Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Christian Bell gives verbal to Alabama

Hoover High School (Hoover, AL) defensive end/linebacker Christian Bell has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2015.
Bell, who stands 6-foot-4 and tops the scale at 220-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide over the likes of Louisville, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and UCLA.

While rated as a defensive end, Bell, per various recruiting outlets, will likely play linebacker at Alabama.
Listed as a three-star prospect per the 247Sports composite rating system, Bell becomes the 15th Alabama verbal commitment in respect to the 2015 signing class.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Four Pack of Talent: UA receives commitment bundle

While Alabama's annual spring football game was the definition of typical, the recruiting "bundle" that followed was atypical, even by Alabama's lofty standards.

UA welcomed roughly 35 of the most decorated prospects in the nation to the spring scrimmage, and when the day was done, four of them had given verbal commitments to the Crimson Tide.

5-star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, 4-star safety Shawn Burgess-Becker, 4-star linebacker Leo Lewis, and 4-star wide receiver Calvin Ridley are the players in question, and 'Bama fans have no question but to be excited.

Within roughly 90 minutes, the "Twitterverse" began to see the names come in like states on an electoral college map. Several Crimson Tide beat writers became hesitant to write an article about the recruiting firestorm, in fear that yet another prospect would commit to the Tide while the article was being written.
While UA did close the day with four commitments, instead of the five that Hurt's tweet suggests, for about 30 minutes the number was indeed five. Wide receiver Jovon Durante, per media reports, had decommitted from West Virginia and given his pledge to Alabama, but that report was later nixed when Durante confirmed that he had not committed to 'Bama. However, Durante's verbal to UA still appears rather likely.
Without going through the "history" of Alabama recruiting during the Nick Saban era, excluding the obvious bundle that comes with signing day, Saturday's "triumph" of four verbal commitments in one evening has to mark one of the finest single-day recruiting conquests in recent UA history.

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A-Day '14: Yeldon shines, four prospects commit

Public spring football scrimmages are designed for the fans, and one certainly had to be a hardcore fan to “stomach” the 2014 edition of Alabama’s annual spring game.

In a game that featured subpar play from the quarterback position, offensive line, and the placekicker, "sloppy" seemed to be the word of the day at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

With a listed attendance of 73,506, the smallest in the Saban era, the White squad, led by quarterback Cooper Bateman, defeated the Crimson unit by the score of 17-13.

Scoring summary

3rd Quarter: 29-yard INT return for TD by D.J. Pettway (7-0 WHITE)
3rd Quarter: 1-yard TD run by T.J. Yeldon (7-7)
3rd Quarter: 41-yard FG by Adam Griffith (10-7 WHITE)

4th Quarter: Cooper Bateman 32-yard TD to ArDarius Stewart (17-7 WHITE)
4th Quarter: Blake Sims 55-yard TD to Chris Black (17-13 WHITE - PAT missed by Griffith)

Statistics of note

Cooper Bateman: 11-24 - 156 yards - 1 TD
Alec Morris: 3-7 - 1 INT - 9 yards

Kenyan Drake: 7 carries - 41 yards
Tyren Jones: 6 carries - 30 yards
Altee Tenpenny: 10 carries - 29 yards

Robert Foster: 4 receptions - 50 yards
ArDarius Stewart: 2 receptions - 59 yards
Raheem Falkins: 2 receptions - 28 yards

Blake Sims: 13-30 - 2 INTs - 178 yards - 1 TD

T.J. Yeldon: 11 carries - 96 yards - 1 TD
Derrick Henry: 8 carries - 24 yards

Chris Black: 3 receptions - 78 yards - 1 TD
Amari Cooper: 3 receptions - 45 yards
Christion Jones: 3 receptions - 22 yards

Game recap

Alabama beat writer Andrew Gribble provided live updates of the public scrimmage in a rather "notable play-esque" format. Click HERE to read Andrew's recap of today's action.

What did Nick Saban have to say to the media following Alabama's annual spring game? Click HERE to see Saban's press conference courtesy of 247Sports/BamaOnline.

A-Day news and notes

-T.J. Yeldon received MVP honors for the third consecutive spring game.

-AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, and Kevin Norwood, the 2013 team captains, were officially "printed" into 'Bama history at the Alabama Walk of Fame at Denny Chimes.
Click HERE for additional details...

-Roughly 35 recruits were in attendance for today's annual public scrimmage.

-Following today's game, Alabama received a total of four verbal commitments from four of the most highly touted players in the nation. In quite possibly the biggest single recruiting day of the Nick Saban era, the Crimson Tide certainly "won the day" in respect to building for the future. Expect an additional blog post, before the conclusion of the weekend, to be dedicated to Alabama's recruiting "blizzard" of success. Taking nothing away from today's action on the gridiron, but UA's recruiting bundle is the "highlight" of the day.

5-star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick
4-star safety Shawn Burgess-Becker
4-star linebacker Leo Lewis
4-star wide receiver Calvin Ridley 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alabama “A-Day” scrimmage set for Saturday

After one month of practice, two scrimmages, some injuries, and the usual teaching tools, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team will conclude spring practice with the annual “A-Day” game.

Set to begin at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and televised live via ESPNU, the spring game is indeed the culmination of practice until early August.

As for the basic "news and notes" in respect to the spring session, the information is quite a mixed bag.

Be sure to stay informed via Twitter for a recap of Alabama's spring game, including a blog post (link) tentatively set for late Saturday afternoon.


-Nose guard Darren Lake missed the majority of spring practice due to an injured pectoral muscle, which required surgery.

-After undergoing toe surgery in January, wide receiver DeAndrew White missed the entire month of spring practice. Per Nick Saban, White should be able to participate in the summer conditioning program.

