount of experience in the past. I think they’re ready to take the next step in terms of making a really significant contribution. They both had really good springs.”
Najee Harris and Brian Robinson are rising juniors and have contributed since their freshman seasons in 2017. Last year, Harris was actually the Tide’s second-leading rusher behind the now-departing Harris, rushing for 783 yards and four touchdowns on 117 carries. The former 5-star recruit’s 6.69 yards per carry average led the team and was second-best in the SEC.
Alabama has recruited the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area very hard over the last couple of recruiting cycles and with Greg Penn receiving an offer from the Tide recently, this Trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Penn is a linebacker in the 2021 recruiting class. He is a product of Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland,. He considers Alabama’s offer to be a dream come true.
“It is a dream come true to know I have an offer from the school I always dreamed of going to,” Penn said.
The Crimson Tide were able to grab Demarcco Hellams out of Dematha Catholic in 2019. He was joined by other DMV products: Keilan Robinson, Darrian Dalcourt and Shane Lee. The area has also produced current and former Tide players.
Da’Shawn Hand, Jonathan Allen and Terrell Lewis all have roots in the area. Penn said he feels the success the guys before him have had in Tuscalooa has Nick Saban wanting to keep the pipeline going.
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.