Roll Tide Nation

Unofficial Alabama Crimson Tide Fan Site

Breaking: Starting Right Tackle Jedrick Wills Suffers Sprained Ankle

via: Marvin Gentry USA Today Sports

During Nick Saban’s post-scrimmage press conference, it was confirmed that starting right tackle Jedrick Wills had suffered a sprained ankle today. Saban did not elaborate when the injury occurred during the team’s second scrimmage of the spring.

”We don’t know the extent of it,” said Saban. “We did an MRI. He didn’t come back.”

Wills started every game at right tackle for the crimson tide last season. The injury will be one which the team monitors closely.

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Alabama football prepares for second scrimmage before A-Day

Derrick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

In mostly cloudy, 76-degree temperatures, Nick Saban and the University of Alabama football program are inside Bryant-Denny Stadium warming up for its final scrimmage of spring ball. 

With its annual A-Day scheduled for next week, the idea is to locate more athletes that want to play “winning football” and grow in consistency. 

Saban will speak with the media following the two-hour practice, but listed below are the notes from warmups prior to the exhibition. 

-After missing the first scrimmage, Henry Ruggs III was back leading one line of receivers. 

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PODCAST: Notes from inside Alabama’s first spring scrimmage

Nick Saban and Alabama football have one final scrimmage on Saturday prior to A-Day, as spring practice starts to wrap up. During its first live exhibition last week from Bryant-Denny Stadium, there were a few players that stood out to the coaching staff and fans. 

Saban discussed some of the good things and areas the Crimson Tide needs to improve on with the media, following the two-hour practice.

In getting back to the “Alabama factor,” the five-time national champion is trying to locate the players that want to play winning football. 

Before the pads go off for part two, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine released a segment on Wednesday via In My Own Words on the first scrimmage.

After talking with various sources, Smith breaks down the individuals that stood out to him. 

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Former Alabama offensive lineman heading back to NFL

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

We may have witnessed the end of the Alliance of American Football League, but the different brand of gridiron action provided excitement and it may have just granted a former University of Alabama player a second chance at the National Football League.  

After one season with the Birmingham Iron, offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer is heading back to the pros – according to a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. News came on Friday, as Fowler tweeted information on the Pittsburgh Steelers being expected to sign Hassenauer. 

A four-year player with the Crimson Tide, he arrived on campus as a four-star in 2014 and was one of the nation’s top high school center prospects. Hailing from Woodbury, Minn., Hassenauer lined up at both guard and center through 25 career games and had a role in helping Derrick Henry become the program’s first 2,000-yard rusher (2,219) in the 2015 season.  

Following his run to the Heisman Trophy, Hassenauer cleared the way for two straight 1,000-yard years from Damien Harris in 2016 and 2017. When it comes to pass protection, he assisted Jacob Coker to 3,110 yards passing in 2015 while aiding Jalen Hurts to be the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 (3,734 total yards, 36 touchdowns) as a true freshman. 

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Practice Report: Alabama Prepares for Second Scrimmage Before A-Day

via: Touchdown Alabama

On the Friday practice before A-Day week, Nick Saban and the rest of the Alabama Crimson Tide opted for a lighter session heading the team’s final scrimmage on Saturday. The University of Alabama also held its annual coaching clinic, where a few hundred high school coaches were in attendance to watch the spring practice.

Listed below are notes from practice:

-Offensive line coach Kyle Flood wanted his players to zone in on hand placement and power as the group worked on their steps and punch.

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Nate Oats Rounds Out Alabama Basketball Coaching Staff

New Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats is expected to hire Charlie Henry as assistant coach. Henry was serving as head coach for a G-League team (aka NBA D-League), the Windy City Bulls, based in a Chicago suburb. The Bulls made the G-L post-season this season for the first time in their three year existence but lost in the first round.

A Michigan native, Henry got his first coaching job with Oats at Romulus High School for the 2009–2010 season. He then went on to join Fred Hoiberg’s staffs at both Iowa State and the Chicago Bulls. Several Nebraska news outlets prematurely reported that Henry would reunite with Hoiberg at Nebraska.

Henry is set to join Oats’ Buffalo right-hand man Bryan Hodgson and Alabama fan favorite Antoine Pettway on the bench. It is unclear what will become of Yasir Rosemond. He was recruiting with Oats, Hodgson, and Pettway as of a few days ago.

Some believed that former Arkansas head coach and Avery Johnson assistant John Pelphrey might be retained, but it is widely believed that he will be taking the head job at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. The Golden Eagles were a sad 8-23 last season.

