Player News

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The NCAA's Board of Governors will allow new transfer rule proposals to be made in April.

Such proposals can be made in April, with a vote on them potentially coming in June. ESPN's Matt Schick relayed on Wednesday that he had spoken with one NCAA official who believes there's a 95-percent chance that a rule is implemented -- at some point -- which will allow non-graduates to transfer without having to sit out a year. Should such a rule pass, it figures to have parameters attached to it to prevent a free-for-all, with Schick noting that it could include a potential "transfer window" or perhaps academic benchmarks. We'll have a much more clear idea of what's being cooked up come April. It's still possible that a sea change on the transfer rule might not be made until next year.
Jan 20 - 1:16 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah projects Alabama WR Calvin Ridley to the Panthers with the 24th pick in his latest mock draft.

This is among the lowest we've seen Ridley go in mock drafts so far, but while he's seen as the best receiver in the class, this is not a Julio Jones or Calvin Johnson, so falling this "low" doesn't seem impossible. The Panthers should be thrilled if he fell to this spot, as he would be solid value and address an obvious need. We could even see the Panthers making a move up to make sure they procure his services.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 19 - 7:24 PM

Alabama is expected to hire Penn State WR coach Josh Gattis, according to ESPN's Chris Low.

Gattis would take Mike Locksley's former responsibility of coaching the Tide's receivers. Locksley was elevated to offensive coordinator on Friday.
Source: ESPN
Jan 19 - 12:53 PM

Alabama promoted WR coach/co-offensive coordinator Mike Locksley to offensive coordinator.

The news was rumored over the past week, and now it's official. Locksley served as an offensive analyst with the Crimson Tide in 2016 before being elevated to co-offensive coordinator and WR coach last season. He's expected to coach Alabama's quarterbacks, in addition to his OC duties. The 48-year-old Locksley turned down an offer from Florida State to remain with the Tide. Locksley replaces Brian Daboll, now the Buffalo Bills' offensive coordinator. Locksley had an ill-fated run as New Mexico's (2009-11) head coach. If Alabama's offense hums like expected next season, Locksley, a tremendous recruiter, may find himself holding multiple Group of 5 head coaching offers next winter.
Source: ESPN
Jan 19 - 12:51 PM

Jeff Banks was officially named the new Special Teams Coordinator for Alabama.

This one was "announced" last week, but it's official now. If you hadn't heard, Alabama won another national title this season, but they did struggle on special teams. Enter Banks, who is considered one of the better coaches in that field in college football. He's also considered a strong recruiter, and that never hurts. Don't be surprised if the Crimson Tide's special teams are markedly improved in 2018.
Jan 18 - 8:07 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper calls Alabama WR Calvin Ridley "the best receiver in this class by a mile."

In a mock draft published Thursday, Kiper slotted Ridley No. 8 to the Bears. Ridley (6'1/188) isn't the biggest receiver, nor is he the most productive, but he did everything asked of him in Alabama's run-first offense over the past few years. Ridley posted a 63-967-5 receiving line in 2017. Most of his touches were either manufactured close to the line of scrimmage or on home-run balls when defenses cheated on an RPO and Jalen Hurts' throw wound up within Ridley's vicinity. Coming out of a poor situation to showcase all his skills, the polished Ridley may very well end up showing better in the NFL than he did in college -- Hurts just wasn't talented enough as a thrower to comfortably let Ridley run an entire route tree.
Source: ESPN
Jan 18 - 2:19 PM

Alabama CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick only played 13 snaps at outside CB in 2017, according to PFF.

Fitzpatrick's draft conversation might be similar to Jalen Ramsey's from a few years ago, certain evaluators considering him at corner, others at safety. The difference is Ramsey made cornerback his home, whereas Fitzpatrick mainly played safety and moved into the box or slot as a third safety. Either way, Fitzpatrick will likely be a top 10 selection.
Source: PFF Podcast
Jan 18 - 10:32 AM

Football Scoop reports that Alabama will promote WR coach/co-offensive coordinator Mike Locksley to offensive coordinator.

