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ESPN's Gerry Hamilton called Alabama four-star 2018 verbal WR commit Xavier Williams "a natural plucker with sure hands and the body control and reactive quickness to instantly adjust to passes thrown outside his catch radius."

Hamilton notes that Williams "[w]ill make the tough catch in traffic over the middle" and "[c]an also be a factor in the return game at the next level." While there is over a year remaining before the 2018 cycle wraps, Hamilton views the 6-foot, 180-pounder's commitment as a rock-solid one. He gives Alabama a 90% chance of reeling in Williams when all is said and done.
Jan 20 - 6:45 PM

Alabama promoted offensive analyst Mike Locksley to co-offensive coordinator.

Locksley will share those duties with Steve Sarkisian. Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reports that Locksley turned down "several coaching offers" so he could remain on Alabama's coaching staff. Locksley was previously OC at Maryland and Illinois. He was also the head coach at New Mexico from 2009-11.
Jan 20 - 12:45 PM

Alabama five-star 2017 verbal RB commit Najee Harris retained pole position in Scout.com's final rankings release of the current cycle.

Both Scout and Rivals released their final rankings sets for the 2017 cycle this week. Harris landed at No. 1 on both of those lists. ESPN 300 appears as though they will not bend to peer pressure, though. Not only does Harris fail to find the No. 1 spot on the Worldwide Leader's master list (they have anointed Tennessee T Trey Smith as their top prospect), the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder actually fails to even crack their top 10. They slot him in at No. 11.
Source: Scout.com
Jan 19 - 6:48 PM

Alabama received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 WR Xavier Williams.

"I had the best communication and relationship with the Alabama coaching staff," Williams explained in a text to Rivals. The outlet ranks him as their No. 88 prospect for the 2018 cycle. Scout.com is even higher on the 6-foot, 180-pounder at this stage, slotting him into their 2018 master list at No. 42. That outlet views him as "a reliable target [who] does a good job of catching the ball away from his body, but also flashes impressive body control and concentration when dragging his feet in bounds and adjusting to poorly thrown balls." With Calvin Ridley eligible for the draft after the 2017 campaign, Williams has top-dog potential down the road.
Jan 19 - 5:24 PM

In an interview with SEC Network's Paul Finebaum, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. called LB Reuben Foster "the best inside linebacker Alabama has ever produced."

Well then. That is something. On his most recent Big Board, Kiper slots Foster in as his No. 4 overall draft prospect for 2017. He views him more favorably than he did Bama LB Reggie Ragland a year ago, writing that the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Foster "has more range, runs sideline to sideline and is a more complete player." A lock first-rounder, Foster won the Butkus Award this past season on the strength of a regular season which saw him record 94 tackles (12.0 for loss), four sacks and two passes defended.
Jan 19 - 5:11 PM

Alabama four-star 2017 verbal T commit Kendall Randolph has shut down his recruitment.

Looks like Bama has Randolph on lock at this point. Said the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder, "It's just time to get serious." He initially committed to the Tide prior to the start of his senior season at Bob Jones High School (Alabama). Scout.com ranks him as their No. 135 overall prospect. They note that Randolph is "[a] big, strong blocker with good feet and athleticism," one who possesses "a great frame for an elite offensive lineman."
Source: Scout.com
Jan 19 - 4:20 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks writes that Alabama T Cam Robinson "remains a work in progress as a pass protector."

While Brooks still sees Robinson needing improvement on pass plays, he doesn't think this will be a crippling demerit for his draft stock, noting that the 6-foot-6, 323-pounder "displays enough athleticism, balance and body control to develop into a potential blindside tackle in the near future." Brooks has little concern about Robinson's run-blocking prowess, at least, calling him a "big-bodied mauler with the strength and power to move defenders off the ball." The 2016 Outland Trophy winner could potentially land within the first 10 picks come this spring's draft.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 17 - 5:29 PM

Alabama five-star 2017 verbal RB commit Najee Harris retained pole position in Rivals' final rankings release of the current cycle.

