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Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman has named Alabama sophomore tight end O.J. Howard as his "All-Freak Team" tight end.

"The Tide has to break in a new QB, but they’re loaded with proven studs at WR and RB, and watch out for this 6-foot-6, 240-pound sophomore, who has clocked some sub 4.5 40s and averaged more than 19 yards a catch in his freshman season," Feldman wrote. The Alabama prospect made a respectable contribution in his freshman year hauling in 14 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. This season look for the 6-foot-6, 240 pound Howard to have an expanded role for the Crimson Tide offense.
Source: Fox Sports
Jul 9 - 8:26 AM

Alabama redshirt sophomore OT Brandon Hill has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer.

Hill announced the news on his personal Twitter account, but he did not mention plans of his next destination. The former three-star recruit was ranked as the No. 57 OT in the country in 2012. Hill was also recruited by Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee coming out of high school. He never saw the field for the Crimson Tide.
Jul 5 - 5:36 PM

Alabama junior RB Kenyan Drake was arrested and charged early Saturday morning on one count of obstructing government operations.

No details of what led to the charge and arrest have been disclosed at this time. Drake's bond was set at $1,000 and AL.com reports he has secured a bondsman. On the field, the running back is the third in a great stable of ball carriers, with Derrick Henry and TJ Yeldon leading the way. Each offers their own set of positive traits from an on-field perspective.
Source: AL.com
Jul 5 - 10:31 AM

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel portrayed the NCAA's defense in the O’Bannon trial as "tone-deaf."

The NCAA's baffling defense strategy included calling a grand total of zero student-athletes or coaches to speak on its behalf. Mandel's column, linked below, is worth the read. He writes: "Over three weeks of testimony, the NCAA’s 14 handpicked witnesses to date have mostly pontificated the type of elitist, ivory-tower rhetoric that routinely infuriates its critics. It has offered little convincing evidence that compensating athletes through group licensing fees would irreparably harm college athletics. And that’s coming from someone like me, who passionately enjoys college football and basketball. I can’t imagine the organization has fared better with U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, for whom the sports world is so spectacularly foreign that she had to ask one witness to spell out ESPY." Mandel added: "It would be an enormous upset at this point if she ruled in favor of the NCAA."
Source: SI.com
Jun 29 - 2:34 PM

Alabama junior S Landon Collins called Auburn's victory over the Crimson Tide last season a "fluke."

"It's getting close and this year is a season of reckoning," Collins tweeted. "The fluke stuff will not happen this time around." He was, of course, referencing the 109-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown as time expired. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will settle it on the field in Tuscaloosa in the regular season finale on November 29. Get your popcorn ready.
Jun 29 - 1:21 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Alabama junior Landon Collins as his No. 1 underclassman safety.

"A one-time stud prospect as a recruit, Collins waited a year before making a big impact in 2013, when he finished second only to C.J. Mosley in tackles," Kiper wrote. "He can play in the box, he can drop, he can read a QB, and he can make plays. In other words, he can do it all." Collins, a five-star member of the 2012 recruiting class, ranked as the sixth-best overall prospect in the nation that year. The athletic 6-foot, 215-pounder is a heady player who lives around the ball and is rarely caught out of position. He'll also put you on the ground if you have the temerity to attempt to come down with a ball in the deep middle of the field.
Jun 29 - 12:44 PM

ESPN correspondent Phil Steele ranked the SEC as the nation's best conference.

The SEC hasn't been given serious competition for this perch over the past few years. Last season, the conference had four teams finish in the AP top 10, boasted the best regular season nonconference record (47-9) and had the best bowl record (7-3). "This year, the SEC has six teams that rank in my preseason top 20, led by Alabama, my No. 2 team," Steele wrote. "The SEC also has four teams in the top 11 of my plus/minus power ratings and nine teams in the top 22 of my Power Poll, which is a combination of all nine sets of my power ratings. For the ninth consecutive season, the SEC reigns supreme." Steele ranks the Pac-12 second, the Big 12 third, the ACC and Big Ten tied for fourth, and the American Athletic sixth.
Jun 28 - 6:59 PM

Alabama's running backs grade as Phil Steele's No. 1 unit.

Alabama has an embarrassment of riches at the position; their No. 6 and 7 RBs would start for many other programs. "T.J. Yeldon (PS No. 5) has a pair of 1,000-yard seasons on his resume and has averaged more than 6 yards per carry in both of his seasons running the ball for Alabama," Steele wrote. "Derrick Henry (PS No. 1) had 161 yards of total offense in the bowl and some feel he is more talented than Yeldon. Kenyan Drake (PS No. 31) added 694 yards last year and had a great spring, while Altee Tenpenny (PS No. 8), redshirt freshman Tyren Jones (PS No. 10) and true frosh Bo Scarbrough (PS No. 6) make for a pretty good bullpen." Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said in May that Alabama's running backs unit would rank amongst the three best in the NFL.
Jun 28 - 4:47 PM

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks sees Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper "thriving as a Roddy White-like playmaker as a pro."

