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Alabama sophomore RB Derrick Henry rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in the school's 33-23 win over West Virginia.

Henry, like Georgia's Todd Gurley, has extremely impressive lateral explosiveness for a big back. Henry is not draft eligible, but he might be Alabama's best running back. And that is not taking anything away from T.J. Yeldon.
Aug 30 - 8:08 PM

Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper hauled in 12 catches for 130 yards in Alabama's 33-23 win over West Virginia.

The junior wideout had a strong performance on the day, as he was QB Blake Sims' go-to target early and often in the game. Cooper's 12 catches on the day were the second most in Alabama history, in 2013 he only had 43 catches. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Cooper looks to be fully healthy after battling injuries last season and should be headed for a monster year.
Aug 30 - 7:53 PM

Alabama junior RB T.J. Yeldon rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in the school's 33-23 win over West Virginia.

Yeldon's most impressive run saw him break the line and accelerate through the second level and glide over the goal line. He seems to have a different gear in the red zone. Gurley looked a bit tentative at times last year to go along with ball security issues, but his talent is outstanding.
Aug 30 - 7:26 PM

Redshirt senior Blake Sims will be Alabama's starting QB in the season opener against West Virginia, according to CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler notes expected starter (and FSU transfer) Jacob Coker will backup Sims but is expected to play at some point against the Mountaineers. has played in 23 career games and rushed for 355 yards on 67 carries (5.3 yards per carry) while throwing for 244 yards on 23-of-39 passing. Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman notes Lane Kiffin (Alabama's new offensive coordinator) heavily recruited Sims to Tennessee, but as a receiver.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 29 - 4:38 PM

Al.com reports that Alabama head coach Nick Saban would not rule out sophomore CB Eddie Jackson, from playing in Alabama's season opener versus West Virginia.

"I wouldn’t rule out the fact he can play in this game," Saban said, per Al.com. "But I would rather go in to the game thinking we would use him if we needed to rather than pushing him in the game." Just five months ago, Jackson tore his ACL during spring practice and it's amazing that he could possibly contribute if his number is called upon. On Monday, Alabama released it's first depth chart with Jackson listed as a co-backup to junior Cyrus Jones. As a true freshman last season, Jackson started four games and collected 19 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
Source: Al.com
Aug 28 - 11:14 AM

Alabama suspended senior ILB Trey DePriest for the opener versus West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Saturday.

Head coach Nick Saban announced the suspension Wednesday, saying DePriest committed a minor NCAA infraction. We don't yet know what that infraction was, but Alabama is being overly cautious because any victory attained with an ineligible player on the field would be vacated. DePriest, a two-year starter coming off a career-high 65 tackle (7.5 for loss), had the look of a breakout player this fall. Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will start at linebacker for the Crimson Tide.
Aug 27 - 9:37 PM

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday that the team still hasn't decided between redshirt junior Jacob Coker or fifth-year senior Blake Sims as starting quarterback.

The pair have been listed as co-starters, and Saban has hinted he'll play both. "You've got a starting pitcher, doesn't necessarily mean he is going to go nine innings," Saban said. Sims couldn't beat out AJ McCarron in three consecutive years, and many have called Coker a superior prospect to McCarron, so what's going on here? "Word around UA's fall camp is that Coker's arm is everything [Jimbo] Fisher has touted it to be, but that he has been slow to recognize open receivers at times, and absorbing the Alabama system hasn't been easy for him," NFL.com's Chase Goodbread reported. "As a fifth-year senior, it's to be expected that Sims would be far advanced over Coker in understanding what Nick Saban asks of his quarterbacks -- and a new offensive coordinator in Lane Kiffin doesn't change that situation. Yet, sources within the program have told College Football 24/7 that Coker has shown in practice that he can make some throws that Sims simply can't."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 25 - 8:22 PM

If he reduces fumbles and increases his strength this fall, Alabama junior RB T.J. Yeldon could "make a push to be the first back taken in next year's draft," according to ESPN's Todd McShay.

McShay ranks Yeldon as the No. 3 running back prospect, behind Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Georgia's Todd Gurley. It would be a shock if Yeldon could leapfrog both of them, but he does have tantalizing ability. "Yeldon is tall with a somewhat lean frame, and isn't an overpowering runner, but he has good balance and can keep his feet moving after contact," McShay wrote. "He also has excellent lateral agility (especially for a taller back), which, combined with his instincts and patience, makes him highly effective at finding the hole and accelerating through it on runs. He has good but not elite top-end speed, and can seamlessly string together multiple cuts. He's a very competitive runner, and solid in the passing game, but his ball security is a big concern (four fumbles, including three lost, on 227 touches in 2013)."
Aug 25 - 6:35 PM

Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper was ranked by ESPN's Todd McShay as the No. 1 receiver prospect.

