Roll Tide Nation
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With the start of the college football season comes the age-old query: which athletes will make the biggest impact at their respective positions? There’s still a lot of football to played before we know for sure, but there are already plenty of clues when it comes to predicting who might take home some hardware come December.
(This article covers all non-Heisman awards for the 2018. You can check out our piece on the 2018 Heisman favorites here.)
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At powerhouse college football programs, it usually takes a while for their top incoming recruits to hit the field. But there are always exceptions.
Some of this year’s blue-chip freshmen are positioned to make an immediate impact in 2018, whether it be as key role players or starters. Given the pedigree of some of these schools, there may be a few surprises.
Read on to find out which first-year football phenoms are bound to make a splash on Saturdays this year.
Note: Recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
Patrick Surtain Jr., cornerback, Alabama
Titans Linebacker Rashaan Evans was on the The Jim Rome Show, talking about what he learned from playing under Nick Saban at Alabama.
[You may want to adjust your volume before you see his shirt.☺]
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Alabama is entering the 2018 season with two quarterbacks who are clearly worthy of being starters, and that puts them in a position that many teams cannot relate to. But do they have the best quarterback depth in the country? One QB from another program doesn’t seem to think so.
On Tuesday, Alabama Football’s official Twitter account shared some of last season’s highlights from Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa and said the duo headlines the “best QB room in the country.” Penn State backup quarterback Tommy Stevens had a very simple response.
Stevens, a redshirt junior, considered transferring from Penn State earlier this offseason but ultimately decided he will back up senior Trace McSorley for a third consecutive year.
“I did search around and look to see if there was a better place for me somewhere, and I talked to some schools,” he said previously, via Jordan James of 247Sports.com. “Ultimately, I know what I have here. I love Penn State. I love the relationships that I have here. And I love playing football with my best friends.
The hype surrounding Terrell Lewis always seemed justified.
Just look at him.
At 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds, the Alabama junior has the lean, sinewy build of an elite pass rusher.
He also has a tantalizing blend of speed and power -- qualities that made him a defensive terror.
We already talked about it in a dedicated article yesterday, but I can’t express how upset I am at the news about Terrell Lewis. I pegged him as my favorite player from his recruiting class before they ever set foot on campus, and have expected big things from him every season since. And now another injury.
“...I get by with a little help from my friends.”
~ Sir Ringo Starr
Telling the history of Alabama Crimson Tide football would take years. To tell the tale of the Nick Saban era would take a substantial time in itself, and the story continues. Unless you just came out of a ten-year coma, you know that the Tide has won five National Championships in the last nine years. There are many stories that have been regaled regarding this epoch. The players, the coaches, and the big plays are held in such high regards to Tide fans, like it is almost as if they are a part of the family photo album. But Bama didn’t always pull off these championships without a little help from their friends.November 18, 2011: FREAKY FRIDAY!Iowa State 37 Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT)
The 10-0 Cowboys sauntered their way into Ames, Iowa for a Friday night spotlight game and slinked away with crushed dreams. The Cyclones would lose the rest of their games and finish the season 6-7.
Key Play: Although they were a bit sloppy, the Cowpokes held a 24-7 lead in the 3rd quarter. Ahhh, time to relax and put it in cruise control... After the Cyclones scored a touchdown, OSU would turn the ball over two times and have two three-and-outs on their next five possessions. Meanwhile, ISU chipped away at the lead and tied it up. Late in the game, Iowa State would throw an interception in their own territory. With the addition of a 15 yard personal foul penalty, the Cowboys took the ball at the 29 yard line. After some sad attempts to gain yardage, OSU would miss a 37-yard field goal to send the game into OT where the Cyclones would prevail.
Steve Wiltfong, the Director of Recruiting, put in a crystal ball for the No. 1 prospect in the country – DE Kayvon Thibodeaux. As you can see below, Wiltfong has the Thousands Oak, California native leaning towards the Crimson Tide:
Thibodeaux recently shared that he is down to Alabama, Florida, Oregon, USC and Florida State.Original link
The first thing you notice about Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne is his height. At 6’6” he towers over most people. Byrne is young (47), energetic, tech savvy, and in tune with today’s generation. He and wife Regina have two grown sons, and the oldest, Nick, graduated from Arizona and now works with the University of Florida athletic department.
Byrne was born for the job he has, his dad Bill was an athletic director for many years at Nebraska, Oregon, and Texas A&M. To my knowledge Byrne is the first athletic director at Alabama not to be a former player or coach. In this day and time the position requires more of an administrative lean than in the past. Negotiation and fundraising have become a major part of the job, and Byrne is well versed in both areas.