A running back had not graced the top of Rivals' final rankings since 2009, when Bryce Brown finished with the honor. Outlet recruiting director Mike Farrell relays that uncommitted five-star DT Marvin Wilson and FSU five-star RB Cam Akers were the two recruits pressing Harris hardest for that coveted No. 1 slot. "Harris...has a rare combination of size, speed and elusiveness and is the best running back I’ve scouted since Peterson," Farrell wrote. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has all the potential in the world (obviously), but given Alabama's stacked rotation at the position (Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, Joshua Jacobs, B.J. Emmons), he shouldn't be expected to automatically ascend to the top of the depth chart in 2017.
Source: Rivals
Jan 16 - 8:04 PM

Alabama has promoted offensive analyst Mike Locksley to a full-time offensive assistant.

Just what Locksley's role with the Tide will be next season isn't quite clear at this juncture. The university did not provide further detail as to his exact responsibilities. This past season, he worked with fellow offensive analyst Steve Sarkisian, before Sark took over as offensive coordinator for Lane Kiffin prior to the National Championship Game. Before he joined Alabama for the 2016 season, the 47-year-old Locksley previously served as Maryland's offensive coordinator from 2012-2015.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 16 - 5:54 PM

Alabama hired Arizona AD Greg Byrne to serve in the same capacity.

Byrne will replace current athletic director Bill Battle on March 1. Battle will remain with the university, announcing on Sunday that he will be serving as special assistant to the president. Prior to this move to the SEC, Byrne had held the athletic director-ship at Arizona since 2010. He has also previously worked as Mississippi State's athletic director.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 16 - 4:06 PM

Alabama TE O.J. Howard accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

In so doing, he becomes arguably the best prospect to participate in this year's event. Howard joins teammates Ryan Anderson, Dalvin Tomlinson and Cole Mazza in Mobile. A potential first-rounder, Howard had 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns this past season. An AFC area scout comped him to Jimmy Graham earlier this month.
Source: Senior Bowl
Jan 16 - 1:43 PM

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports that Alabama offensive analyst Mike Locksley will stay at the school.

Locksley was rumored to be close to accepting an assistant coaching job at Florida. Instead, he'll stay in Tuscaloosa and get an on-field job, per McMurphy. Locksley was the head coach at New Mexico from 2009-11.
Jan 13 - 2:32 PM

Alabama redshirt junior WR ArDarius Stewart declared for the NFL Draft.

Stewart, a two-year starter, told the media that he received a second-round grade from the NFL College Advisory Committee. That may be a little rich, but keep in mind that this is a thin receiving crop that drops off quickly after the top prospects. This past season, functioning as Alabama's designated deep threat, Stewart led the Tide with 864 yards receiving and eight touchdowns on 54 receptions. A versatile athlete with good wheels, Stewart also had eight rushes for 68 yards and eight kick returns for 161 yards. In addition, his blocking has also been lauded. Stewart was suspended for the Chattanooga game for a violation of team rules. Cam Sims or Trevon Diggs could replace Stewart across from Calvin Ridley.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 13 - 2:14 PM

Alabama redshirt sophomore CB Marlon Humphrey declared for the NFL Draft.

The son of former Tide star RB Bobby Humphrey, Marlon Humphrey started every game in his two-year Alabama career. He was outstanding from the start, earning a Freshman All-American nod in 2015. The speedy Humphrey (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) was a member of the Alabama track team as a freshman who ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash in high school. An AFC personnel director told NFL Media in November that he ranked Humphrey as the top cornerback prospect in college football. CBS lists Humphrey as the No. 20 overall prospect in the class.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 13 - 1:55 PM

Alabama junior T Cam Robinson declared for the NFL Draft.

Robinson started for the Tide from the day he stepped on campus as a true freshman in 2014. The 6-foot-6, 323-pounder won the Outland Trophy (nation's best interior linemen) and the Jacobs Trophy (SEC's top blocker) this past season. His reputation exceeds his play at this point -- Pro Football Focus was a little down on his work in 2016 -- but the talent is very real. Robinson revealed Friday that he received a first-round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee. A top-10 possibility, Robinson's talent level, according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, is equal to or greater than that of Miami Dolphins first-round T Laremy Tunsil. Like Tunsil, Robinson has some character concerns. He was arrested in May on marijuana and weapon charges. The case was later dismissed.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 13 - 1:39 PM


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