ELSEWHERE

Meanwhile in Nashville, Vanderbilt is set on hiring Jerry Stackhouse. The former NBA star has served as an NBA assistant and two seasons as a G-L head coach but has no college coaching experience. The Commodores signed him to a six year contract.

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Eddie Lacy Works Out for Baltimore Ravens

via: Brad Penner USA Today Sports

According to Pro Football Talk, the Baltimore Ravens brought in former Green Bay Packers and Seatle Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy for a workout. Lacy who was out of football in 2018 continues to pursue a career in the NFL.

The 28-year-old was one of the best young running backs in the league at the beginning of his career as he was named 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was a second round pick for the Packers and began his career with back to back 1,1oo yard rushing seasons. But an ankle injury in 2016 and the team’s frustration with his weight led to him getting let go by the Packers after that season.

In 2017 Lacy signed with the Seatle Seahawks and was used sparingly, rushing for just 179 yards on 69 carries.

If the Ravens do in fact sign Lacy, he will join another former Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the backfield as Baltimore continues to build a strong rushing attack.

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Meet the New Guys- Defensive Backs

So far, we’ve covered the quarterback, running back, pass catching, offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker position groups from Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class. Today we’ll finish off the offensive and defensive units by delving into the new defensive backs.

With Deionte Thompson moving on to the pros and Kyriq McDonald transferring (still upset about that one), finding some depth at safety is going to be critical this season. On the cornerback front, Shyheim Carter and Trevon Diggs are both rising seniors, so any new corners will be right on time to learn for a year before vying for a starting job in the 2020 season.

As usual, I will be referring to SPARQ, an analytical tool used to quantify and compare a player’s athleticism.

I pull all of my rankings from the 247Composite, and all heights, weights, and athletic tests are from ESPN, since they pull data from the Opening combines. However, most of the players have changed somewhat in their weight since participation in these combines last summer, so their college-arrival size may be much different. I just keep that old weight because it shows what size the player was when he ran that 40-yard dash.

As a side note, defensive back is typically the most difficult position to watch in high school videos, since the videographers rarely ever show what’s happening down the field. So I may wind up a little less wordy this week than I usually am.

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College Football Spring Games: LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Clemson, Duke

FOOTBALL IS BACK! Well, kinda sorta. There are 11 players on each side in full pads with an oblong leather ball. Yep, we are talking spring football games. While the Crimson Tide’s A-Day is still another week away, there are a few spring games of interest to tie you over until next Saturday. With rain in the forecast for this weekend, you could do worse than to preview some 2019 Alabama opponents.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Duke 5:30 CT/6:30 ET ACCNExtra - Alabama’s first opponent of the 2019 campaign will be learning what life is like without QB Daniel Jones.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

South Carolina 11am/12noon SECN - It’s been 9 long years since the Stephen Garcia Incident. Many Bama fans have Week 3 circled on their calendar.
(Also of interest during this time will be Purdue on BTN).

LSU 1pm/2pm SECN - The Bayou Bengals return many starters on offense but are once again left rebuilding the defense.
(Also during this time: Southern Cal on the Pac-12N)

Clemson 1:30/2:30 ESPN2 - The Defending National Champs are back and hopefully getting all full of themselves. [Not being assumptive that Bama will play them; just letting you all know the Tigers will be available to watch.]

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Former Alabama defensive lineman lands huge JUCO coaching job

Photo comes from Rudy Griffin

He wants to build a pipeline of recruits from Mississippi to the University of Alabama and former Crimson Tide defensive lineman Rudy Griffin, he is well on his way to his goal. 

After serving five seasons at Hewitt-Trussville High School as defensive coordinator, the Mike Shula disciple landed a coaching position on the defensive line for East Central Mississippi Community College on Thursday. News came via the school’s head coach – Ken Karcher — who said Griffin will be a “great role model for our young men on and off the field.” 

Hailing from Hepzibah, Ga., Griffin was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for the Tide from 2005-06. He was a pivotal component, seeing how Alabama finished No. 1 in total defense for college football in both years. During the 2005 season, Griffin helped the program earn a 10-win season under Shula (before sanctions) and helped him gain a contract extension.

Prior to Alabama, Griffin was a two-year at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. 

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Festivities announced; four players to be honored at Alabama’s spring game

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Next week could draw the biggest crowd of the Nick Saban era to Bryant-Denny Stadium, as this year’s spring game is set to be the most highly-anticipated one since 2008. 

