Roll Tide Nation
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban took issue with the criticism offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has faced for his brief time with the program during the 2016 season.
Sarkisian was initially hired as an analyst on staff but was elevated to offensive coordinator before the CFP National Championship when Lane Kiffin left abruptly to become the head coach at Florida Atlantic. Alabama lost to Clemson 35-31 in the title game after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half.
Not long after, Sarkisian surprised many when he left for the same position with the Atlanta Falcons. He was fired following the end of last season, and Saban brought him back to replace Mike Locksley, who became the head coach at Maryland.Nick Saban came to newly hired assistant coach Steve Sarkisian's defense Friday, saying Alabama is lucky to have a guy who the Arizona Cardinals wanted as their offensive coordinator. Tom Pennington/Getty Images
"He did a really, really good job when he was here, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he did before he came here as an offensive coach," Saban said of Sarkisian, who was head coach at USC from 2014 to 2015, after Alabama's first day of spring practice on Friday. "And I don't think it's fair to criticize when he takes over a job one week before a game and has to go try to implement something because of the circumstance we were in.
"If you go look at the body of work at the Falcons, they were sixth in offense or whatever, so there has to be some level of expertise to allow them to do that. The players that I spoke to there really thought he did a good job and was a good coach."
Emmitt Smith was one of the most dominant running backs in NFL history, and his son EJ Smith is following in dad’s footsteps.
The four-star running back out of Jesuit High School shared on his Twitter account Wednesday that he received an offer from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Emmitt’s son has also landed scholarship offers from big-time programs like LSU, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and USC.
Ranked the 96th overall player (247Sports Composite) for the 2020 recruiting class, Smith sure does look the part of a dynamic playmaker.
Clearly, the biggest programs in the nation are following his progress closely. It won’t be long before EJ Smith is doing his thing on national television every Saturday.
Henry Ruggs won’t be among those entering the NFL draft this April, but next year when he comes out of Alabama, his blazing speed will have him on everyone’s radar.
According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Ruggs wowed NFL scouts during ‘Bama’s pro day, which took place on Wednesday.
“I’ve heard that NFL scouts timed Ruggs, who had 11 touchdown catches for the Tide last season, in the 4.25 range in the 40-yard dash,” Zenitz wrote.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that these scouts were hand-timing the runs on Wednesday, and that the NFL Scouting Combine uses laser timing. Regardless, that’s a crazy 40, and his speed shows up on tape regularly, too (like this).
Last year as a sophomore, Ruggs hauled in 46 passes for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.Original link
Coach Brad Bohannon and his Crimson Tide baseball team improved to 12-2 this season with victories on Tuesday, over the Birmingham Blazers , and Wednesday over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
Although happy to claim the wins, Bohannon was not entirely pleased with his team’s performance. Both games should have been out of reach early, but late inning woes led to angsty victories. Birmingham scored two in the top of the ninth, and had the tying run aboard before Jeremy Randolph shut the door on the Blazers. The South Dakota State team showed a ton of fight to score three times in the ninth to tie the Tide at four each. The teams battled through 14 innings before Bama could plate the winning run. Alabama defeated Birmingham 4-3, and prevailed over SDS 5-4 in extra innings.
Game One: Won 4-3
Birmingham brought a 9-3 squad to town on Tuesday to battle the Tide. The game was originally scheduled for 5 p.m., but because of the cold snap that hit the state, was moved to 3 p.m. Bama has only played four games this season at the originally scheduled time because of weather.
Left-hander Garrett Rukes got the start on the mound for the Tide and pitched three outstanding innings, allowing three singles, with no runs, no walks, and three strikeouts over his 40 pitch stint. Bama dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when John Trousdale led off with a double, advanced on a Jeaux Breaux single, and scored on an RBI fielders choice by Brett Auerbach. Tyler Gentry singled Auerbach in for the other run in the frame.
The NFL Combine, fairly or not, can make or break a player’s draft stock. A bad workout can send someone hurtling, but a good one can turn a Day 2 pick into a first-rounder and a top-20 pick into a top-10 selection.
Which prospects stood out the most in Indianapolis this year? Here are ten players who helped themselves significantly with their on-field showings at the NFL Combine.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Murray did not work out at the NFL Combine, but he didn’t really need to. He has bigger hands than Baker Mayfield and measured up at 5-foot-10 and 1/8. It’s nitpicking over size, but Murray seems to be tall enough. The question at this point is not whether he’ll be picked in the first round, but instead whether he’ll go first overall. He certainly seems to have solidified his standing just ahead of Dwayne Haskins as the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board, even if his interviews led to some negative reviews.
There's still a little time left before college basketball's Championship Week, a pleasant prelude to the NCAA Tournament.
By now we know who the favorites are in the major conference tournaments: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. But what about the underdogs, teams on the bubble or those squads we still can't quite figure out? All have shown glimpses of being worthy of an invite to the Big Dance at some point this season but still likely have some work left to be done.
The college basketball postseason is one of the most exciting times of any sports season, and the conference tournaments get it all started. So here's a look at 10 major-conference sleepers or under-the-radar programs that might be poised for a deep or surprising run in their respective tournaments.
AlabamaThe Crimson Tide are an NCAA Tournament bubble team at the moment, so a nice run during the SEC Tournament would reinforce their case. Alabama already has wins over Kentucky, Mississippi and Mississippi State, so it should not be intimidated by anyone. Plus, the Tide have an impressive one-two scoring punch in Kira Lewis Jr. and Donta Hall. Don't forget: It's also easy to get motivated to play for coach Avery Johnson, meaning Alabama is certainly a team to watch in the postseason.
Baylor It looked as if the Bears would be in trouble when big man Tristan Clark suffered a season-ending knee injury in early January. However, Baylor is 10-4 minus Clark, with wins over ranked Texas Tech and Iowa State. The Bears overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Texas in overtime this week, so it's possible they can be a factor in the Big 12 Tournament — especially, if 6-foot-7 swingman Mario Kegler stays hot.
Alabama product Quinnen Williams is almost certainly going to be selected in the first five picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. However, this week the defensive tackle won’t do the bench press at the combine due to a finger injury that will require surgery afterward.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared this news on Wednesday afternoon.
In no way should this negatively affect Williams’ draft stock. His power on the gridiron is well-documented.
The former Alabama star could potentially be selected as high as No. 1 or No. 2 overall if the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers stand pat and don’t trade down.The Morning Bark Newsletter. Emailed daily.
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Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won't be sneaking up on anyone this year.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has opened odds on the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner with Tagovailoa as the favorite at +250, followed by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at 3-1. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Adrian Martinez (Nebraska) are tied for the next-best odds at 6-1, followed by Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor at 15-1.
"It was close between Tua and Lawrence," Ed Salmons, vice president of risk at The SuperBook, told ESPN. "But we felt Tua wants to finish what he should have won last year."
Last year, Tagovailoa opened as the third favorite at 10-1 odds to win the Heisman at the SuperBook. He became the favorite in August before Nick Saban even declared him the starter, and after an incredible season was as high as a -750 favorite at some New Jersey sportsbooks heading into the SEC championship game.
But an impressive performance by Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (opened 20-1) in the Big 12 title game helped him capture the Heisman.