The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder caught only 43 catches, 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 while battling injuries, but Brooks isn't concerned. "Cooper is a talented No. 1 receiver with a fundamentally sound game that should allow him to quickly blossom into an elite receiver at the next level," Brooks wrote. "While I'm not ready to proclaim him a top-10-caliber receiver at this point, I certainly believe he is already more polished than Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans as a route runner, and exhibits the explosiveness to be a difference maker in any system." Cooper possesses "explosive running skills," "superior athleticism and superb route-running skills," and "displays exceptional patience and timing as a route runner," which is why the analyst sees him as a "true No. 1 receiver" in the NFL.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 28 - 3:58 PM

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was named by NFL.com as the hottest assistant coach in college football.

"Entering his seventh year the Crimson Tide's DC, in an NCAA FBS field that has fluctuated around 120 teams, Alabama has finished in the top five every year in total defense," wrote staff writer Chase Goodbread. "With that kind of track record, Smart's head-coaching days are a question of when, not if. Until then, his $1.35 million salary is certainly enough to enjoy the status quo until the ideal head-coaching option comes along." Smart could have been a head coach by now if that's what he wanted, but he's biding his time until a good opportunity comes around. That formula worked like a charm for long-time stud Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 28 - 1:12 PM

NFL free agent FB Le'Ron McClain praised Alabama senior FB Jalston Fowler, calling Fowler his "favorite player."

Perhaps it's no surprise, as McClain is a former Crimson Tide FB himself. "The guy can line up at one back and run the ball and he can go out the backfield and catch the ball," said McClain. "That's my favorite player right now since I heard they were bringing the fullback position well. I can't wait to see him do his thing this year." Fowler has had just 36 rushing attempts during his entire college career -- along with 47 receptions -- but he's a punishing lead blocker who has the NFL's attention. The 6-foot, 245-pounder also has experience at H-Back.
Source: AL.com
Jun 23 - 9:36 PM

Alabama coach Nick Saban was named college football's best coach by NFL.com.

No surprise here. Saban owns a superb 170-57-1 career record with four national titles and has produced a staggering 37 draft picks over the past five years. The highest-paid coach in college has earned his keep by going 79-15 over the past seven seasons with the Crimson Tide. Rounding out the top five was (2.) Washington's Chris Peterson, (3.) Ohio State's Urban Meyer, (4.) Stanford's David Shaw, and (5.) Kansas State's Bill Snyder.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 23 - 8:34 PM

Four-star high school QB recruit Blake Barnett has committed to Alabama and plans on enrolling mid-year, according to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman.

Barnett is a former Notre Dame commit, and his relationship with Lane Kiffin seemingly played a big part in the final decision. Barnett is a "terrific all-around talent," Feldman tweeted. The high school quarterback will not be a factor until the 2015 season, at the very earliest.
Jun 18 - 12:46 PM

Alabama redshirt junior CB Bradley Sylve claims to be faster than star wide receiver Amari Cooper.

The two discussed a race in April, and then Sylve tweeted the following at Cooper on Tuesday: "Happy G'day second fastest on the team." It's entirely possible that the reserve corner beat Cooper in a race, but it's a 100-percent certainty that he can't cover Cooper, one of the nation's most dangerous weapons. Sylve, a fourth-year junior, was a state-champion track star in Louisiana, winning the 100-meter and 200-meter titles. Cooper claims to run a 4.31 forty, so he isn't exactly a slouch either.
Jun 17 - 9:35 PM

Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper ranks as Mel Kiper's top underclassmen WR.

"There probably isn't a better receiver in the country at adjusting to a ball in the air and making a contested catch," Kiper wrote. "But Cooper isn't just a down-the-field guy; he's an explosive (and underrated) runner after the catch, and does a good job setting up defenders as well." Cooper must stay healthy this year after hobbling through 2013 and putting up only 43 catches, 736 yards and four touchdowns, but he's arguably the most talented WR in college, a player NFL.com's Bucky Brooks last month called a "prototypical No. 1 receiver" in the NFL. "[Cooper] eats up space as a route runner and is both smooth and explosive in his breaks, with little wasted motion," Kiper wrote. "That lack of wasted motion is part of the reason he so consistently beats people over the top."
Jun 11 - 9:21 PM


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