Player News

Date:

Former Alabama QB Walter Lewis compared sophomore QB Blake Barnett to Joe Namath.

Lewis -- who served as Bama's QB from 1980-1983 -- made his comparison in a radio interview with Tuscaloosa's Tide 99.1 FM. Barnett was a five-star recruit out of high school and has received a ton of buzz this spring. HC Nick Saban is not one to play recklessly into hype, though, and the Alabama quarterback competition remains an open one. Cooper Bateman, David Cornewell and Jalen Hurts are also in the conversation to start, with Bateman a strong candidate given that he holds a decided advantage in terms of experience as a redshirt junior. And indeed, Saban indicated earlier this offseason that if the season started today, Bateman would be the likely starter for their star-studded showdown with USC.
Jun 24 - 2:08 PM

Miami, Georgia, Maryland and USC are the "early favorites" for Alabama graduate CB Maurice Smith.

Alabama beat writer Matt Zenitz reports Miami head coach Mark Richt has been in contact with Smith on a daily basis. Smith was on the field for 20 percent of Alabama's defensive snaps last season, a drop from 38 percent in 2014. He mainly manned the slot in that time. Georgia and Marlyand have relationships with Smith due to former coaches and staffers on the team.
Source: AL.com
Jun 24 - 10:48 AM

Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell wrote that Alabama five-star 2017 RB Najee Harris "caught the ball like a wide receiver [at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge]."

Farrell observed that Harris had "very few drops" and that on several occasions, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder "bailed out his quarterbacks a few times by snatching the ball away from defenders." Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Gorney shares the same view as his colleague, writing after the mid-June event in Atlanta that Harris has "awesome hands," plus the speed and physicality to run away from linebackers and through corners. Gorney has previously compared Harris to a mix between Todd Gurley and Derrick Henry, which speaks for itself well enough. He currently sits in Alabama's corner, but will be keeping his recruitment open heading into his senior season at Antioch High.
Source: Rivals
Jun 23 - 3:45 PM

Transferring Alabama graduate CB Maurice Smith told SB Nation's Blain Bradley that he is strongly considering Miami.

"According to our conversation," Bradley wrote, "Smith loved the outlook of Coach Richt, and already has a relationship with [DC Manny Diaz], from his days at Texas." Smith received his release from Alabama earlier in the week. The 6-foot, 186-pounder served as a first-team nickle back during the Tide's spring game. During his time under HC Nick Saban, Smith made two starts, but mostly served on special teams. He recorded 15 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 2015.
Jun 23 - 12:28 PM

The SEC hired Ben Oldham to serve as coordinator of football replay.

Oldham will report to coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw. While he has not served as an on-field official since 2000's Sugar Bowl showdown between Florida State and Virginia Tech, he has remained active behind the scenes as a replay official. In a statement, Shaw said, "Ben Oldham brings four decades worth of officiating experience in [both on-field and replay booth work] and I am excited to have him serve in this role as we embark on a new era of instant replay in the SEC."
Jun 22 - 3:04 PM

The punishment Alabama administered to junior T Cam Robinson has been revealed.

Robinson and junior cornerback teammate Laurence Jones must: undergo weekly urine tests, have regular drug counseling, participate in monthly video appointments with a mental health consultant and have met with a Tuscaloosa police officer for gun safety/ownership education twice a week. Community service is also included. Louisiana district attorney Jerry Jones declined to prosecute the pair of players. The documents also say both players were indefinitely suspended by head coach Nick Saban on May 17, but as of now there is no indication if either will miss game action.
Source: AL.com
Jun 22 - 10:11 AM

Alabama AD Bill Battle will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat his cancer.

Battle was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014. In a statement released on Tuesday, he said, "I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan. I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our Athletics Department." Dr. Sagar Lonial, from Emory University Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Treatment Center, said that Battle's cancer is in "a good partial remission" Per the school press release, this is not considered a life-threatening ailment. Battle will be stepping away from the office for several weeks as he undergoes his treatment.
Source: AL.com
Jun 21 - 3:50 PM

The attorney for Alabama junior T Cam Robinson and junior CB Laurence Jones, Joe D. Guerriero, called the notion that the pair received preferential legal treatment "a bunch of hooey."

