Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com Alabama's Premier Football Website Fri, 10 Apr 2020 16:57:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 135213907 Explosive 4-Star ATH, Brenen Thompson, reacts to Alabama offer https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/10/explosive-4-star-ath-brenen-thompson-reacts-to-alabama-offer/ Fri, 10 Apr 2020 16:57:00 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76225 Alabama’s coaching staff is using this extended dead period to evaluate prospects and offer new recruits. One of those recruits is 4-Star athlete, Brenen Thompson, who received an offer from Alabama Wednesday. Thompson is a product of Spearman High School in Spearman, Texas. I am beyond blessed to receive an offer from THE University of […]]]>

Alabama’s coaching staff is using this extended dead period to evaluate prospects and offer new recruits.

One of those recruits is 4-Star athlete, Brenen Thompson, who received an offer from Alabama Wednesday. Thompson is a product of Spearman High School in Spearman, Texas.

Alabama’s Texas area recruiter, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach, Jeff Banks, told Thompson about his offer from Alabama.

“Jeff Banks text me after he got my cell phone number and told me to give him a call,” Thompson said. “We talked for a little bit and he told me I had an offer. It was great. I was excited, of course it is Alabama. They are a great program and a great school. I was pretty excited to hear that for sure.”

Thompson’s offer list now stands at 15 with recent offers from Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kansas and Auburn. The Texas product’s recruitment has taken off over the last two months. His first offer came on March 15, which was from Illinois State University.

Banks talked to Thompson about possibly playing slot wide receiver, which is the position Jaylen Waddle will most likely start at next season. Thompson’s frame and playing style fit that position perfectly. He said he feels his speed is probably one of his biggest strengths, but he is working on parts of his game, that will benefit his team as a whole.

“My speed and my quickness are definitely my strength,” Thompson said. “I am working on reading defenses better and helping my teammates get into a position where they can be successful.”

At 5-11 and 165 pounds, Spearman used Thompson as a dual-threat quarterback during his sophomore season. The 4-Star recruit was a powerful offensive weapon, who proved to be hard to contain with his elusiveness and quick feet. His speed also translates to the track as he doubles as a track athlete, who has a PR of 10.18 in the 100-meter dash.

Alabama has one commit in the 2022 recruiting class in 4-Star defensive end, Jeremiah Alexander. The Tide will look to continue building a relationship with Thompson as he ‘definitely’ wants to  get down to Tuscaloosa for a visit when recruits are allowed to visit schools again

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Tua Tagovailoa Pro Day footage released https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/10/tua-tagovailoa-pro-day-footage-released/ Fri, 10 Apr 2020 14:53:02 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76216 Footage of Tua Tagovailoa at his own personal Pro day event in Nashville, Tenessee was released Friday. Chris Mortensen received footage of the event from an NFL team and released it via Twitter. The work out was conducted by Trent Dilfer. Dilfer said the workout consisted of 55 scripted throws and lasted an hour. Another […]]]>

Footage of Tua Tagovailoa at his own personal Pro day event in Nashville, Tenessee was released Friday.

Chris Mortensen received footage of the event from an NFL team and released it via Twitter. The work out was conducted by Trent Dilfer. Dilfer said the workout consisted of 55 scripted throws and lasted an hour. Another 20 attempts were added.

This footage was sent to all 32 NFL teams.

WATCH VIDEO BELOW:

 

 

 

*Story will be updated 

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WATCH: 5 2021 recruits Alabama is trending upwards for https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/10/watch-5-2021-recruits-alabama-is-trending-upwards-for/ Fri, 10 Apr 2020 13:15:32 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76211 Alabama’s coaching staff is pushing hard and making moves on the recruiting trail with some impressive 2021 recruits. Several 2021 prospects have included Alabama in their top schools’ list recently and multiple have told Touchdown Alabama, the Tide are in heavy contact with them almost every day. Scouting/Recruiting analyst, Justin Smith, discussed five prospects, who […]]]>

Alabama’s coaching staff is pushing hard and making moves on the recruiting trail with some impressive 2021 recruits.

Several 2021 prospects have included Alabama in their top schools’ list recently and multiple have told Touchdown Alabama, the Tide are in heavy contact with them almost every day. Scouting/Recruiting analyst, Justin Smith, discussed five prospects, who he feels Alabama is making moves for during this time on the latest episode of “The Process.”

Smith also provided some key recruiting updates about the Tide.

