Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hale Hentges gives verbal to Alabama

Helias High School (Jefferson City, MO) tight end Hale Hentges has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2015.
Hentges, who stands 6-foot-6 and tops the scale at 230-pounds, selected the Crimson Tide over the likes of Auburn, Florida State, and Ohio State. Hentges is the first 'Bama commitment from the state of Missouri during the Nick Saban era.
Listed as a four-star prospect per the 247Spors composite rating system, Hentges becomes the 16th Alabama verbal commitment in respect to the 2015 signing class.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Derrick Thomas joins College Football Hall of Fame

After being snubbed a total of three times, the late Derrick Thomas is finally a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Thomas, who tragically lost his life in February of 2000 at the age of 33, is considered to be one of the greatest linebackers in the history of college football, and one of the most decorated athletes to ever play for the University of Alabama.

Suiting up for the Crimson Tide from 1985-88, Thomas was an All-American at 'Bama and the 1988 recipient of the Butkus Award, which is presented to the best linebacker in the nation. During the 1988 season, Thomas recorded a total of 27 sacks, an NCAA record that has yet to be broken. Thomas concluded his Tide career with 52 sacks and 68 tackles-for-loss, both of which are Alabama school records.
In regards to the aforementioned "snubbing" of Thomas, on three different occasions, no particular reason has ever been given as to why Thomas was shunned. Logic suggests that a player who holds NCAA records, as well as individual school records for performance, should have been a lock for the Hall of Fame on the initial ballot of eligibility, but that obviously was not the case for the legendary Alabama linebacker.

Former Crimson Tide standout Cornelius Bennett, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005, made his case in 2013 by saying he would boycott the College Football Hall of Fame until Thomas was inducted. Bennett, also a prolific linebacker in his own right, played along side Thomas for two years at the University of Alabama.

While the wait was long, and at times confusing for those who loved and admired Thomas, the man who reinvented the linebacker position in respect to the collegiate ranks, has finally taken his rightful place in the College Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the late Derrick Thomas for receiving an honor so richly deserved.

*This blog post will appear on Yahoo! in the coming weeks.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Take Two: C.J. and HaHa selected in first round

Two of the most decorated football players in Alabama history, and certainly of the Nick Saban era, have been selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley, taken at the 17th selection by the Baltimore Ravens, and safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, selected 21st by the Green Bay Packers, were the lone Tide players selected in the first round.

In respect to Mosley, the pride of Theodore, Alabama will now join former Tide stars Terrence Cody and Courtney Upshaw in Baltimore. The UA connection is likely not a great coincidence when one considers that Ozzie Newsome, one of the greatest players in Crimson Tide history, is the distinguished general manager of the Ravens.
When it comes to HaHa Clinton-Dix, his nickname describes how many 'Bama fans feel about his selection courtesy of the Packers. "HaHa"...laughing with joy! The pride of Orlando, Florida will now join former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the land of the cheeseheads.
In a rather unexpected turn of events, which was documented and discussed by literally everyone interested in the draft, both Mosley and Clinton-Dix were selected ahead of highly touted quarterback Johnny Manziel. The dual-threat QB was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd selection.

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