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WATCH: Instant reaction to four Alabama players suspended for Duke game

According to reports, that surfaced on Tuesday evening, Alabama will be without four of their veteran players for at least one half as Devonta Smith, Terrell Lewis, Brian Robinson and Najee Harris face suspensions for the Tide’s season opener against the Duke Blue devils in Atlanta on Saturday. Senior analyst, Stephen M. Smith reacts to this news.

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Two more Alabama starters suspended for Duke game

via: Greg M. Cooper USA Today Sports

After the suspensions of Najee Harris and Brian Robinson were announced, it has now been reported by BamaOnLine that outside linebacker Terrell Lewis and wide receiver DeVonta Smith will also serve suspensions for the Duke game.

As of right now the duration of the suspension for Lewis and Smith is unclear, but it is still two massive blows to both sides of the ball.

On the offensive side of the ball, Tyrell Shavers appears the next man up as he and Smith both play the X receiver spot. Shavers has had a solid fall camp and uses his size to his advantage regularly.

Defensively, Christopher Allen will slide into Terrell Lewis’ spot at outside linebacker. Allen has backed up both Lewis and senior Anfernee Jennings at outside linebacker all throughout fall camp.

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UA’s Najee Harris, Brian Robinson to be suspended for first half of Duke game

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

A pair of offensive stars in leadership roles for Alabama football will serve a suspension for the first half of the team’s season-opener against Duke. 

Per a tweet from Joseph Goodman of AL.com, running back Najee Harris and Brian Robinson missed a team function on Tuesday. Both players are returning juniors with much experience and were highly-touted athletes out of high school in the 2017 recruiting cycle.  

Despite the big expectations for both this year, Nick Saban sticks to a tight ship in making sure each student-athletes follows protocol.

UPDATE***

Starting outside linebacker Terrell Lewis and wide receiver DeVonta Smith have also been suspended according to BamaOnLine.

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WATCH: DE Raekwon Davis talks about his new role as a leader

Alabama defensive end Raekwon Davis spoke to the media ahead of practice as the senior opened up about his role as a leader heading into the season.

You can watch the full video here and be sure to subscribe to Touchdown Alabama’s Youtube channel for all the latest news and reactions.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

 

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WATCH: Patrick Surtain, Shyheim Carter and UA secondary in Duke prep

When senior cornerback, Trevon Diggs spoke to the media on last week, his message was about Alabama’s secondary getting its respect back.  

The group has worked hard all summer and on Tuesday, it was indoors performing angle tackles under the guidance of Nick Saban and cornerbacks’ coach, Karl Scott. 

Brian Pride of Touchdown Alabama Magazine shot the video, as it appeared to be Patrick Surtain II and Shyheim Carter leading the drill for corners. The duo of Xavier McKinney and Jared Mayden started drills for safeties.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Alabama continues preparation for Duke this Saturday

via: Steve Mitchell USA Today Sports

On an a 85-degree day with overcast conditions, the Alabama Crimson Tide took things indoors as the team completed its Tuesday practice in preparation for its first game of the season against the Duke Blue Devils.

During the media viewing period, there were multiple looks of first-team units running plays against scout teams.

Listed below are some observations from today’s practice:

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WATCH: Giles Amos talks about his unique nickname

During the media speaking period, Alabama tight end Giles Amos laid out the story of his journey as a walk-on at the university and shared a couple of interesting stories about how he has left his mark on the practice field.

You can watch the full video here and be sure to subscribe to Touchdown Alabama’s Youtube channel for all the latest news and reactions.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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WATCH: Najee Harris, Brian Robinson and Alabama RB’s go through practice

With four days separating us from Alabama’s season-opener against Duke, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide returned to practice on Tuesday.  

Brian Pride of Touchdown Alabama Magazine takes you inside the running back drills, which is headlined by Najee Harris. Following him, Alabama has Brian Robinson, Jerome Ford, Keilan Robinson and Chadarius Townsend.

Prior to the ladder drill, assistant coaches Steve Sarkisian (offensive coordinator) and Charles Huff (running backs) had quarterback work on passes in open space to the backs.

Per Saban, Ford is listed as “day-to-day” in returning from an ankle injury – yet the team is hopeful that he’ll play on Saturday versus the Blue Devils. 

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WATCH: TE Miller Forristall talks about his return to Georgia

Alabama tight end Miller Forristall spoke to the media today ahead of the team’s Tuesday practice. Forristall shared some stories about teammate Giles Amos and what it’s like going back to play in Georgia.

You can watch the full video here and make sure to subscribe to Touchdown Alabama’s Youtube channel for all the latest news and reactions.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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UA players say receiver Slade Bolden reminds them of an elite NFL star

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Like it does with true freshmen, Alabama football has plenty of redshirt freshmen that will see action this season. After having a year to learn the system, student-athletes such as Emil Ekiyor, Jerome Ford and Jalyn Armour-Davis among others are ready to contribute to the program. 