This lunch meeting came about from Byrne tweeting a picture of he and five athletic department employees dining in his office with a caption, “had five employees in for lunch today, we are going to do this once a week.” Fans that saw the tweet responded with the suggestion to do the same with fans. Byrne liked the idea and put out a contest for fans to tweet in why they should be chosen. I was one of 15 selected, and was picked to come in the first group of five, on Tuesday, July 10th.
An informal gathering in Byrne’s office, with Full Moon brought in, was held at noon on July 10th. We began with each giving a condensed bio of ourselves, and transitioned into questions for the AD. Byrne candidly answered all, with the caveat on a couple of things that they not leave the room, so some things will not be told here, yet.Byrne said he has known Nick Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, for years, and that they have a good relationship. Sexton vouched for his character with Saban, and the relationship has been great. Byrne went on to say that he “hopes Nick is here for a long time, and he will be extremely hard to replace.”Byrne feels Brad Bohannon, his first hire, was absolutely a home run. He mentioned what a great recruiter Coach Bo is, and that they were actually at Kentucky together for a short period of time. Byrne went on to say from his office he has watched Bohannon personally take more recruits through the weight room than another coach on campus. Byrne thinks that the baseball roster should be divided about 50-50 between instate and out of state players.Byrne is an avid golfer and has played two rounds at Augusta National this year, shooting 82 and 92 in his two trips.Byrne was very proud of the University finishing 13th in the Capital One Cup this past year. The ranking was the highest that Alabama has ever finished. With 21 programs on campus Byrne isn't looking to expand anytime soon. A mention of hockey, water skiing, lacrosse, and mens soccer were quickly shot down. Byrne wants to “put as much of our resources and effort into giving the student athletes we have every opportunity to compete for championships.” Twenty one sports teams at Alabama is more than most SEC schools field.Byrne said that there will be metal detectors at every SEC stadium for the 2019 season. He wasn't sure if the staff would continue to check the clear bags in addition to patrons going through the detectors.Byrne said the cell service for BDS and Coleman should be significantly improved. The WiFi will be addressed when a decision is made on what to do next with Bryant-Denny, and will be an extremely expensive undertaking.Byrne said although he likes white helmets, he doesn't believe that coach Saban is very keen on them.Byrne said he was very proud of the coaching staff and players for the way they handled the White House visit this year. He said Saban told the players that they have gone with Democratic Presidents and Republican Presidents, and the trip is to honor the team, the office, and the sitting President at the time. Byrne was very complimentary of the behavior of the players and staff.Byrne mentioned that his office had formally been the head football coach’s office before becoming home base for Mal Moore and Bill Battle. He said that he recently told Gene Stallings “thanks for letting me use your office, coach.”Byrne said that you can't get complacent and continue to do the same thing just because “its always been done that way.” He wants to continue to seek out ways to enhance the game day experience for all the fans, both in premium and regular seating.Fighting TV for butts in the seats is a problem for all programs, Byrne feels.Byrne reiterated that he and Regina were extremely happy in Tuscaloosa, and he “hopes to be here a long time, and retire from this job.”
Several other things that were discussed should be able to be released at a later date. After lunch and conversation Byrne was gracious enough to have a picture taking session, and offer a quick tour of the weight room, which is just steps from his office. Each of the five guests were given a gift of a Nike Thermal hoody and pants set. All in all a extremely good time spent with a personable, affable, smart, man that I feel will be a great steward of the Alabama athletic department for years to come.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
One of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft has suffered a serious injury. Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn right ACL, according to an announcement from the school. Although “a timeframe for his return is unknown at this time,” it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to take the field this season.
Early projections had Lewis (f.k.a. Terrell Hall) in the mix to be a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. That is now very much in jeopardy, though he might be able to recover in time for team workouts in the winter.
Unfortunately, injuries have plagued Lewis throughout his collegiate career. In 2017, he suffered an injury in the season opener which cost him the bulk of the year. Hopes were high after he excelled in spring football practices, but scouts will have to wait a while before seeing the 6-foot-5, 247-pound linebacker on the field again.
In the wake of this news, it’s quite possible that Lewis will stay in school for 2019 rather than going pro. He’ll have ample time to assess his decision, however, and the counsel of the College Advisory Committee (CAC) may play a role in his determination next year.Original link
By CB969 Jul 10, 2018, 12:12pm CDTGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Loki must be back from vacation because he is all up in the Crimson Tide’s business this week.
One day after the announcement that LB VanDarius Cowan had been dismissed from team, comes news that fellow linebacker Terrell Lewis suffered a torn ACL “while training”.
The silver lining is that the injury did not occur while the rising junior was doing some outside activity and was immediately diagnosed and treated. There used to be a time when ACL tears meant the end of a playing career. With any luck, perhaps Lewis can return by December and maybe log a redshirt season. But that is not likely.
Lewis was injured last September during the Florida State game, tearing a ligament in his elbow. He sat out most of the season but was able to return for the Iron Bowl and finish out the postseason. This injury is a bit more severe.