Saturday, March 15, 2014

UA returns to the gridiron as spring practice begins

On a day where college basketball conference tournament action took center stage, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team was hard at work on the gridiron as the first practice of the spring session commenced.

As is often the case with the first day of spring football, today's initial session featured new faces, noted departures, position shuffles, and new numbers.

News of the day

-Tight end Harrison Jones, center Chad Lindsay, and safety Jai Miller are not on the spring roster. Jones and Lindsay, who have each earned an undergraduate degree, will not return to the program. In respect to Lindsay, his departure from the program will likely be in the form of a transfer. As for Miller, the 29 year old walk-on is currently taking a leave of absence to focus on academics. Per Nick Saban, Miller is not a member of the team "right now," which obviously leaves the door open for a potential return. Prior to his arrival at Alabama, Miller spent a decade playing professional baseball.
-Redshirt freshman wide receiver ArDarius Stewart is "experimenting" at the defensive back position. Nick Saban, during his post-practice media obligation, made it clear that Stewart is simply taking reps in the secondary just in case he should be called upon. Stewart, who was recruited as a wide receiver, played a plethora of positions in high school.

-Brandon Greene, who spent most of the 2013 season at the tight end position, has returned to his more natural position across the offensive line.
-Jersey numbers of note...

2 - CB Tony Brown (Early enrollee)
3 - CB Bradley Sylve (16)
6 - S Laurence "Hootie" Jones (Early enrollee)
7 - WR Cameron Sims (Early enrollee)
10 - LB Reuben Foster (9)
11 - LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (Early enrollee)
12 - QB David Cornwell (Early enrollee)
19 - LB Reggie Ragland (18)
57 - LB D.J. Pettway (JUCO transfer - early enrollee)
58 - OL Brandon Greene (89 - played tight end in 2013)
74 - OL Cam Robinson (Early enrollee)
90 - DL Jarran Reed (JUCO transfer - early enrollee)

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

30-day review as 'Bama prepares for spring football

While the month of March, from a national sports perspective, will be dedicated to wall-to-wall college basketball, the vibe in Tuscaloosa will largely be dedicated to spring football practice.

The 2014 edition of the Alabama football team will commence practice this Saturday. The month long affair will culminate April 19 with the annual public scrimmage.

Excluding roughly 18 players who will not officially arrive until the fall semester, Alabama will welcome the 2013 returning roster including a total of eight early enrollees from the newly inked 2014 signing class.

In respect to the news wire, as a whole, life around the Alabama football program has been rather "quiet" since the fireworks that were national signing day. The Crimson Tide program has certainly been in the news, but no single story has been of the "quaking" variety, which is certainly desired, especially during the offseason. We all know the old saying in respect to idle hands...

Listed below are several stories that made headlines, in some capacity, since mid February.

*Click the yellow text within the content to read additional information on the news in question.*

Legal issues plague two former players

In mid February, former Crimson Tide running back Dee Hart was arrested at a Tuscaloosa convenience store on charges of providing false information, attempting to pay with counterfeit money, and possession of marijuana.

Per UA officials, Hart has not been a member of the football program since the Sugar Bowl. Tide coach Nick Saban has met the media on a few occasions this year, most notably national signing day, and at no time was Hart's departure relayed verbally to the media or general public during a press conference.
Former Crimson Tide player Wilson Love has also found himself tied in legal issues. Love is being sued by a fraternity brother for an alleged assault that took place in March of 2012.

Love, who graduated from the University of Alabama in December, chose to leave the Alabama program following the Sugar Bowl.

Knowing the rules

Since the early portion of February, no story in the college football arena has been discussed more than the "10-second rule" proposal.

Without beating a dead horse, or in the case of rival fans and media members, beating Nick Saban with a hickory stick, just know that for now, the rule has been tabled.

Rivals fans rarely give Nick Saban credit for winning, but they're always quick to give him credit for the "power" over college football that he doesn't have.

In conclusion, the topic of the rule proposal was never really about the rule, but yet another excuse for media members and ignorant college football fans to throw jabs at Satan, err...Saban.
One rule that was not tabled, but passed with ease, was in the area of targeting. The silly and illogical 15-yard penalty that was in place after a targeting penalty was overturned, has in itself, been overturned. In 2014, if a targeting call is reversed, so is the penalty.

Coaching news

-Former Alabama wide receivers coach Mike Groh has been sued by the University of Alabama for refusal to pay his contract buyout.

-Alex Mortensen, the son of ESPN's Chris Mortensen, has joined the Alabama staff as an offensive graduate assistant.

-Decorated high school football coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim has left his position at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. to join the Alabama staff.

-Doug Belk, most recently the defensive backs coach at Valdosta State, has left his position to join the Alabama staff as a defensive graduate assistant. *The Belk story is noted under the February 28 tracker listing in the link provided.*

2015 verbal commitment

Three-star defensive end Anfernee Jennings, the pride of Dadeville High School, has given his verbal commitment to Alabama.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Anfernee Jennings gives verbal to Alabama

Dadeville High School (AL) defensive end Anfernee Jennings has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2015.
Jennings, who stands 6-foot-3 and tops the scale at 250-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide over the likes of Arizona State, Arkansas, Louisville, and Mississippi State.
Listed as a three-star prospect per the 247Sports composite rating system, Jennings becomes the eighth verbal commitment in respect to Alabama's 2015 signing class.

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