Slade Bolden, a native of West Monroe, La., is another second-year talent. 

As the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Louisiana in 2017, Bolden was a premiere athlete on offense and defense. He was known for skill set at quarterback and running back at West Monroe High School — totaling 1,622 passing yards, 1,460 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns.

Bolden was handed a three-star grade from multiple recruiting networks, prior to signing in the Crimson Tide’s 2018 class. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder has been a scout-team quarterback at times for Alabama; however, he’s improved his game at receiver this offseason. 

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Former Tide star Irv Smith Jr. signs contract with Minnesota Vikings

Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

He’s the highest drafted rookie of 2019 to sign a contract. 

For former University of Alabama tight end Irv Smith, Jr., he put pen to paper on Thursday in finalizing his four-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. News came from Adam Schefter of ESPN and per Spotrac, Smith’s deal is worth $5.78 million ($2.98 million guaranteed) with a $2.23 million signing bonus. 

The 6-foot-2, 242-pounder turned in a contribution last season that went a long way into quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being recognized as an All-American and Heisman finalist. 

He recorded 710 yards receiving on 44 catches with seven touchdowns – setting a single-season school record for scores by a tight end. Smith averaged 16+ yards per catch and had a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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Durability of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa to be monitored next season

© Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

One draft is done; however, people tend to focus much on the future. 

Todd McShay, an NFL Draft expert for ESPN, is one of few analysts that has already started putting together a Way-Too-Early mock draft for 2020.

While many media outlets have the University of Alabama placing seven guys in the first round, it all starts with returning junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – of whom McShay has slotted as his No. 1 overall selection. 

In his first season as a starter, Tagovailoa took Crimson Tide fans and consumers of college football by storm with his abilities as a natural distributor of the ball.

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Alabama football: O-line features nice blend of talent, experience

Alex Leatherwood looks to be a part of a solid offensive line for the Tide in 2019. Photo by Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: This is part four of an eight-piece series that will take a look at the entire team as Alabama heads into summer workouts. Register here to view the premium content in this series. Here we take a look at Alabama’s offensive line.

Projected depth chart

First group: Alex Leatherwood, Emil Ekiyor, Chris Owens, Matt Womack, Jedrick Wills

Backups: Scott Lashley, Deonte Brown, Kendall Randolph, Evan Neal, Pierce Quick, Hunter Brannon, Amari Kight, Tommy Brown, Tanner Bowles

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Former Defensive Tackle Joshua Frazier Retires from NFL

via: Touchdown Alabama

In a tweet posted this afternoon, former Alabama defensive tackle Joshua Frazier announced that he is “done” with the game of football. Frazier said in the post that he has a lot going on in his personal life and that he can’t give the game the necessary attention that it deserves. He also thanked his teammates from his high school and from the University of Alabama.

The Springdale, Arkansas product arrived at Alabama as a part of the 2014 recruiting class. He was listed as a four-star recruit and also shared the class with other stars like Jarran Reed, Rashaan Evans, Christian Miller, Marlon Humphry, Bo Scarbrough, Tony Brown, Da’Shawn Hand and Cam Robinson. Frazier was also apart of two national championship teams.

In his four seasons as a member of the crimson tide, Frazier was mainly a rotational player among the stacked defensive line. After the 2017 season, Fraizer entered the NFL draft and was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 246th pick of the seventh round.

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Justin’s Recruiting Bites

Alabama Recruiting Update

Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class has 15 verbal commits as high school football spring practices are geared to start soon or have already begun. Nick Saban and the rest of Alabama’s coaching staff is expected to visit some key targets during this period. Information on a couple of targets the Tide will visit and more is included in Justin’s Recruiting Bites below:

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Jumbo Package: Jayden George, son of NFL standout Jeff George, commits to Alabama

Yesterday, Alabama picked up the commitment of walk-on quarterback, Jayden George. That unusual last name should tip you off as to his pedigree — the son of former NFL occasional star/journeyman Jeff George.

Here are the highlights from Jayden’s senior season in Indianapolis.

George the Elder was an interesting player. He had one of the quickest releases, strongest arms, and best play-fakes you could wish for. The physical skills were there for a true Hall of Fame career. Unfortunately, the 1990 No. 1 overall pick also had an ego to match, intermittent injuries, and a penchant for bratiness that made his tenure uneasy with just about every team he played for over a 13-year career. George probably had his most memorable moments for Alabama fans during his time as the signal caller for the (very fun) run-and-shoot Atlanta Falcons under June Jones.