WATCH VIDEO BELOW:

Full Show:

 

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Tua Tagovailoa holds virtual pro day in Nashville, videos to be made available for NFL teams https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/tua-tagovailoa-holds-virtual-pro-day-in-nashville-videos-to-be-made-available-for-nfl-teams/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 21:38:51 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76205 The coronavirus outbreak negated an opportunity for local media outlets in Alabama to report on Tua Tagovailoa’s pro day; however, the former Crimson Tide standout still had an event. Despite the global crisis and a vicious tornado that ripped through Nashville, Tenn., the native Hawaiian decided to hold a virtual pro day on Thursday in […]]]>

The coronavirus outbreak negated an opportunity for local media outlets in Alabama to report on Tua Tagovailoa’s pro day; however, the former Crimson Tide standout still had an event.

Despite the global crisis and a vicious tornado that ripped through Nashville, Tenn., the native Hawaiian decided to hold a virtual pro day on Thursday in Nashville.

News came from the Washington Post, as we are two weeks away from the NFL Draft.

According to the article, Trent Dilfer conducted the pro day. A former NFL quarterback and Super Bowl champion, the Elite 11 head coach has known Tagovailoa and his family for a long time.

Dilfer told the Washington Post that the workout was one hour long and consisted of 55 scripted throws. Another 20 attempts would be added on in what Dilfer referred to as a “dynamic setting.”

He said the pro day was built around four elements of Tagovailoa’s game: twitch, movement, power and precision.

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa’s agent calls health concerns ‘overblown’

Leigh Steinberg, Tagovailoa’s agent, has already established the fact of reports on his client’s hip have been “overblown” and that the doctors have been “very clear that Tagovailoa’s health is fine.”

He continues to be looked at as one of the top two signal callers in the draft class.

The quartet of Washington, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles (Chargers) are all in line to possibly land the Heisman finalist and All-American from 2018, but who will get him? Per Dilfer, the videos from the pro day will be sent to all 32 NFL teams.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Three reasons why Alabama’s defense will be better this season https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/three-reasons-why-alabamas-defense-will-be-better-this-season/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 20:06:20 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76202 After struggling to remain a top-20 group in 2019, Alabama expects to be much improved on defense this season. Regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic, Nick Saban has hired great minds — including Charile Strong — on his coaching staff to ensure quality on that side of the ball. With an elite recruiting class and experience returning, […]]]>

After struggling to remain a top-20 group in 2019, Alabama expects to be much improved on defense this season.

Regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic, Nick Saban has hired great minds — including Charile Strong — on his coaching staff to ensure quality on that side of the ball. With an elite recruiting class and experience returning, the Crimson Tide wants get back to affecting quarterbacks, stopping running backs, forcing turnovers and being a unit that is respected and feared defensively.

As tough as it was at times in 2019, there are three reasons to be excited for the defense in the upcoming fall.

RELATED: Alabama OL Landon Dickerson carrying right mindset for this season

On Wednesday, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine broke down the reasons for the Tide becoming an improved bunch via In My Own Words.

Check out the video below.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Tua Tagovailoa’s agent calls health concerns ‘overblown’ https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/tua-tagovailoas-agent-calls-health-concerns-overblown/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 19:33:08 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76198 With some analysts still skeptical over the durability of former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his agent Leigh Steinberg is working to assure each team that his client if fully capable of playing in the NFL. Steinberg went on 790 the Ticket on Thursday where he said that Tagovailoa’s doctors “have been very clear that Tua’s […]]]>

With some analysts still skeptical over the durability of former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his agent Leigh Steinberg is working to assure each team that his client if fully capable of playing in the NFL.

Steinberg went on 790 the Ticket on Thursday where he said that Tagovailoa’s doctors “have been very clear that Tua’s health is fine. There’s no recurrence that’s going to happen here,” per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

He also went as far as to say that a lot of the health concerns have been sensationalized to a degree.

“These health concerns are overblown,” said Steinberg. “We’re not playing croquet here. … He checks out fine with the doctors who have spent time with him since the combine.”

Recently former NFL executive Mike Lombardi brought Tagovailoa’s health concerns to a head on his podcast the GM Shuffle.

“That’s got to get around that at least one team failed the physical on Tua others have to be concerned now as well.,” Lombardi said on his GM Shuffle podcast. “What they saw…is they saw the fact it’s not just his hip. It’s his ankle. It’s his wrist.”

Lombardi went on the say that Tagovailoa is “brittle” and brought up names such as Mark Sanchez, JP Losman and Jason Campbell.

