Player News

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Alabama redshirt sophomore TE Miller Forristall received a medical redshirt for the 2017 season.

Forristall (6'5/225) played in 15 games his freshman year and got the starting nod against Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Forristall fell to third on the depth chart behind Hale Hentges in 2017. Receiving a medical redshirt is good news for Forristall, but he has a tough path to making an impact after recording only 6 career catches through two seasons.
Feb 22 - 7:27 PM

An NFC scouting director called Alabama DB Anthony Averett "a solid starter but not great to me."

"[Averett] can run but he won't blow you away by his speed. He can cover but he won't make a lot of plays. He can tackle but he's not a tough Alabama cornerback," the scouting director explained. NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares the 6-foot, 185-pounder to Bills CB Tre'Davious White, who was selected out of LSU in the first round of last spring's draft. Our general expectation for Averett in terms of draft slot would be a second- or third-round selection. He should show out well in athletic testing at the NFL Scouting Combine next week -- he excelled at long jump, high jump and the 100-meter dash during as a high schooler.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 22 - 3:35 PM

Alabama hired former Miami DL coach Craig Kuligowski to serve in his previous capacity.

Kuligowski departed from the Hurricanes earlier this week, now resurfacing with the defending champs. He had been on staff at Miami for the past two seasons, with last season's defensive line busting out under his watch as one of the best in the country. He has 24 years of coaching experience overall and makes for a sharp hire in Tuscaloosa.
Feb 22 - 2:59 PM

Alabama ILB Shaun Dion Hamilton (knee) posted a video of himself working out.

Dion Hamilton (6'0/232) sustained a right knee injury in a win over LSU at the beginning of November and subsequently sat out the remainder of Alabama's run to the national title. He's now on the recovery trail and offered a little proof of concept working out on social media. Given that he previously tore the ACL in that knee during the winter of 2016, medical checks are going to be of the utmost importance for the linebacker come next week's combine. Both NFL Media's Lance Zierlein and NFLDraftScout.com view Dion Hamilton as a fringe draftable candidate at this juncture, but if he checks out healthy -- or healthy enough to alleviate long-term durability concerns -- he's a player who could see his stock on the rise in Indianapolis.
Feb 21 - 4:15 PM

Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick revealed he is most comfortable as a slot CB.

Fitzpatrick also stated he models his game after Tyrann Mathieu, so a hybrid safety/slot role. This fits in line where Fitzpatrick played at Alabama, as he only spent 13 snaps as an outside corner in 2017, per PFF. This makes Fitzpatrick's discussion quite different than Jalen Ramsey, who starred on the outside. With that said, Fitzpatrick would be on the field for over 60 percent as the snaps as just a slot corner and could be on the field for more if he stayed on the field in two safety sets. Not playing outside corner might limit Fitzpatrick's financial ceiling, but he knows where he wins.
Feb 20 - 9:16 AM

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman reports that former Miami DL coach Craig Kuligowski will join Alabama's staff.

Kuligowski is expected to become Nick Saban's new DL coach. Kuligowski played for Saban at Toledo. Since then, he's turned into one of the game's best DL coaches, getting rave reviews for his work with Missouri and Miami. He developed five first-round defensive linemen at Mizzou, and his Hurricane unit was incredibly active over the past two seasons.
Source: SI
Feb 19 - 9:48 PM

Miami announced in a press release that DL coach Craig Kuligowski "is leaving the program to pursue other opportunities."

This is disappointing -- Kuligowski is considered one of the top DL coaches in the game -- but not shocking. Kuligowski recently interviewed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their DL coach opening. He didn't get that job, but perhaps he has his eye on a different position.
Feb 19 - 9:43 PM

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne to Baltimore Ravens DT Brandon Williams.

"Payne possesses one of the most impressive combinations of strength and athleticism that we've seen from an interior lineman," he wrote. Pro Football Focus ranked Williams as the No. 3 run-stuffing 3-4 DE in the NFL last season. The 6-foot-2, 319-pound Payne is also a vicious, powerful run defender. Payne also acquits himself on tape as a player who'll be a better pass-rusher in the NFL than he was at Alabama. With the Tide, he was often asked to eat blocks to clear space for linebackers, a task he's exceptionally good at. An NFL executive told Zierlein that Payne will be a better NFL player than former Tide standout A'Shawn Robinson: "I think A'Shawn Robinson was more talented than Da'Ron (Payne) and I know Robinson had better (tackle-for-loss) and sack production than him, but Payne plays harder and I think he'll be the better NFL player. He's thick and strong, but he's also a really good athlete and I see his best football in front of him."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 19 - 9:39 PM

Pro Football Focus ranks Alabama LB Rashaan Evans as the most productive pass-rusher in the draft class.