For fans of Alabama football, A-Day is a time to be with family, catch up with old friends from college and enjoying a dominant football program.

Per a press release from the University of Alabama athletics department, the festivities for the spring game will include photos with the Orange Bowl Trophy, shopping at the Bama Style Shop, taking in an Alumni Flag Football Game and watching four players from the 2018 team get their hand print and cleat print enshrined at Denny Chimes in the honor of being team captains. 

The four players are Damien Harris, Christian Miller, Hale Hentges and Ross Pierschbacher.  

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Nick Saban likes Harris & Robinson, but wants to see freshmen emerge

Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

Alabama football may have a pure two-headed monster at running back for the first time since 2014 – T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry – however, head coach Nick Saban still is one for seeing freshmen make contributions at the position. 

Since 2008, a list of players that include Yeldon, Henry, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Kenyan Drake all were pivotal guys as freshmen.

The duo of Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr., have earned the right to set the tone for Alabama’s rushing attack next fall. 

Despite their difference in size, running styles and star rating upon signing their letter of intent for the Crimson Tide, Saban looks at both as leaders who are “ready to take the next step.” 

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Mocking the Crimson Tide: Alabama in the 2019 NFL Draft

With just three weeks to go until the 2019 NFL Draft, prognosticators across the country are making their mock picks. Several former Alabama players are in play to be first round picks. DL Quinnen Williams and OL Jonah Williams are unanimous picks for the first round. Most observers think RB Josh Jacobs will join them but not everyone agrees on that. And then there are a few who think TE Irv Smith Jr. could sneak his way into the Day 1 festivities. Below are a few of the top Mocks:

PickTeamRyan Wilson CBSChris Trapasso CBSR.J. White CBSPete Prisco CBSWill Brinson CBSJared Dubin CBSCharles Davis NFL.comChad Reuter NFL.comPeter Schrager NFL.comLance Zierlein NFL.comBucky Brooks NFL.com
1Arizona Cardinals
2San Francisco 49ersQuinnen Williams
3New York JetsQuinnen Williams
4Oakland RaidersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams (AZ mock trade from OAK )Quinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6New York Giants
7Jacksonville Jaguars
8Detroit LionsQuinnen Williams
9Buffalo BillsQuinnen Williams
10Denver Broncos
11Cincinnati BengalsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
12Green Bay Packers
13Miami DolphinsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
14Atlanta FalconsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
15Washington Redskins
16Carolina PanthersJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
17New York Giants
18Minnesota VikingsJonah Williams
19Tennessee TitansIrv Smith
20Pittsburgh Steelers
21Seattle Seahawks
22Baltimore Ravens
23Houston Texans
24Oakland RaidersJosh Jacobs
25Philadelphia EaglesJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
26Indianapolis Colts
27Oakland Raiders
28Los Angeles Chargers
29Kansas City ChiefsJosh JacobsDeionte Thompson
30Green Bay PackersJosh Jacobs
31Los Angeles Rams
32New England Patriots

Part 2:

PickTeamDaniel Jeremiah NFL.comWalter Cherepinsky Walter FootballCharlie Campbell Walter FootballLance Cartelli 247SportsMel Kiper ESPNTodd McShay ESPNDraftwire / USA TodayBen Standig NBCRobert Klemko Sports IllustratedVinnie Iyer Sporting News
1Arizona Cardinals
2San Francisco 49ersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams
3New York JetsQuinnen Williams
4Oakland RaidersQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen WilliamsQuinnen Williams (AZ mock trade from OAK )Quinnen Williams
5Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuinnen Williams
6New York Giants
7Jacksonville Jaguars
8Detroit Lions
9Buffalo BillsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
10Denver Broncos
11Cincinnati Bengals
12Green Bay Packers
13Miami DolphinsJonah Williams
14Atlanta FalconsJonah Williams
15Washington Redskins
16Carolina PanthersJonah Williams
17New York GiantsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
18Minnesota VikingsJonah WilliamsJonah WilliamsJonah Williams
19Tennessee Titans
20Pittsburgh Steelers
21Seattle Seahawks
22Baltimore Ravens
23Houston TexansJosh Jacobs
24Oakland RaidersJosh JacobsJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
25Philadelphia EaglesJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
26Indianapolis Colts
27Oakland RaidersJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs
28Los Angeles Chargers
29Kansas City Chiefs
30Green Bay PackersMack WilsonIrv Smith
31Los Angeles Rams
32New England PatriotsIrv SmithIrv Smith
It seems pretty clear that Quinnen Williams will not last beyond the fourth pick.Jonah Williams looks like he will hear his name called somewhere between Nos. 11-18.Many ‘mockers’ see Philadelphia in Josh Jacobs’ future.Kiper seems bullish on LB Mack Wilson going to the Bengals in the second round (#42).Kiper projects RB Damien Harris at #54 to the Texans.The Raiders have three first round picks. They could land both Quinnen and Jacobs.
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Greg Penn sees Tide offer as a way to keep DMV pipeline going

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.