Whether team’s are truly concerned about Tagovailoa’s health will be found out sooner rather than later when the 2020 NFL Draft commences on April 23.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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Mykel Williams talks Alabama offer, strengthening entire game https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/mykel-williams-talks-alabama-offer-strengthening-entire-game/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:11:52 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76172 Alabama is one of the latest programs to offer 2022 4-Star defensive end, Mykel Williams, who is having a huge month on the recruiting trail. Blessed to receive an offer from the University Of Alabama #RTR 🙏🏾 🐘 pic.twitter.com/obvySxiGcg — Mykel Williams (@MykelW_50) April 7, 2020 Six Division 1 schools have offered the Georgia product […]]]>

Alabama is one of the latest programs to offer 2022 4-Star defensive end, Mykel Williams, who is having a huge month on the recruiting trail.

Six Division 1 schools have offered the Georgia product in the month of April. The Tide are joined by LSU, USC, Nebraska, Arkansas and Pitt. Georgia area recruiter and Alabama’s safety coach, Charles Kelly, informed Williams of his offer.

“Coach Kelly got in touch with my coach and I found out through my coaching staff,” Williams said. “I was excited about the opportunity. The success they have had is great. Alabama is a really good program.”

Williams is closing in on 20 Division 1 offers and is becoming one of the more highly recruited players in the 2022 recruiting class. In-State programs, Georgia and Georgia Tech, have offered the 2022 prospect.

The 4-Star recruit showed some great potential during his sophomore season at Hardaway High School as a defensive end and as an offensive tackle.  His defensive efforts lead him to be named to the First Team All-State. Although Williams tasted some success as a sophomore on the field and on the recruiting trail, he is hungry for more and is working to get better.

“I am working on my game as a whole, run stop and staying square, stepping down getting penetration rather than sliding,” Williams said.

It remains unclear when Alabama will be able to resume hosting recruits. Williams joins a long list of recruits, who now hold an offer from the Tide, but have yet to visit due to current recruiting restrictions. Nick Saban did express him and his coaching staff are virtually recruiting and attempting to show prospects some of the things they would have seen if they were to visit in an interview with ESPN reporter, Maria Taylor.

The roll of offers for Williams are expected to continue as coaches are spending the extra time they have on their hand to evaluate recruits and extend new offers. His recruitment is far from done, but Williams doe know some of the factors he is looking for in a school.

“I am looking for a place that fits me and feels like home and also has a great education department,” Williams said.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Alabama OL Landon Dickerson carrying right mindset for this season https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/alabama-ol-landon-dickerson-carrying-right-mindset-for-this-season/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:01:14 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76191 He brought Alabama a sense of nastiness to its offensive line in 2019, as he came over from Florida State as a graduate transfer.  A product of Hickory, N.C., Landon Dickerson started all 13 games last season — including nine matchups at center. He earned second-team All-SEC honors at right guard from the Associated Press […]]]>

He brought Alabama a sense of nastiness to its offensive line in 2019, as he came over from Florida State as a graduate transfer. 

A product of Hickory, N.C., Landon Dickerson started all 13 games last season — including nine matchups at center. He earned second-team All-SEC honors at right guard from the Associated Press and second-team All-SEC honors at center from the league’s coaches. The former five-star was awarded honorable mention All-American honors via Pro Football Focus at guard. 

He graded out at nearly 88 percent at both spots, while allowing one sack and four quarterback pressures.

Dickerson missed only four assignments in 727 snaps (99.4% success rate) and helped Najee Harris tally his first career 1,000-yard (1,224) rushing season.

The 6-foot-6, 308-pounder anticipates being even better in the fall. In practicing social distancing at home, Dickerson is performing his particular strength workout from David Ballou.

He posted a video to Twitter on Thursday of him displaying the proper technique for power cleaning. Dickerson was superb in run-blocking as well as pass protection from the center position, but moving him to right tackle could provide Alabama with one of the best offensive units of the Nick Saban era. To have him next to Deonte Brown would give the Tide the option to run power off either side. Mac Jones is in a good position as a junior, especially with seeing the dedication that Dickerson has put in thus far throughout the spring.

RELATED: Alabama LB Ale Kaho to LSU: ‘Run Dat S— Back!’

He expects to assist the Tide to a national championship and put NFL teams on notice for next year’s draft.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Raekwon Davis tells Cowboys Nick Saban would help the team win on Sundays https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/raekwon-davis-tells-cowboys-nick-saban-would-help-the-team-win-on-sundays/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:13:47 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76186 As we inch closer to the NFL Draft, teams are having Zoom meetings with different prospects. On Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys met with Raekwon Davis. A native of Meridian, Miss., the five-star defensive lineman arrived in Alabama’s 2016 recruiting class. He totaled 175 career tackles — including 69 stops in 2017 with 10 tackles for […]]]>

As we inch closer to the NFL Draft, teams are having Zoom meetings with different prospects.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys met with Raekwon Davis.

