Roll Tide Nation
Alabama's top-ranked 2019 class got stronger Friday with the addition of ESPN 300 DT Antonio Alfano. Here's how this talented Jersey product will help the Crimson Tide's front.Original link
Former Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett revealed that he underwent a blood transfusion in 2015 during his true freshman season with the Tide in an exclusive interview with CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee.
“I had half the amount of blood in my system than I was supposed to,” Barnett said via Sallee. “They immediately checked me into the ER. They did two blood transfusions, an iron transfusion, and I had to have four tests done on me in a matter of two days. I lost about 20 pounds from the medical issues and lost about another week of practice time after that. When I came back, I went straight back to the scout team.”
According to Barnett, team doctors discovered “a small cut in his small intestine” that led to internal bleeding and dropped his red blood cell to seven, half the normal amount.
The Crimson Tide staff initially reported Barnett’s condition as an “illness,” although the quarterback revealed that he underwent “multiple blood transfusions” during his time at the hospital via his Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
The former No. 2 overall pro-style quarterback prospect told Sallee that he attempted to practice through pain in his midsection in order to compete for playing time before eventually being evaluated by team doctors.
Alabama is off to an excellent recruiting start, and you should expect the Crimson Tide to continue their success. SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner will answer the Recruiting Question of the Day each weekday. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or on Facebook. Find our previous questions and answers here.What’s next for defensive line recruiting after Antonio Alfano‘s decision?
Alabama landed a major commitment on Friday when 4-star defensive end Antonio Alfano committed to the Crimson Tide over Georgia and Penn State. Alfano (Colonia, N.J.) became the Tide’s third defensive line commitment in the 2019 class, joining 4-star defensive tackle Rashad Cheney Jr. and 4-star nose guard DJ Dale.
With so many elite defensive linemen strongly considering Alabama, I think the Tide will land at least six prospects across the line this class.
Who is next for the Tide on the defensive line? Here are the players Alabama is heavily pursuing:
Ishmael Sopsher is a top priority for Alabama. Sopsher took numerous trips to Tuscaloosa when sophomore wide receiver DeVonta Smith was going through his recruitment, so he is familiar with Tuscaloosa.
A-Day and spring practice are behind us, but there are still plenty of questions to answer about Alabama football. The players are away from the team to focus on finishing classes, recovering and personal development before summer workouts begin. Here we’ll take a look at a question each day. Check out our archives here.
Honestly, this series is huge for Alabama football, Texas and college football in general. Texas may not be the powerhouse it once was under Mack Brown, but a lot can change in five years. The Crimson Tide and the Longhorns are two of the most recognizable brands in the sport, so there will be a ton of hype around this game.
Credit goes to Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Nick Saban, Texas’ athletic department and everyone else involved for making this official.
The first meeting will take place in Austin on Sept. 10, 2022. Texas makes the trip to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9, 2023.
By all accounts, Austin is one of the top cities in the country so there should be plenty for Alabama fans to do when they make the trip.
The Crimson Tide has once again ranged to the far reaches of the United States and captured the heart of a Top 100 player. New Jersey native Antonio Alfano made his pledge to Alabama on Friday.
As has been well-documented here among the pages of RBR, Alabama has had some good luck with the fertile Mid-Atlantic States as of late. Alfano’s hometown of Colonia, Woodbridge Township, NJ is a neighboring township to Minkah Fitzpatrick’s hometown of Old Bridge, NJ.
The newest Tide commit made an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa on April 13, followed soon after by trips to UGA and Penn State. He is 6’4” 285 and his coach believes his star defender could get bigger. Alfano mostly plays defensive tackle for his high school team but likely projects as a defensive end at Bama.
Alfano chose Alabama over Penn State with Georgia pulling in a distant third. The Tide has Josh Gattis to thank for this recruitment. The two had met on the recruiting trail while Gattis was at Penn State, and they have strengthened the bond since the Tide wide receivers coach made the move to Tuscaloosa.
“Alabama was an awesome visit. I had a great time there. I had some time to hang out with the players and got some good quality time with the coaches. I talked to coach Saban, the defensive coordinator, and coach Gattis. Him being there made a bit of a difference because he’s been in contact with me a lot more since he’s been down there. The visit went really well because coach Gattis was there and we could relate a little more because he knows New Jersey.”