Louisiana district attorney Jerry Jones (not that one) has opted not to prosecute Robinson and Jones -- particularly important for Robinson given that he was facing a felony charge for possession of a stolen firearm -- saying "I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning." Calls of preferential treatment proceeded to ring through the rafters, but Guerriero lashed out at those in no uncertain terms. In speaking with NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, he referred to the whole case as "a waste of the court's time" and called the decision not to prosecute "justice."
Jun 21 - 3:06 PM

The Alabama assistant coaching staff received raises on Tuesday.

As previously reported, OC Lane Kiffin is not among those receiving raises, as he continues to draw that sweet severance money from USC. As for the rest, co-DC Tosh Lupoi (raise of $125,000) and RB coach Burton Burns (raise of $130,000) drew the biggest reworked contracts. Details as to new DC Jeremy Pruitt's contract were also released. Pruitt will draw $1 million per year on a three-year deal.
Source: AL.com
Jun 21 - 2:49 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban told FOX Sports "how much he liked how athletic, explosive and bright" Alabama true freshman T Jonah Williams is.

Saban, though, said the young Californian needs to get bigger and stronger. Cam Robinson will not be prosecuted, but it's still possible that he'll be suspended for the opener against USC. If he is, Williams may get the nod at left tackle in a big spot. Until he hears word on that, Williams' focus will be on winning the right tackle job. FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman says Williams is "getting a long look at the right tackle spot."
Source: FOX Sports
Jun 20 - 6:22 PM

Louisiana district attorney Jerry Jones said that he chose not to prosecute Alabama junior T Cam Robinson and junior CB Laurence Jones out of compassion.

"I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I'm doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning," Jones said. That might be a bit of public spin, as Ian Rapoport reported earlier on Monday that the district attorney was opting not to prosecute due to insufficient evidence, but it is a nice message nonetheless. Regardless of the reason, this is a gigantic coup for the defending champs. Robinson is a potential top-10 draft selection and a lynchpin in Bama's offense.
Source: KNOE 8 News
Jun 20 - 3:04 PM

Alabama junior T Cam Robinson will not face prosecution for charges tied to his May arrest.

Robinson and DB Laurence "Hootie" Jones" were arrested in a Louisiana park in mid-May. The pair were charged with marijuana possession as well as possession of a firearm in the presence of drugs. Robinson, alone, was also facing a potentially devastating felony charge for possession of a stolen firearm. Per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the district attorney is declining to prosecute due to insufficient evidence. The 6-foot-6, 323-pound Robinson might not quite be out of the woods -- HC Nick Saban said at the SEC spring meetings that he wanted to wait until the legal process completed before reevaluating. Still, even if Robinson receives a one or two-game suspension, the Tide have dodged a major bullet here.
Jun 20 - 1:59 PM

Alabama's assistant coaching staff will receive amended contracts.

The Compensation Committee for the Board of Trustees will go over the contracts of the assistant coaching staff on Tuesday. Save for one. OC Lane Kiffin's contract will not be adjusted. He is still receiving buyout money from USC after being fired in 2013, which has allowed Alabama to hold off on actual raises. To wit, last season, the Trojans paid Kiffin $3.4 million. With Alabama, he is entering the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2014.
Source: AL.com
Jun 20 - 1:30 PM

AL.com's Matt Zenitz noted that "people inside the Alabama program believe [that] [redshirt sophomore WR Derek Kief] has the potential to be a good, productive player down the road."

Nick Saban referred to Kief as "very crafty." The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder sticks out in Alabama's bolt-of-lightning receiving corp -- while fellow wideouts Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster were all clocked at faster than 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash this spring, Kief managed only 4.71 seconds. His best attributes come in utilizing his size, rather than speed, to create an advantage. He had just one catch for -3 yards last season, but showed up nicely earlier this offseason, making five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in the spring game. Alabama's absurd depth at wideout for the coming season will likely blunt Kief's statistical output, though he could be in play for a few red zone targets given his size.
Source: AL.com
Jun 20 - 12:57 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah believes that Alabama senior DL Jonathan Allen's best position for the NFL will be defensive tackle.

"Allen's versatility is a big plus, but I believe he'd be better served to play inside at the next level," Jeremiah wrote. "When he's coming off the edge, he lacks a pure burst and I think he would have trouble dealing with NFL-caliber offensive tackles on a consistent basis." The 6-foot-3, 283-pounder was named a first-team All-SEC-er last season after recording 12 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in 2015. He led the Tide in both of those categories.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 19 - 1:44 PM


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