A native of Meridian, Miss., the five-star defensive lineman arrived in Alabama’s 2016 recruiting class. He totaled 175 career tackles — including 69 stops in 2017 with 10 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks that season. Despite not turning in monster numbers in 2018 and 2019, Davis still accounted for 19.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks during his tenure. The 6-foot-6, 311-pounder was on two Southeastern Conference title teams and a College Football Playoff National Championship squad.

RELATED: Former Tide OT Jedrick Wills breaks down Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts on Rich Eisen Show

In his interview with the Cowboys, Davis talked about the joy he experienced from being the first person in his family to earn a college degree. He spoke on the mentors he had both on and off the field, but he saved his best moment for the end.

Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Cowboys, asked Davis on the player he would take with him from the Crimson Tide to the Cowboys. Instead of naming a player, he chose an individual that has placed 90 student-athletes in the draft.

“I’ll take Nick Saban,” Davis said.

Of course, the organization had a lot of fun with his answer. Mike McCarthy, who was in the interview, is the latest coach of the Cowboys as he replaces Jason Garrett.

Davis will not be able to bring Saban with him; however, he did speak on how all the teammates he has played with at Alabama would be dominant on Sundays in the NFL.

It will be interesting to see where he lands in the next two weeks.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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4-Star DB, Kamar Wilcoxson, announces Top 8 https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/4-star-db-kamar-wilcoxson-announces-top-8/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:10:35 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76180 2021 4-Star defensive back, Kamar Wilcoxson, is officially back on the market after de-committing from the Florida Gators and Alabama is one of the teams, who are showing great interest. Wilcoxson released his top eight Wednesday and Alabama was included alongside Florida, USC, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Auburn and Tennessee. it’s hard but i make […]]]>

2021 4-Star defensive back, Kamar Wilcoxson, is officially back on the market after de-committing from the Florida Gators and Alabama is one of the teams, who are showing great interest.

Wilcoxson released his top eight Wednesday and Alabama was included alongside Florida, USC, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Auburn and Tennessee.

The 4-Star defensive back will play his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Alabama had been recruiting the Georgia product before he verbally committed to the Gators. They re-offered him on Jan. 23 and Wilcoxon said Alabama’s staff has told him they feel he is a priority.

“They tell me that I am a priority for them, that they need me to come in and have an immediate impact and that type of stuff,” Wilcoxson said.

Nick Saban works closely with defensive backs during their time at the University of Alabama. Wilcoxon has great respect for the veteran coach and also feels he has a good relationship with the Tide’s defensive back coach, Karl Scott.

“Our relationship is great,” Wilcoxon told Touchdown Alabama in July. “Coach Scott is my guy. I love the dynasty that Saban has built in Tuscaloosa. He has proven he is a dominant coach and a consistent winner.”

Wilcoxson played on both sides of the ball during his time at Stephenson High School. The Jaguars used the 2021 prospect as a safety within the secondary during his junior season.

Alabama’s 2021 recruiting class remains at one commit while Alabama’s coaching staff continue to hit the recruiting trail virtually. They signed four defensive backs in the 2020 recruiting class along with 4-Star athlete, Kristian Story, who will more than likely line up at safety for the Tide. The defensive back group has made up a significant portion of Alabama’s last few recruiting class and the 2021 class is expected to be no different as the Tide is recruiting a large group of 2021 DBs.

Wilcoxson plans to enroll early into the school of his choice.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Alabama continues hard push for Ga’Quincy McKinstry https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/09/alabama-continues-hard-push-for-gaquincy-mckinstry/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 12:13:47 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76169 Ga’Quincy Mckinstry is one of the recruits Alabama was fortunate enough to get on campus for an unofficial visit before visits were suspended by the NCAA. The 5-Star recruit is currently working out on the gridiron while practicing social distancing after a successful junior season on the hardwood. Like many other recruits across the nation, […]]]>

Ga’Quincy Mckinstry is one of the recruits Alabama was fortunate enough to get on campus for an unofficial visit before visits were suspended by the NCAA.

The 5-Star recruit is currently working out on the gridiron while practicing social distancing after a successful junior season on the hardwood. Like many other recruits across the nation, McKinstry’s phone is ringing off the hook as he stays in contact with multiple programs.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Former Tide OT Jedrick Wills breaks down Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts on Rich Eisen Show https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/former-tide-ot-jedrick-wills-breaks-down-tua-tagovailoa-jalen-hurts-on-rich-eisen-show/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 21:37:58 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76164 Aside from quarterback, wide receiver and a few defensive positions, this year’s offensive line class is very strong heading into the NFL Draft. One of the best players in the group is Jedrick Wills of the University of Alabama. The former four-star and Kentucky native was a two-year starter at right tackle (2018-19) and won […]]]>

Aside from quarterback, wide receiver and a few defensive positions, this year’s offensive line class is very strong heading into the NFL Draft.