Antonio Alfano is one of the biggest freaks in the 2019 class across the defensive line.
At the New Jersey Opening regional camp last month, Alfano posted a 4.82-second 40-yard dash, had a 36.6-inch vertical jump, ran a 4.27-second shuttle and threw the power ball 46 feet. His SPARQ rating of 124.80 is the nation’s 12th-best score and the best score overall for someone over 250 pounds.
Of the nation’s best SPARQ ratings, only one high school football player weighing more than 250 pounds is in the top 75: Alfano.
He is committed to Alabama. Alfano, a 4-star defensive end from Colonia (N.J.) High School, committed to the Crimson Tide over Georgia and Penn State during a ceremony at his school. Alfano becomes the Tide’s 13th commitment in the 2019 class, and Alabama still has the nation’s No. 1 class.
One of the biggest reasons Alfano, the nation’s No. 5 strongside defensive end, chose the Tide is the team’s ability to churn out NFL draft prospects and compete for national championships.
Alabama has laid the foundation for what should be a top-5 recruiting class in 2019. During the next few months, the coaching staff will attempt to keep some of the nation’s top prospects in the state and add championship-level talent to the roster.
The Tide’s 2019 recruiting class, which is up to 12 commitments, could have as many as 27 or 28 players come National Signing Day in February.
Each Friday, SEC Country will review the week that was in Alabama recruiting. That includes an overview of the current commitments, the top remaining targets and what could be in store next for the Tide.Alabama recruiting: Where it ranks
Alabama’s 2019 class is ranked No. 1 in the SEC and No. 1 nationally, according to the 247Sports composite. All of the Tide’s 12 commitments are rated as 4-star prospects or higher. The team has one 5-star commit, tackle Pierce Quick.Latest Alabama recruiting newsAlabama’s 2019 class commits5-star T Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)4-star LB Shane Lee, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)4-star QB Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.)4-star LB King Mwikuta, Troup County (LaGrange, Ga.)4-star LB Kevin Harris, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)4-star T Amari Kight, Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.)4-star DT DJ Dale, Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.)4-star CB Christian Williams, Daphne (Ala.)4-star DB Brandon Turnage, Lafayette (Oxford, Miss.)4-star QB Paul Tyson, Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)4-star DL Rashad Cheney Jr., Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.)4-star T Tanner Bowles, Glasgow (Ky.)Top remaining Class of 2019 Alabama targetsRunning back: 5-star prospect Trey Sanders, 4-star prospects Jerrion Ealy (committed to Ole Miss), Keilan Robinson, Tyrion Davis (committed to LSU)Wide receiver: 4-star prospects John Metchie, Trey Palmer, Zion Puckett, Milton Wright, Jameson Williams, George Pickens (committed to Auburn)Tight end: 4-star prospects Hudson Henry, Keon ZippererOffensive line: 5-star center Clay Webb; 5-star tackles Darnell Wright, Kenyon Green, Devontae Dobbs; 3-star guard Kamaar BellDefensive line: 5-star defensive tackles Ishmael Sopsher, Faatui Tuitele; 4-star defensive ends Antonio Alfano, Nathan Pickering, Byron Young, Jaren HandyLinebacker: 5-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean; 4-star inside linebackers Christian Harris, Lakia Henry, Kalen Deloach; 5-star Jack linebackers Kayvon Thibodeaux, Nolan Smith (committed to Georgia); 4-star Jack linebacker Derrick McClendon; 4-star Sam linebacker Lloyd Summerall; 4-star inside/outside linebacker Mohamoud DiabateDefensive back: 4-star cornerbacks Noa Pola-Gates, Jeffery Carter, Marcus Banks, Erick Young; 5-star safety Daxton Hill; 4-star safeties Jaylen McCollough, Nick CrossKicker: 3-star prospect Will ReichardPosition breakdown of Alabama’s 2019 commitsQB: 2 of 2RB: 0 of 1 OR 2WR: 0 of 2 OR 3TE: 0 of 1OL: 3 of 5DL: 2 of 5 OR 6LB: 3 of 5 OR 6DB: 2 of 4K: 0 of 1Geographic breakdown of Alabama’s 2019 commitsAlabama: 6 (Quick, Tagovailoa, Kight, Dale, Williams, Tyson)Georgia: 3 (Mwikuta, Cheney, Harris)Maryland: 1 (Lee)Kentucky: 1 (Bowles)Mississippi: 1 (Turnage)
NEXT USF officially announces the addition of former Alabama QB Blake BarnettOriginal link
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Freshman Tua Tagovailoa was this close to leaving Alabama. But at halftime of the National Championship game, coach Nick Saban would turn to Tagovailoa to lead a comeback attempt. The rest, of course, is history. According to Taryn Hatcher of Hawaii News Now, though, it all comes back to that last game.