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Jumbo Package: Young wide receivers standing out this spring

Not exactly what you want to hear 2/3rds of the way through Spring camp, is it?

“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 rest of Saban’s presser right here.

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Alabama DB Jared Mayden trying to lock up starting role at free safety

Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

He mentioned on Wednesday that he is not for the “Poor Me” movement when it comes practicing under tough conditions; however, Nick Saban is a huge proponent of seeing players prove they deserve a starting job on either side of the football for the University of Alabama. 

As a returning senior, Jared Mayden is one of five guys in competition to start at free safety – opposite Xavier McKinney. Mayden, a former four-star from Texas, arrived on campus in the 2016 recruiting class and has 23 career tackles. The 6-foot, 200-pound defender totaled 18 tackles last season and posted two pass breakups, one tackle for loss and one sack. 

While possesses the skill set of a hard hitter, the ability to defend pass patterns and lock on to some of the elite receivers in college football is the next phase for Mayden.

In coming behind Eddie Jackson, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Deionte Thompson, he has to show Saban and the coaching staff that he can create turnovers and generate points off the takeaways for the Tide. 

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Practice Report: Henry Ruggs III Returns to Practice

via: Touchdown Alabama

With A-Day vastly approaching, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide look to refine their skills before the annual spring game. It never hurts to have one of your best wide receivers return to practice, but it’s never a great sign when someone new joins the black jersey unit.

Listed below are notes from practice:

-Shyheim Carter continues to practice, although mainly working with the second group of defensive backs.

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Keilan Robinson looks to bounce back from injury

Alabama running back signee, Keilan Robinson, posted a picture via Instagram on Wednesday with the caption, “Turning minor set backs into major comebacks. Don’t count me out.”

Robinson was ranked as a 4-Star running back coming out of St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C.,. He missed some of his senior season due to a lower body injury.

*Story will be updated.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Alabama Baseball Loses To Troy, 8-4

A short handed Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team lost for the first time midweek on Tuesday night when they lost to Troy 8-4. The Tide is now 20-10 overall, 18-3 in out of conference games, and 8-1 in game versus in state schools. Several players were “not available for various reasons” according to coach Brad Bohannon. Most noticeable being starting outfielder Keith Holcombe, and starting second baseman Morgan McCullough. Bohannon also stated that everyone should be available for this weekend’s SEC foe, South Carolina.

Freshman Connor Shamblin started on the mound for the Tide, and had a perfect first inning. In the second, the Trojans used three walks and a grand slam home run to take control of the game with an early 4-0 lead. In his two innings of work, Shamblin allowed one hit, three walks, three strikeouts, and four runs, all earned.

Bama got one run back in the bottom of the second, but as has been the case all year, left more meat on the bone. The first three batters walked, but the Tide was only able to score once, on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carinci who started in the place of McCullough.

Wil Freeman followed Shamblin on the mound and quickly found himself in trouble. A leadoff walk was followed by an error and an RBI single for a 5-1 deficit. Freeman struck out Cole Prestegard for out one, then gave up back-to-back singles before being replaced by Chase Lee. Lee got a ground out that scored one run, and a pop up to get out of the inning. Freeman lasted 1⁄3 inning, with three hits allowed, one walk, one strikeout, three runs (1 earned) allowed.

In the third, the Tide blew a chance to cut into the lead after the first three batters reached safely, but the team failed to score. Kolby Robinson led off with a routine single, but tried to stretch it into a double and was easily out at second. The next two batters walked, followed by two fly balls to center field that would have been sacrifice flies to score runs had Robinson stayed on first. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin King led off the frame with an opposite field home run to left. That was the last Bama baserunner until John Trousdale entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and lined a solid single.

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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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.”

Here’s a little crootin’ news to kick off Gump Day. Wright committed last week and it went way under the radar with all the hoopla surrounding the hoops program. He’s a positionless recruit at the moment, but is a 6’3” 220 pound player that can play safety, linebacker, or most anywhere on offense.

Plus he has a refreshing attitude. I don’t think this is a guy that will have much drama in his recruitment.

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