Rather than cast a net outside the program, it looks like the defending champs will be promoting from within. They're in need of a new offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll -- on staff for just the 2017 season -- took the same position with the Buffalo Bills several days ago. While OC will be a promotion for Locksley, it's a job that he should be able to handle -- he previously worked as offensive coordinator at Maryland (2012-15) and Illinois (2005-08), with head-coaching experience at New Mexico (2009-11) on top of that. His move up the ladder should play well in the locker room -- Damien Harris has already stumped for him to receive the gig -- and has the additional benefit of keeping the recruiting ship on a steady course.
Jan 17 - 1:47 PM

ESPN's Matt Schick spoke with an NCAA official who said there is a "95-percent chance" that transfer rules will be changed to allow student-athletes to play immediately.

As the rule currently stands, only graduate transfers are eligible to play immediately with their new teams. All other student-athletes moving to a different program must sit out a season unless they are granted a waiver. A rule change on this front would likely cause a sea change for the landscape, as we would almost certainly see a considerably higher number of players on the move. Schick suggests that a "non-grad transfer window" would be helpful in keeping some control over the process. One other note on this potential rule change -- the official whom Schick spoke with said that there would likely be academic requirements for immediate transfers. None of this is up for a vote as of yet, but it's something to monitor over the offseason.
Jan 17 - 1:11 PM

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks says Alabama freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa "possesses a lot of qualities" that will lead to Russell Wilson comparisons "in time."

The 6-foot-1, 219-pounder replaced benched starter Jalen Hurts in the second half last Monday to lead the Crimson Tide to the national title. "From his unflappable confidence, poise and composure to his pinpoint passing skills in the pocket or on the move, I feel like I saw much the same when I watched Wilson play at N.C. State and Wisconsin," Brooks wrote. Brooks included standard caveats regarding the small sample size and Tua's need to work on his craft over the next few years, but he loved the tools flashed in those fateful two quarters last week. "Tagovailoa showed outstanding arm talent (arm strength, zip, velocity and ball placement) while also displaying terrific anticipation, touch, and timing," he wrote. "Although the performance was far from perfect, he made a few 'big-boy' throws that will make any coach or evaluator take notice." We consider Tua a heavy favorite to win the starting job over Hurts this summer.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 15 - 6:18 PM

The Buffalo Bills have hired Alabama OC Brian Daboll to serve in the same capacity.

Back to the NFL for Daboll, who was initially hired by Alabama last offseason while he was Patriots TE coach. It leaves the Tide searching once again for an offensive coordinator. They went through this dance twice last offseason with Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. We're guessing they are going to have plenty of eager candidates. The reigning champs are stocked with young, electric offensive talent headlined by QB Tua Tagovailoa and RB Najee Harris.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 14 - 5:55 PM

NFL.com Media Analyst Chad Reuter ranks Alabama freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa as the top freshman from the 2017 class to watch in 2018 and beyond.

Obvious point is probably obvious, but after watching him in the National Championship game against Georgia, it's worth repeating. It wasn't just one flash of brilliance, either; as the freshman southpaw quarterback showed more than a few flashes of brilliance in 2017. Reuter goes so far as calling Tagovailoa a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2018. It wouldn't -- and shouldn't -- surprise us.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 12 - 9:56 PM

Alabama redshirt senior DB Anthony Averett accepted an invitation to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Averett (6'0/185) played in 14 games for the Crimson Tide, finishing with an interception, a sack, and four tackles for loss for the championship Alabama defense. He also broke up seven passes, so he has shown the ability to close on the football. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline currently projects the corner as a possible third-round pick.
Jan 12 - 9:20 PM

Alabama sophomore RB Joshua Jacobs wrote on social media that he played through a broken ankle sustained in Week 5 of the 2017 season.

Jacobs (5'10/204) is undergoing surgery on Friday. If the sophomore's tweet is accurate on the timing front, he initially sustained the ankle break in a win over Ole Miss on September 30. He would go on to play on the bum leg through to the end of the 2017 campaign. Jacobs rushed for 284 yards (6.2 YPC) and a touchdown on the season. His availability for spring practice should become more clear as he's further removed from the initial surgery.
Jan 12 - 12:51 PM

Alabama junior DT Da'Ron Payne was the highest rated player in the National Championship Game.

Payne (6'2/319) finished with a rating of 96.4, which is ten points higher than the next highest-rated player (Georgia CB Deandre Baker). He had seven quarterback pressures and six defensive stops, and basically dominated whatever lineman was in front of him. Payne recently declared for the NFL Draft, and has a real chance of being one of -- if not the -- first defensive tackles off the board.
Jan 11 - 10:25 PM


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