One of the best players in the group is Jedrick Wills of the University of Alabama. The former four-star and Kentucky native was a two-year starter at right tackle (2018-19) and won both a conference title and a national championship. 

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds, Wills had an excellent performance at the NFL Scouting Combine – placing in the top-10 for linemen in the 40-yard dash (5.05 seconds), vertical jump (34.5”) and broad jump (9’5”). He was smooth and displayed exceptional power in the on-field workouts. Wills assisted both Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa into becoming legendary quarterbacks and on Monday, he spoke about both guys via the Rich Eisen Show. 

He and Tagovailoa both competed in Nike’s “The Opening” and arrived at Alabama in the 2017 recruiting cycle. The native Hawaiian worked tirelessly to earn a five-star rating; however, Wills knew how special Tagovailoa was out of high school. 

RELATED: Xavier McKinney takes issue with Mel Kiper Jr.’s ranking and calls him out


“The first time I saw Tua in person was at the Opening,” Wills said. “It was our senior year at high school. At the time, I don’t recall him being the top quarterback in the class but I knew he was the No. 1 dual threat. He was not at the very top of the charts, but they had this 7-on-7 and he was lighting everybody up.” 

Even with him being left-handed, Wills referred to Tagovailoa as ‘fascinating.’ 

“The big-time level has always been there for him,” Wills said. “Nobody really noticed it until he came to Alabama in 2017 and won us the national championship against Georgia.” 

Throughout his tenure, Tagovailoa was the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-American, a Heisman finalist and a permanent team captain among other awards. Wills protected him as he threw for 7,442 passing yards, while totaling 87 touchdown passes and 96 total scores. 

He encountered no issues with keeping Tagovailoa and Hurts upright, though Hurts was Alabama’s day one leader in his mind. 

“I feel like he was always the guy,” Wills said. “He was the main guy when I got there. Even when Tua went in and did what he did and got the starting job, Jalen was still the leader. He was still there improving his game.” 

As tough as it was to watch Tagovailoa take the starting job from Hurts in 2018, Wills said the most remarkable thing about the native Texan was his personality never changed. 

He was always that leader. That situation just made him better,” Wills said.  

Hurts would go on to spend his final season at Oklahoma, where he led the program to a Big 12 Championship and the College Football Playoff.

He was a Heisman finalist and after posting success at two different schools, some draft analysts have him as a potential late first-rounder. 

For Wills, he projects as a top-10 to top-15 selection.  

Some experts have him going as high as No. 4 (New York Giants) to as low as No. 20 (Jacksonville Jaguars). The perfect spot from him may be at No. 8 to the Arizona Cardinals, especially with the strong additions it made in free agency.

Wills could help the duo Kyler Murray and Kenyan Drake have a lot of production.

Tide fans will be cheering him on.  

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Nick Saban explains his virtual recruiting strategy https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/nick-saban-explains-his-virtual-recruiting-strategy/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 21:01:21 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76147 Nick Saban is not a fan of embracing new technology, but due to the restrictions put in place by the current recruiting dead period, the veteran coach has had to step outside his comfort zone to continue recruiting and building relationships with some of Alabama’s top targets. The NCAA extended the current recruiting dead period […]]]>

Nick Saban is not a fan of embracing new technology, but due to the restrictions put in place by the current recruiting dead period, the veteran coach has had to step outside his comfort zone to continue recruiting and building relationships with some of Alabama’s top targets.

The NCAA extended the current recruiting dead period through May 31, which means the Tide will not be able to host any recruits until June if the period is not extended. In a video interview with ESPN reporter, Maria Taylor, via Instagram, the 6-time National Championship winning coach provided an update on how he is tackling the challenge of not being able to host recruits and visit them off-campus.

“A couple of hours in the afternoon, a couple of hours a night, I do videos with recruits, phone calls with recruits,” Saban said. “Whatever we can do to present to them on video, that they would have seen when they came here to visit, but now they can not come here to visit. There is no practice for them to watch or whatever. So, we are trying to just supplement some of those things to continue to develop relationships however, whenever we can. All the recruits want to know when they are going to be able to visit. Nobody knows.”

Saban and his staff have remained in contact with some of their top targets on the recruiting trail throughout this time of uncertainty as several have told touchdown Alabama, the Tide are in frequent contact with them. One of those recruits is 4-Star defensive back, Terrion Arnold, who joined “The Process” to talk about a recent conversation with Saban, where he said Saban told him he was the ‘No. 1’ DB on their board.