-As noted in a prior blog post, defensive back Eddie Jackson suffered a torn ACL in Alabama's initial scrimmage of the spring session. In his own words, Nick Saban is confident that Jackson will be able to return in time for fall camp.

All about the verbal

As documented earlier this month, Alabama received verbal commitments from 4-star offensive lineman Richie Petitbon as well as 3-star defensive back Montrell Custis. At the time of publication, UA currently has a total of 10 verbal commitments in respect to the 2015 signing class.

Off the field issues

Running back Altee Tenpenny and linebacker Dillon Lee were arrested, in separate incidents, over the course of the spring session.

Tenpenny was arrested in late March for possession of marijuana, while Lee was arrested earlier this month and charged with DUI.

Click here for additional details...

Lupoi joins 'Bama staff

Tosh Lupoi has joined the Alabama staff as an "intern" per a statement issued by Nick Saban. Lupoi, a former assistant coach at the University of Washington, was recently under NCAA scrutiny following allegations that he gave impermissible benefits to a UW player. Lupoi has since been cleared by the NCAA of any wrongdoing.

Click here for additional details concerning the hire of Lupoi.

Scrimmage statistics

*The statistics listed below were provided by the University of Alabama. Any additional statistics recorded during the scrimmages were not disclosed to the public.


Blake Sims: 16-23 - 227 yards - 2 TDs
Cooper Bateman: 14-25 - 102 yards
Alec Morris: 9-12 - 57 yards

Kenyan Drake: 11 carries - 60 yards - 1 touchdown
Tyren Jones: 10 carries - 49 yards
Derrick Henry: 12 carries - 40 yards
Altee Tenpenny: 13 carries - 40 yards
T.J. Yeldon: 3 carries - 20 yards - 1 touchdown

Amari Cooper: 10 receptions - 190 yards - 2 touchdowns
Cam Sims: 2 receptions - 48 yards
Altee Tenpenny: 3 receptions - 23 yards
Christion Jones: 3 receptions - 21 yards
Raheem Falkins: 2 receptions - 21 yards

Trey DePriest: 8 tackles
Denzel Devall: 5 tackles - 2 tackles for loss - 1 sack
Reggie Ragland: 5 tackles - 1 sack - 1 pass break up
Landon Collins: 4 tackles - 1 tackle for loss - 1 blocked field goal


Blake Sims: 24-39 - 288 yards - 2 TD
Cooper Bateman: 16-31 - 160 yards - 1 TD
Alec Morris: 4-7 - 90 yards - 1 TD

Altee Tenpenny: 15 carries - 39 yards - 1 TD
Tyren Jones: 10 carries - 34 yards
Kenyan Drake: 4 carries - 19 yards

Amari Cooper: 9 receptions - 97 yards - 1 TD
Chris Black: 6 receptions - 89 yards
ArDarius Stewart: 1 reception - 66 yards - 1 TD
Kenyan Drake: 2 receptions - 55 yards - 1 TD
O.J. Howard: 3 receptions - 28 yards
Robert Foster: 4 receptions - 34 yards - 1 TD
Christion Jones: 3 receptions - 18 yards - 1 TD

Trey DePriest: 6 tackles - 1 tackle for loss - 1 forced fumble
Jarran Reed: 5 tackles - 1 tackle for loss - 1 pass break up
Jarrick Williams: 4 tackles - 1 tackle for loss

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Montrell Custis gives verbal to Alabama

Lovejoy High School (Hampton, GA) defensive back Montrell Custis has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2015.

Custis, who stands 6-feet tall and tops the scale at 175-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide after decommitting from the University of Kentucky. Custis currently has offers from over 10 major programs, including the likes of Auburn, Mississippi State, Oregon, and Tennessee.
Listed as a three-star prospect per the 247Sports composite rating system, Custis becomes the 10th Alabama verbal commitment in respect to the 2015 signing class.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Jackson tears ACL, Saban confident in fall return

Injured in a non-contact play during Saturday's initial scrimmage of spring practice, sophomore defensive back Eddie Jackson has sustained a torn ACL.
Confirmed by ESPN Sunday night, Jackson will undergo surgery and is expected to be sidelined for several months.

Described by Nick Saban as the best and most consistent corner in spring practice, Jackson's injury, while unfortunate regardless of his potential, is really disheartening considering Alabama's lack of quality depth at the position.

Jackson, along with the likes of Jonathan Cook, Cyrus Jones, Maurice Smith, and Bradley Sylve, are expected to compete for the starting roles at the corner spots. True freshmen Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey are also expected to vie for substantial playing time in 2014. While Jones and Sylve have the most experience of the group, neither player has been a "staple" of the Tide secondary.

In respect to Jackson's recovery, while nothing is guaranteed in medicine, Nick Saban is confident, per his own words, that Jackson will be able to return in time for fall camp.
Based on the timing of Jackson's injury/surgery, the "window" for rehab, in terms of a fall return, is not very wide. Due to this fact, it is obviously too early to know what Jackson's condition will be once August rolls around. The obvious worst case scenario would see Jackson take a medical redshirt and return to full speed in early 2015.

However, using former Tide star Vinnie Sunseri as an example, his recovery from a serious knee injury was essentially three months. As was documented in media reports, Sunseri could have played in the Sugar Bowl after tearing his ACL in late October.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Richie Petitbon gives verbal to Alabama

Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) offensive lineman Richie Petitbon has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2015.
Petitbon, who stands 6-foot-4 and tops the scale at 300-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide over a plethora of schools, including Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, and Tennessee.
The grandson of former NFL coach Richie Petitbon, the Gonzaga standout is considered one of the most highly touted offensive linemen in the nation.

Listed as a four-star prospect per the 247Sports composite rating system, Petitbon becomes the ninth Alabama verbal commitment in respect to the 2015 signing class.