"Cooper has average size for the receiver position and good but not elite top-end speed, but his separation and ball skills more than make up for it," the analyst wrote. "There are very few college wide receivers who show the separation skills that Cooper does on tape with such limited experience. He has a sudden release, runs crisp routes, finds soft spots in zone coverage and does a good job of using jab steps and head fakes to set up defenders. He makes tough catches look easy, demonstrating outstanding concentration in traffic -- although he does suffer from too many focus drops." The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Cooper caught only 43 catches, 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 while battling injuries. NFL.com recently called him college football's ninth-best player. NFL.com's Bucky Brooks compares Cooper to Roddy White, while CBS Sports' Rob Rang compares him to Marqise Lee.
Aug 24 - 9:55 PM

The NFL Media analyst team ranks Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper as the No. 9 player in college football.

"He was a little disappointing last season, but he has the tools to dominate the SEC in 2014," Daniel Jeremiah said. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Cooper caught only 43 catches, 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 while battling injuries, but he had a spectacular freshman season prior to the disappointing sophomore campaign. "Natural pass catcher with outstanding hands, ball skills and running ability. He's a big play waiting to happen," Bucky Brooks said. Brooks wrote earlier this summer that Cooper will be a "true No. 1 receiver" in the NFL. Concluded respected veteran evaluator Gil Brandt: "Big. Fast. Great hands. A playmaker."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 23 - 8:27 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang writes that Alabama redshirt senior DT Brandon Ivory "can surprise opponents with his initial surge upfield."

Ivory (6-foot-3 and 312 pounds) was named an Honorable Mention All-SEC selection last season after finishing with 24 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He spent most of his time at nose guard during his first campaign as a starter. "Ivory possesses the typical squatty, powerful frame of an interior defensive lineman and can surprise opponents with his initial surge upfield," Rang wrote. "He possesses only average lateral agility, balance and speed to the flanks, making him a bit of a one-trick pony as a block-eater."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 7:39 PM

Alabama junior S Landon Collins is ranked by NFL.com as the No. 18 overall player in college football.

"A lot of people think Collins is better than a few of the Crimson Tide's past first-round safeties. It's easy to see why with his blend of speed, quickness and power on the backend," said Bryan Fischer. The athletic 6-foot, 215-pounder is Mel Kiper's No. 1 underclassman safety and projected by all as a Round 1 prospect. "He has the size to bang in the box and the athleticism to make plays from the backend," Daniel Jeremiah said. Collins was a five-star member of the 2012 recruiting class. "The best player on the nation's most consistently strong defense, Collins will step into more of a leadership role this fall. He's also the top safety in the country," Chase Goodbread said.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 10 - 6:26 PM

Alabama senior FB Jalston Fowler will be used as a traditional fullback this fall, reports CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Fowler signed with Alabama as a running back and has also seen time at H-back," Rang wrote. "New offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is expected to use Fowler as a more traditional fullback in 2014 and it is a role that suits the bruiser well. Fowler showed no loss of quickness and power a season ago after missing much of 2012 with a torn ACL. Five of Fowler's seven receptions a year ago went for touchdowns." The 6-foot, 245-pound 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.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 6:12 PM

Alabama junior RB Kenyan Drake "doesn't look the part of a traditional running back," writes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Like [teammate T.J.] Yeldon, Drake doesn't look the part of a traditional running back, sporting a relatively lean and high-cut frame," Rang wrote. "He's a naturally elusive runner with good stop-start quickness, agility and a spin move to complement impressive acceleration. Drake served as Yeldon's primary backup last season, rushing for 694 yards and eight touchdowns but he's been plagued by off-field issues (including an arrest July 5) that require further investigation from the NFL." Drake (6-foot, 201 pounds) runs a 4.52 forty. Though he'll never be a true No. 1 at Alabama, Drake will offer the NFL less wear on the tires than other comparable backs.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 5:01 PM

Alabama redshirt junior C Ryan Kelly has the combination of "quickness, power and balance" necessary to play in the NFL, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Kelly took over for Barrett Jones, the 2012 winner of the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center, and performed well, showing the combination of quickness, power and balance necessary to one day join his former teammate in the NFL," Rang wrote. "Kelly missed four games last season due to recurring knee pain and has two more years of eligibility remaining." Kelly is a Rimington candidate and will help open holes for T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake this fall.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 4:47 PM


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