This is the approach Saban and the rest of the college football world will have to take while recruiting at the moment in hopes visits will resume in the Summer.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Nick Saban has a plan on how get young players up to speed in the fall https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/nick-saban-has-a-plan-on-how-get-young-players-up-to-speed-in-the-fall/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 19:22:15 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76155 Some of the most important practices for any football team come during their spring sessions. It’s a time for players to get back in the swing of things, new coaches to get learn the players and also for early enrollees to learn the system. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams spring practices were cut […]]]>

Some of the most important practices for any football team come during their spring sessions. It’s a time for players to get back in the swing of things, new coaches to get learn the players and also for early enrollees to learn the system.

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams spring practices were cut short and a lot of them didn’t even get to have a single practice.

If the season were to start on time, most of the younger players would be put at a bit of a disadvantage which could end up hurting the team.

But Alabama head coach Nick Saban is proposing something new that would help ease the players into their new teams, and help them adjust to the college game. This would be in the form of a 14 day OTA.

“But one of the things that I’ve kind of tried to propose … was one of the things that we used to do when I was in the NFL is we had 14 days of OTA days in April and May before we had minicamp and it was just shorts and shirts and you could go out and teach players techniques,” said Saban during and Instagram live with ESPN’s Maria Taylor.

Saban’s plan also accounts for teams who did begin spring practices and actually got a couple of sessions in before the cancellation. Because of that he doesn’t believe that those teams should get the advantage of a full 14 day OTAs.

“We usually have 14 practices in the spring and the spring game. If you had five practices, you could have nine OTA days sometime before we started fall camp,” said Saban. “If you didn’t have any spring practices, you could have 14 OTA days where you just had opportunities to go out and work with your players on football-related type stuff so many days in the summertime. Non-contact, no pads, no-helmets.”

Although the 14 days would lead into the team’s fall camp, Saban is adamant that he doesn’t want there to be an extension of fall camp. The non-contact and teaching moments are what he wants to get out of the extra sessions before the pads get put on. He is also looking to avoid any injuries to his players.

“Some people say, ‘Well, just make fall camp longer.’ Well, fall camp is the most concentrated time during the season,” said Saban. “It’s the time where we have the most concentrated contact because we have so many practices in a short period of time preparing for the season.

“I think making that longer would not help the concussions, the injuries and all that type of things. So, doing something in the summertime probably would be, I think, a better way to go. If we have the opportunity to do that. Nobody even knows if we’ll have the opportunity to do that.”

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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Alabama LB Ale Kaho to LSU: ‘Run Dat S— Back!’ https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/alabama-lb-ale-kaho-to-lsu-run-dat-s-back/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 18:20:12 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76153 It earned the right to be national champions last season, but there was a moment for Louisiana State University where it took things too far. After defeating the University of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Ed Orgeron took it upon himself to fire up his players in saying the Tigers will beat the Crimson Tide in […]]]>

It earned the right to be national champions last season, but there was a moment for Louisiana State University where it took things too far.

After defeating the University of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Ed Orgeron took it upon himself to fire up his players in saying the Tigers will beat the Crimson Tide in everything from here on out.

He gave a ‘Roll Tide, F-U!’ speech in the locker room and following its 46-41 victory, a few of LSU’s student-athletes went to the stands and started talking to Tide recruits about flipping from Alabama to the Tigers. 

Whether it was a sign of ignorance or LSU feeling confident about the future, no one from the Tide took kindly to the gesture. The trio of Dylan Moses, Christian Harris and Christopher Allen all hail from Baton Rouge, La. and will have this year’s matchup circled on the calendar. 

Ale Kaho, a junior, is still bothered from the incident. 

He took to Twitter on Wednesday to remind college football and LSU that a new season is coming and Alabama is out for blood. 

Kaho, a native of Reno, Nev., flipped from Washington to the Crimson Tide in the 2018 recruiting cycle and made big plays in 2019 on special teams. He blocked three punts (two returned for touchdowns) and totaled 20 tackles.

The 6-foot-1, 228-pounder is a stalwart on kickoff and punt coverage, but he also excels as a lead blocker in goal line situations. 

He has the quickness, instincts and big-play potential to be a marquee contributor at inside linebacker.

RELATED: While social distancing Miss Terry forces Nick Saban to make an email address

Hopefully, he can break more into the rotation as he wants another chance at the Bayou Bengals.  

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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While social distancing Miss Terry forces Nick Saban to make an email address https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/while-social-distancing-miss-terry-forces-nick-saban-to-make-an-email-address/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 17:59:10 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76141 Everyone is approaching social distancing in a different way. Whether it’s creating Tik Tok’s, catching up on reading or working out at home, there countless ways to better yourself or get more creative during this time. For Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the distancing from his staff, players and recruits has pushed him to incorporate […]]]>

Everyone is approaching social distancing in a different way. Whether it’s creating Tik Tok’s, catching up on reading or working out at home, there countless ways to better yourself or get more creative during this time.

For Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the distancing from his staff, players and recruits has pushed him to incorporate a new aspect into his life.

Creating and managing an email address.

“The one positive of this, for me, is I even have an email now,” Saban told ESPN’s Maria Taylor during an Instagram live on Wednesday. “It was hard for me to communicate when you have to be by yourself and you always depend on somebody else to get you emails and messages and all that. It just didn’t work, aight. They were sending them all to Miss Terry aight. She fired me, and she said, ‘I’m not dealing with your stuff anymore,’ so I had to do it on my own.”

It has been quite a long time since Saban has been fired from anything, but if anyone had the power to do it, that would be Miss Terry.

But managing an email isn’t all Saban has on his to do list throughout the day. He still holds multiple meetings via Zoom, and phone calls with his players and recruits.

Saban and his staff have also been able to have virtual meetings to prepare for the upcoming season, should it begin on time.

 *Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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Alabama targets continue cutting down top schools’ list https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/08/alabama-targets-continue-cutting-down-top-schools-list/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 17:10:41 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76125 Football prospects across the nation are using this break from visits to work through their recruitment by narrowing down their top schools. Some of Alabama’s top targets have been a part of this trend and Alabama looks to be in a good position with several of them. Let’s take a look at the top schools’ […]]]>

Football prospects across the nation are using this break from visits to work through their recruitment by narrowing down their top schools.

Some of Alabama’s top targets have been a part of this trend and Alabama looks to be in a good position with several of them. Let’s take a look at the top schools’ list Alabama has been a part of recently:

Troy Franklin – 5-Star WR

Top 6 – Alabama, Oregon, Washington, USC, LSU, Arizona State

Franklin is the No. 1 wideout in the 2021 recruiting class. The Tide and the LSU Tigers were the only SEC teams included in the California product’s most recent list cut. At 6-2 and 170 pounds, Franklin is a lengthy playmaker, who is dangerous with the ball in his hand.

Terrence Lewis – 5-Star LB

Top 6 – Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Nebraska, Penn State, Texas A&M

Lewis is a product of Hollywood, Florida, but no sunshine state program was featured in his top 6. The Tide offered him in March of 2019 and has built a relationship with him. The 5-Star recruit is currently ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2021 recruiting class.

TJ Bollers – 4-Star DL

Top 6 – Alabama, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Cal

Bollers is one of the top players in the state of Iowa. He is one of Alabama’s most recent offered targets as the Tide offered him in February. The 2021 recruit is a long edge rusher, who doubles as a tight end for Clear Creek Amana.

Jeremiah Williams – 4-Star LB

Top 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn, Nebraska

Williams is one of the top linebackers inside the state of Alabama. The Tide last hosted him in February for its Junior Day event. They offered him in January after being in contact with him previously.

Latrell McCutchin – 4-Star DB

Top 10 – Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Florida State, Florida, Virginia Tech

McCutchin was committed to Alabama before re-opening his recruitment. The Texas product missed his entire Junior season due to a lower-body injury. He is currently working to get back to 100 percent and it looks as if the Tide are still in the mix fr a re-commitment.

KaTron Evans – 4-Star DL

Top 8: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, USC, TCU, Arizona State

Evans comes in at 6-4 and weighs 350 pounds and is a St. Frances Academy product. He is projected to play defensive tackle at the next level.

Aaron Willis – 4-Star LB

Top 7: Alabama, Maryland, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, LSU

Willis is a product of St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. The Tide was also included in a Top five Willis release during the football season. At the next level, Willis has the potential to play outside and inside linebacker at the next level.

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Justin Smith is a Scouting/Recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via @Jdsmith31Smith

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Xavier McKinney takes issue with Mel Kiper Jr.’s ranking and calls him out https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/07/xavier-mckinney-takes-issue-with-mel-kiper-jr-s-ranking-and-calls-him-out/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 22:28:17 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76112 During Tuesday’s edition of SportsCenter, NFL scouting analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay were taking questions on their big boards and such as the NFL Draft approaches later this month. But there was a special call which came in for Kiper in the form of Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. In his brief video, McKinney […]]]>

During Tuesday’s edition of SportsCenter, NFL scouting analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay were taking questions on their big boards and such as the NFL Draft approaches later this month. But there was a special call which came in for Kiper in the form of Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.

In his brief video, McKinney called out Kiper for not having him as the No. 1 safety in the draft and pleaded with McShay to help explain why he is deserving of that spot.

