Nick Saban’s retirement taught us something, but we are now about to see who is at the University of Alabama for the culture of Crimson Tide football versus those who attended for different motives.
Last week, two former Alabama greats were on The Bama Standard. DJ Hall (wide receiver) and Kareem Jackson (cornerback) were two standouts at their positions for the Tide. Hall was an electrifying receiver and Jackson became a lockdown defender.
Both embraced competition and challenges. Neither wanted anything handed to them, but they wanted to earn it. Today’s landscape is different with the NCAA transfer portal and NIL, but Hall and Jackson had one message for current Alabama players and future recruits consideration the Crimson Tide. Hall and Jackson were all in on the Tide, and they want others to be the same.
“My only thing is don’t be afraid of competition,” Hall said. “Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. We all were once the best, you have to go out there and compete. Stop running from competition. If you are not trying to roll with the Tide, then do not come.”
Jackson, who won an SEC Championship and a BCS National Championship in 2009, says the standard has not changed.
“The standard is the standard,” he said. “It is not going to change. It was set before me, it was set before DJ, everybody kept it going. The standard is not going to change.”
Alabama’s standard is playing relentless, dominating football each year.
The goal for the program to compete and win conference championships and national championships. Alabama has a new head coach, Kalen DeBoer, but fans expect to see a consistently good product on the field. The Crimson Tide lost players to the transfer portal after Saban’s retirement announcement; however, those who remained have to carry on the winning mentality.
Competition will be across the board at each position in spring practice. It is going to be fun to watch Alabama this spring.
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