“I told myself if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out,” Tagovailoa says. “I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available.”
However, this would’ve been less of a challenge to Tagovailoa.
“I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it’d be easier for me and wouldn’t challenge me so much.”
So it was true that Tagovailoa considered leaving 'Bama. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The talk about Tua Tagovailoa considering transferring away from Alabama apparently was quite legitimate.
Tagovailoa spoke at his former middle school in Hawaii on Thursday. According to Hawaii News Now, the Alabama quarterback told the students that he was discouraged by not playing and wanted to leave the Crimson Tide program. He specifically says he asked his father about transferring to play for the USC Trojans.
“I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available,” Tagovailoa told the crowd, via Hawaii News Now. “I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it’d be easier for me and wouldn’t challenge me so much.
“Even throughout my football season, I wasn’t the starter,” Tagovailoa continued. “I wanted to leave the school. So I told myself if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out. If I gave in, I don’t think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now.”
Add ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon among those critical of Alabama coach Nick Saban’s comments about UCF.
Recently, the analysts shared their stinging commentary on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption about Saban, who made headlines when he criticized UCF for celebrating a self-declared national title following the 2017 season. On Tuesday, USA Today’s George Schroeder published a post in which Saban said of the Knights, “Self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it.”
Kornheiser and Wilbon weren’t buying Saban’s stance. Both went on brief rants about the coach, with Wilbon saying of Saban, “He’s a petty man in so many ways. He has demonstrated that over the years. So you know he’s not going to let it go. Of course he should.”
“This is so small and so petty to beef down like this,” Kornheiser added on the show. “You coach Alabama for God’s sake. Why are you worried about Central Florida?
“It doesn’t matter what they claim. Nobody north of Jacksonville is paying attention to what they claim. So let it go. You’re Alabama. Let it go. … I would like to tell you that this is beneath Saban. But nothing is beneath Saban. Saban wrings the joy out of every single thing he’s involved with. He is — as the kids say — a buzzkill.”
Alabama is off to an excellent recruiting start, and you should expect the Crimson Tide to continue their success. SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner will answer the Recruiting Question of the Day each weekday. You can ask him your questions on Twitter or on Facebook. Find our previous questions and answers here.
There are several Alabama targets who are being recruited at different positions than what they are listed as on their recruiting profiles. Those same recruits are also being recruited by other schools at different positions.
Antonio Alfano, who is set to announce his commitment to either Alabama, Georgia or Penn State on Friday, is being recruited as a defensive end by Alabama. Georgia is recruiting him as a defensive tackle and before he cut his list of schools down to three, schools on the West Coast were recruiting him at tight end and linebacker. That’s how good of an athlete Alfano is and why he’s so coveted by Alabama.Devonta Lee, 4-star WR, Amite (La.)
Devonta Lee’s recruitment likely will come down to Alabama or LSU, and both schools want him on different sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide like him better on defense as a safety while the Tigers like him at wide receiver. Lee told SEC Country that he doesn’t have a preference on which side of the ball he plays in college.Christian Harris, 4-star ATH, University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.)
Christian Harris’ recruitment also likely will come down to Alabama or LSU, except this time the Tide like Harris on defense as an inside linebacker and the Tigers like him as an H-back. Harris told SEC Country that he was leaning toward playing defense when he gets to college. Harris is one of the Tide’s top inside linebacker targets in the 2019 class.
The Alabama Crimson Tide football program could get used to playing USC in the first game of every college football season.
After demolishing the Trojans 52-6 in the Cowboy Classic at AT&T Stadium to open the 2016 season, the Crimson Tide will line up against Southern California again in 2020, and the athletic department needs to be ready for a significant bank deposit coming in to Tuscaloosa.
According to a report from Kevin Kelley of FBSchedules.com, Alabama will receive $6 million guaranteed for their participation in the 2020 season opener in what is now called the Advocare Classic.