“So, I’ve watched a lot of safeties in this year’s draft. And so for Mel, I just want to ask why I’m not the No. 1 safety in this year’s draft, based solely off film? Nothing else just film,” said McKinney. “And for Todd, I want you to please explain to Mel why I am the No. 1 safety in the draft, based solely off of film because film never lies. Ever.”

Although some would concede immediately when being called out on national television Kiper stuck to he did ultimately stick to his guns despite adding an asterisk to his list.

“He’s the best pure safety. Antoine Winfield is a slot corner/safety with more versatility, ran 4.45. Xavier ran 4.63,” said Kiper. “But as a pure safety, Xavier McKinney is No. 1 on my board. But as a versatile guy who can do a lot of things and wear a lot of hats, it would be Antoine Winfield Jr. Both are going to go in that 20-25, 20-28 range.”

McShay also held up his end of the question, making in clear that he believes McKinney is the best safety in the class.

“The ability to get off of a block and then make the tackle and then turn run and go up and get the ball, I mean, (Winfield’s) special. There’s no question,” said McShay. “But he’s not McKinney. I mean, McKinney, to me, is the difference-maker in terms of the safety position this year.”

Last season McKinney led Alabama in tackles with 95, while also recording 5.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three sacks and three interceptions.

Like Kiper stated above, both safeties are projected to be first round picks getting taken in the 20-28 range. Within those picks are teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles who may be looking to bolster that spot defensively.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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VIDEO: Which freshmen will be the most impactful for Alabama? https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/07/video-which-freshmen-will-be-the-most-impactful-for-alabama/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 20:18:15 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76108 With each passing day, the hope for college football fans is their favorite season will return this fall. Regardless of not having spring practice, Nick Saban and the Alabama coaching staff expects to have the players as prepared as possible to compete for a national title.  On last week, Saban told reporters that the Crimson […]]]>

With each passing day, the hope for college football fans is their favorite season will return this fall. Regardless of not having spring practice, Nick Saban and the Alabama coaching staff expects to have the players as prepared as possible to compete for a national title. 

On last week, Saban told reporters that the Crimson Tide will get its leadership from the one who want to play winning football.

From the discussion, one can anticipate seeing multiple freshmen inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama has never been afraid of featuring young athletes.  

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa or Joe Burrow: Who will be the better QB in the NFL?

Names that come to mind as freshmen impact players include Rolando McClain, Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Da’Ron Payne, Jalen Hurts, Amari Cooper and Tua Tagovailoa among others.

The difference with these individuals is each one had a chance to showcase their skills in the spring.

Should we have a situation where the Tide doesn’t receive an adequate amount of practices before the season, there could be a circumstance where the only freshmen that play are those in specified roles. On Monday, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine was on In My Own Words introducing the conversation on the 2020 class. 

How many true freshmen will be impactful this season? 

Check out the video below. 

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Pro Football Focus highlights Devonta Smith’s production as he enters his senior year https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/04/07/pro-football-focus-highlights-devonta-smiths-production-as-he-enters-his-senior-year/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 16:07:41 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=76104 In making his decision to return to Alabama for his senior year, DeVonta Smith will be in position to become a first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft. He exploded last season and led the Crimson Tide in both receiving yards (1,256) and touchdowns (14) on 68 receptions.  The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder averaged a team-high 18.5 yards […]]]>

In making his decision to return to Alabama for his senior year, DeVonta Smith will be in position to become a first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.

He exploded last season and led the Crimson Tide in both receiving yards (1,256) and touchdowns (14) on 68 receptions. 

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder averaged a team-high 18.5 yards per catch and 96.6 yards per matchup.

He had three 100-yard performances, including a pair of 200-yard games versus Mississippi (Ole Miss) and LSU of the Southeastern Conference.

A native of Amite, La., Smith has 23 touchdown catches (career) and will be one-half of a talented duo with Jaylen Waddle. According to Pro Football Focus, the former four-star has been the best vertical receiver in college football since 2018.

Smith had one game (N. Mexico State) in 2019 where he averaged under 10 yards per catch. 

Of the weapons that Tua Tagovailoa had in his collegiate tenure, Smith was the most clutch in critical situations. He caught two game-winning touchdowns as a freshman, with one coming against Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. 

Despite an injury to Tagovailoa, the crafty receiver developed a chemistry with Mac Jones. 

RELATED: Nick Saban explains why Alabama is his ‘dream job’

Smith had big moments versus Western Carolina, Auburn and Michigan – totaling three scores combined and helping Jones gain confidence.

He will be one of the primary leaders on offense this season, as the Tide looks to capture a national championship.  

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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