Evans was able to achieve success -- a sack, a pressure, a hurry, what have you -- on 21.9 percent of his pass rushes, easily the best of any linebacker in the class who attempted a rush at least 55 times. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound linebacker battled injuries all year, but when healthy, he showed the talent of a legitimate outside linebacker talent. How he performs in his pro day will go a long way towards determining where he'll go in the draft -- his fluctuation is among the highest of any prospect on either side of the ball.
Feb 18 - 4:25 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick second on his updated 2018 NFL draft board.

Fitzpatrick was in the third position in Kiper's previous board, but moves up to second; switching places with NC State edge-rusher Bradley Chubb who is now third. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley remains at the top. Kiper notes Fitzpatrick's versatility, as he's capable of being a center fielder in the backfield or covering one-on-one. " Fitzpatrick had nine career interceptions (including four that were returned for touchdowns), so he has elite ball skills," he writes. "He isn't afraid to make a tackle, either, which is why I think he'll be a top-five pick in April."
Source: ESPN
Feb 16 - 6:12 PM

The Division I Transfer Working Group is considering changes to the transfer rule relating to academic benchmarks and coaching changes.

Even in the NCAA's dry-as-a-cracker press release regarding the Transfer Working Group's early proposed tinkering with the transfer rule, it was specifically stated that the group "never entertained" a rule that would allow all student athletes to transfer without having to sit out a year. Instead, as matters are progressing right now, players who hit "specific, high-achieving academic benchmarks" could potentially be allowed to transfer without sitting, same for players whose coaches leave for new jobs. Per the NCAA's release, a vote on this still-evolving proposal could take place in June.
Source: NCAA.org
Feb 13 - 2:37 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline believes that Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick is being overrated by many.

Fitzpatrick is considered by many draft analysts to be one of the best -- and safest -- defensive prospects in the class. Pauline may not be one of those analysts. "Fitzpatrick is talented, no doubt, yet my concerns about his game are similar to many of the concerns I’ve had in the past about former Alabama defensive backs -- he can’t make plays with his back to the ball," he writes. "It doesn’t mean he can’t learn the skill; Jalen Ramsey had similar issues leaving Florida State and has since developed into a terrific corner." Many have Fitzpatrick going in the first four-to-seven selections, but there's at least one person out there who doesn't think that he's a sure thing to be a great defender.
Feb 12 - 6:26 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline believes that Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne is "ridiculously underrated."

He also calls his teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick overrated, which is not a take we've seen much of this spring. Back to Payne. The 6-foot-2, 319-pound defensive tackle didn't always get talked about with the other Alabama stars, but Pauline took notice. "I was just awed by Payne when I broke him down; he’s athletic and powerful and plays smart, disciplined football," Pauline writes. "He collapses the pocket with power, occupies the gaps and even makes plays outside the box." There's a good chance Payne will be one of -- if not the -- first defensive tackles selected come April.
Feb 12 - 4:29 PM

Alabama offensive analyst Shea Tierney is leaving the Crimson Tide to join the Buffalo Bills coaching staff.

Tierney is the third coach from Alabama's staff that will join Buffalo staff from Alabama. Brian Daboll left to become the Bills' offensive coordinator, and a few weeks later, offensive analyst William Vlachos left to join Buffalo in the same capacity. Tierney is expected to join in an analyst role as well. He has previous NFL experience, having spent four years with the Eagles before joining the Crimson Tide.
Feb 12 - 12:16 PM

ESPN's Joel Anderson writes that Alabama sophomore RB Najee Harris will be a breakout star for the Crimson Tide in 2018.

Harris didn't put up huge numbers in 2017 -- 370 yards and three touchdowns -- but the 6-foot-2, 220-pound running back showed flashes playing behind Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris, and ran for 64 yards on six carries in the National Championship Game. "When you hand him the ball, you can see the talent," said Tom Luginbill, ESPN's national recruiting director. "As far as being a runner, he's an Adrian Peterson [in college] type of player. His talent as a running back is as high as anyone there in Tuscaloosa." He'll be behind Harris again, but the "other" Harris should get significantly more touches in 2018. It's tough to imagine he won't be a star in the next couple of seasons.
Source: ESPN
Feb 10 - 5:19 PM


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