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Geno Smith, Jonathan Taylor: Squandering Opportunities

This hasn’t been the week Alabama envisioned, aside from spring practice. Saturday’s agenda was planned around hard work and field time; instead it was filled with the short comings of two players that have squandered opportunities, Geno Smith and Jonathan Taylor.

Geno Smith, a rising senior, was arrested Saturday morning at 5:33 a.m. and charged with driving under the influence, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sherriff’s Office. The Georgia native is coming off a solid junior season, in which he totaled 56 tackles. Saturday’s mishap isn’t the first time Smith’s been caught intoxicated while driving.

He faced the same incident in 2013, and was suspended one game. Smith remains in jail, as his bond is set at $1,000. Alabama’s defensive backs Jabriel Washington and Maurice Smith practiced in his spot.

Jonathan Taylor, a defensive tackle, was given a second chance. An alleged aggravated assault charge dismissed him from Georgia last July. Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban extended his hand toward Taylor, yet it came back to bite him. Taylor was arrested Saturday evening for another domestic violence incident.

The victim, 24, told the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department that she had neck injuries. Taylor’s charges, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department website, are as follows: violence/assault and domestic violence/criminal mischief.  All of these are in third degree. His bail has been set in a pair of $500 bonds.

Alabama football embodies the “next man up” mentality, but there is no excuse for misbehavior under Saban’s leadership. Monday’s press conference will be interesting. The Crimson Tide has recruited a lot of talent in its secondary, and it returns a solid defensive line in 2015. The fate of Smith and Taylor is unknown for now, but Saban will have an answer for them next week.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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