That sum is equal to what Alabama made from its first matchup against USC in the game.
Kelley also reports additional key details for the game.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Should they or shouldn’t they have restrictions? That’s the question graduate transfers face from Alabama football and every program in the country.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has said he believes programs should follow the rules in place unless there is a special academic circumstance that benefits the players.
Personally, I believe graduate transfers should be able to move wherever they want to go. If a player commits himself to finishing school and still has eligibility left, there should not be any restrictions on where he can transfer.
It’s one thing to keep opposing coaches from poaching your undergrads, but grad transfers have finished their degrees and deserve to pursue other opportunities.
RELATED: Saban at 66 vs. other coaches at same age
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast with Ryan Fowler. In this edition, we talk with a former SEC quarterback, Josh Booty, who played for Nick Saban at LSU.
Topics discussed:Josh Booty was an MLB and NFL player who played for Nick Saban at LSU following his baseball career. He talks about playing for Saban and what Saban has been able to accomplish.Booty talks about Saban’s attention to detail and why the coach is so successful.Booty talks about what Saban was like at LSU and some similarities that he notices when Saban talks at Alabama.We ask Booty to describe the relationship that Saban has with his quarterbacks.Booty shares a memory of a difficult moment where Nick Saban pulled him from an important game and compares that to when Jalen Hurts was pulled in the National Championship Game in January.Booty shares multiple stories of playing for Nick Saban.Booty praises Jalen Hurts for the way he handled getting benched in National Championship Game.Booty has some analysis on Tua Tagovailoa and what he expects for Alabama’s offense in 2018.Alabama Crimson Tide podcast on Wednesday included a conversation with national college football analyst Adam Kramer about what he expects from Alabama in 2018 and more.
Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast right here.
NEXT Reuben Foster’s accuser admits to lying in chilling testimony: ‘I told him I’m going to f–k your s–t up’Original link
The folks at Druid City Brewery have done it again, as they’ve given Alabama, and SEC fans, another great piece of chalk art. This time featuring Nick Saban depicted as Thanos, the villain from Avengers: Infinity Wars.
The brewery has done past works of art like Bret Bielema as Santa Claus and Steve Spurrier as the baby from Nirvana’s album Nevermind. Avengers: Infinity Wars is one of the most successful movies of all-time, as it has already grossed over a billion dollars after opening on April 27.
Check out the full mural below. While not every Alabama fan might love Saban being compared to an iconic villain, the shoe does somewhat fit.
Of course there is one small nit to pick with the Saban and Thanos comparison. There are 6 Infinity Stones and thus 6 needed to complete the Infinity Gauntlet. The mural depicts Alabama’s championship rings under Saban as the theoretical stones. Under Alabama though, Saban has only won 5 championships. And while some will point out that Saban does have six national titles, no Alabama fan is about to acknowledge the title he won at LSU.
So while yes Saban is incredibly powerful, he is not quite Thanos-level powerful yet. So that should give the Urban Meyer and Kirby Smart a shot to take out Saban. But as Thor and the rest of the Avengers will tell you, if you come at Saban/Thanos, aim for the head.
Alabama assistant Josh Gattis made a big prediction to remember Wednesday. He envisions ESPN airing a documentary about Nick Saban that boasts about the Crimson Tide being “the greatest organization in all of sports” under the coach.
Gattis, who’s Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, used Twitter to make the bold claim. It’s clear his message serves as an enthusiastic recruiting pitch to social-media savvy prospects. Gattis wrote that players will have two choices when it comes to this predicted documentary: watch it or be in it.
Check out his full message:
Of course, ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries have received praise for their quality looks into various sports topics. Check out the clip below to receive a preview of a documentary’s presentation.
Certainly, it’s possible for ESPN to take a look one day into Alabama’s run under Saban, which includes five national titles so far. A deep dive into how the Crimson Tide machine was built with the coach would be entertaining and enlightening.
REALTIME RUMORS, GOSSIP, OPINIONS AND HUMOR FROM THE BEST SPORTS BLOGS
GET OUR NEWSLETTER!
Originally posted on Larry Brown SportsBy Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/17/18
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Frost may no longer be the head coach at UCF, but he is still willing to defend his former team against the one of the most influential figures in college football history.