Anyway, Jayden has not been evaluated by any recruiting services, but he has been invited to several campuses — including Georgia most recently. You can tell he has had some coaching from the old man too. He is a throwback for sure: a true dropback passer with nice play-action out of the Ace sets. His arm is live, but he doesn’t appear to have the quick release of his dad. He is an interesting player. In an era of athletes-as-quarterbacks, Jayden is a pure throwing quarterback; a guy from another time and place.

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Giving Away Money: Vegas drops rat poison in Dabo’s Ostarine

For about a century, there were three longstanding truisms about Alabama football: Alabama never had a Heisman winner, Alabama never won a national title with a Republican in the White House, and Alabama has never won a national title when being tabbed the No. 1 team in the nation.

Nick Saban has upended the apple cart as to the first two of these, but the latter is still true: Alabama has never won a national title when being the nation’s preseason top dog. This season, Alabama is firmly in second place behind Clemson...even in Vegas.

And that’s just how we like it.

Yesterday, some of the offshore books began dropping preseason odds to win the College Football Playoff Championship, and, if you want to make some decent money, you could do a whole lot worse than laying some early scratch on the Tide:

Clemson 2-1

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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Leaving the Alabama bubble for the NFL a challenge for some former Tide players

His position coach, Burton Burns, was no longer in his ear and telling him to go to class. Then again, there was no class to attend. The 15-hour, semester-long course load had vanished along with the evening study halls and mandatory 6 a.m. workouts that ensured he’d be occupied from dawn until dusk.

All of a sudden Trent Richardson was bored with a lot of time on his hands and millions of dollars in his bank account.

“What do I do now?” he asked himself.

We’ve talked and speculated around this issue for years, especially in the earlier half of Saban’s tenure at Alabama when the Tide’s NFL draft picks were riddled with flameouts. Some players who thrived in Saban’s structured system struggled to stay focused and driven at the next level when they no longer had people checking behind them for everything.

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Alabama Football Film Room: Josh Jobe looks the part

Josh Jobe got his baptism by fire on the biggest stage. As a true freshman, he was inserted into the line-up in the national championship after starting corner Saivion Smith went down with an injury. Jobe was by no means perfect; but he acquitted himself well, considering the situation, and made two tackles to go along with a pass break-up.

With Smith’s departure to the NFL and versatile defensive back Shyheim Carter limited after surgery, Jobe spent the spring with the first team. At A-Day, he operated as the right cornerback in nickel and dime packages; and he had an excellent outing.

2nd and 10: Jobe (#28) is the right cornerback at the bottom of the screen, playing about 7 yards off the line. He takes one step back on the snap before changing gears when he sees it’s a handoff. Jobe quickly comes down and forces Najee Harris (#22) to keep moving laterally instead of cutting upfield. Harris is a load to take down, but that doesn’t stop Jobe. He hits him up high and, with a bit of help from Moses, who did a good job of avoiding traffic, makes the tackle after a minimal gain.

3rd and 4: Jobe is in press coverage on DeVonta Smith (#6) at the bottom. Smith runs a little hitch route right at the sticks, and there’s a little bit of separation. The yard or two would possibly be enough for Smith to catch it and pick up the first had the throw been on the money, but it’s high. Smith jumps to snag it, giving Jobe more time to close; and he smashes into Smith right after it’s caught. Jobe knocks him back several yards before finishing up the tackle with a suplex, which unfortunately draws a flag and gives the Crimson offense a first down.

3rd and 3: It’s third and short, and the offense goes after Jobe again. He’s at the top of the screen, playing off on Jerry Jeudy (#4). It’s another quick hitch at line to gain. Jobe hesitates slightly once he sees the pass is going to Jeudy, and he wastes a step. Still, once he changes directions; he closes quickly and delivers a jarring hit on Jeudy, showing the physicality we saw in the previous two plays. Jeudy had already started to drop the pass before Jobe got there, but Jobe at least made it so that it would’ve been difficult for Jeudy to hang on had he caught it.

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Jumbo Package: The NFL has drafted enough Alabama players in the Saban era to fill an entire roster

Yesterday, Pat Forde read these tea leaves for Alabama’s swim and dive program...

And, right he was:

Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne has announced the hiring of Coley Stickels as The University of Alabama’s next head swimming and diving coach. Stickels comes to Tuscaloosa following a two-year stint as Indiana’s associate head sprint coach.

The Hoosiers are coming off a program-first sweep of the men’s and women’s Big Ten team titles in 2019. It was also the men’s third-consecutive team championship, while the women captured the league crown for the first time since 2011. In all, the men won 24 medals – 13 gold, six silver and five bronze, and the women took home 14 medals – seven gold, one silver and six bronze.

If we’re going by results, this seems to be another outstanding move by the Ninja, who has made a knack of hiring up and coming small division coaches and big time assistants ready for a shot at a Power 5 job.

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