Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com Alabama's Premier Football Website Wed, 17 Jul 2019 02:31:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 135213907 Kirby Smart believes he’s found the key to beating Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/kirby-smart-believes-hes-found-the-key-to-beating-alabama/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 02:21:51 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=63013 Three former assistant coaches of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban took the podium at the Hyatt-Regency/Wynfrey Hotel for the second session of SEC Media Days.  Kirby Smart of Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt of Tennessee and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M were the coaches, while Matt Luke of Ole Miss was the outlier. For Smart, he enters his fourth season as […]]]>

Three former assistant coaches of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban took the podium at the Hyatt-Regency/Wynfrey Hotel for the second session of SEC Media Days. 

Kirby Smart of Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt of Tennessee and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M were the coaches, while Matt Luke of Ole Miss was the outlier.

For Smart, he enters his fourth season as the Bulldogs’ head man and after falling short of a College Football Playoff National Championship and an SEC Championship to his former boss – he looks to finish the job. 

Georgia carried at 13-0 lead at halftime in 2018 CFP title game (2017 season) and a 28-14 advantage in the SEC title game, until Saban’s decision to bring in a backup quarterback and coaching miscues from Smart cost the Dawgs in both matchups.

Although he returns Jake Fromm under center and D’Andre Swift at running back, Smart started with a “tongue in cheek” thought on how Georgia can beat Alabama — if the two meet for the SEC title this year. 

“Get rid of their backup quarterback,” Smart joked on Tuesday. “That’s part of the plan. They do a tremendous job and we have not finished the way we need to. We have shown that we can match their physicality, but we have not finished that physicality.” 

Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts both victimized Smart and while Hurts is now at Oklahoma, there is another backup trigger puller that is capable of doing the same thing. In showing concern for someone he looks at as a son, former Tide star Damien Harris wants no one touching Mac Jones.

 

The redshirt sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., is competing against Taulia Tagovailoa and Paul Tyson for the right to be behind Tua Tagovailoa.

He performed well throughout the spring and Saban mentioned on how the coaching staff will provide every opportunity for him to show he can run this offense.

Former Tide quarterback turned SEC Network analyst, Greg McElroy, went as far as to say Georgia will win a national title at some point.

Whether it is this year or next year or five years from now, the 2009 BCS National Champion is confident in Smart getting the Bulldogs a title.

 

He wants to get over that hump of Alabama, but is this the year for Smart?

Some people have him as the closest thing to Saban; however, the national championship for an SEC school must come through Bryant-Denny Stadium.  

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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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Previewing Alabama football for SEC Media Days https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/previewing-alabama-football-for-sec-media-days/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 01:37:48 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=63018 The star attraction will arrive in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday.  Nick Saban and Alabama football will have the floor first, to open the third session of Southeastern Conference Media Days. After falling short of its goal in 2018, Saban will be firm in answering questions to get the attention of his players. He is one national championship […]]]>

The star attraction will arrive in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday. 

Nick Saban and Alabama football will have the floor first, to open the third session of Southeastern Conference Media Days.

After falling short of its goal in 2018, Saban will be firm in answering questions to get the attention of his players. He is one national championship away from tying what legendary coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant did throughout his career at Alabama. 

RELATED: Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Shares What it Will Take to Beat Alabama

The trio of Tua Tagovailoa (quarterback), Jerry Jeudy (wide receiver) and Dylan Moses (linebacker) will accompany their head coach to the Hyatt-Regency/Wynfrey Hotel. 

All three juniors have been featured on at least one preseason award watch list and like their coach, they will attempt to try and finish the job in the job. For Tagovailoa, the key for him is protecting his body and becoming more efficient versus elite defenses and its play callers.  

Jeudy looks to build off a sensational sophomore campaign, which saw him win the Fred Biletnikoff Award and be named an All-American. He led the Crimson Tide in receiving with 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns on 68 catches.

Following some comments made from LSU safety, Grant Delpit, Jeudy will more focused on torching the SEC in the fall. 

Moses returns as the captain of a defense that expects to get back to playing physical. 

He led the group in tackles (86) in 2018 and had 10 stops for loss with 3.5 sacks; however, Alabama struggled versus Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson in the postseason.

The Tide appeared lost at times last year and Moses wants to prevent that from happening again. 

The players and Saban will be greeted with a “rockstar’s ” welcome as fans tend to congest the lobby area of the venue, upon Alabama’s arrival.

Touchdown Alabama Magazine will have its own trio covering the event, with yours truly, Patrick Dowd and Justin Smith on hand. 

Be sure to follow tdalabamamag.com, as we provide all coverage from media days.  

*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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Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Shares What it Will Take to Beat Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/texas-am-head-coach-jimbo-fisher-shares-what-it-will-take-to-beat-alabama/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 22:19:41 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=63008 A question that’s been rolled around the collection of Nick Saban disciples during the SEC media days this week has been if they knew Saban’s record against his former assistants. Some were well aware but Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said, “I’ve never heard that, never, ever heard that before.” Fisher was Saban’s offensive […]]]>

A question that’s been rolled around the collection of Nick Saban disciples during the SEC media days this week has been if they knew Saban’s record against his former assistants. Some were well aware but Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said, “I’ve never heard that, never, ever heard that before.”

Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU where the two won a national championship together in 2003. Fisher would later become the head coach at Florida State where he won another championship in 2013 and later on would face Alabama in 2017 and 2018 as the Aggies head coach where he would add his name twice to the list of former assistants who haven’t beat Saban.

But the 53-year old is not alone in his quest to defeat the mighty coach Saban as his former assistants are 0-16 against him. Even though none have been able to climb that mountain, Fisher believes he knows what it’s going to take to break into the win column.

“We all know, Alabama established itself as a great program. Nick is a great coach. What’s it going to take? 60 minutes of great football,” said Fisher. “You have to line up and play. And more importantly, you have to expect to win the game.”

It sounds simple, but it’s certainly easier said than done. Other than Kirby Smart and Georgia, no one has really even come close to taking down Saban. Saban has gone up against eight of his former assistants in his career and for the most part, has completely dominated not just by winning but how his teams are winning. The Alabama head coach is currently outscoring his former assistant’s teams 647-220 with a point differential of 427.

That means Saban isn’t just beating them. He’s embarrassing them.

But Fisher is right about his team’s mentality when facing the crimson tide. You can’t go in scared and expect to win the game. There is a reason why Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss and LSU have found success against Saban lead teams in the past decade. Those teams shared the mentality that they belonged on the same field as them and didn’t let outside voices distract them.

“Worry about playing well in the game, performing, making the plays when you have to, and then you’ll get the results you want,” said Fisher. “They established themselves, and they deserve it. But we’ll see in time.”

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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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Kristian Story is on commitment watch https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/kristian-story-is-on-commitment-watch/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:37:26 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62977 4-Star athlete, Kristian story, will announce his verbal commitment on Thursday between Alabama and Texas A&M. Story is a 2020 prospect out of Lanett, Alabama,. The Tide are expected to line Story up at the defensive back if they secure a commitment from him. Lanett High school currently lines Story up at the defensive back […]]]>

4-Star athlete, Kristian story, will announce his verbal commitment on Thursday between Alabama and Texas A&M.

Story is a 2020 prospect out of Lanett, Alabama,. The Tide are expected to line Story up at the defensive back if they secure a commitment from him. Lanett High school currently lines Story up at the defensive back and quarterback.

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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 Selected to Davey O’Brien Award Watchlist https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/tua-tagovailoa-selected-to-davey-obrien-award-watchlist/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:58:48 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=63003 As if being selected to the Maxwell Player of the year watchlist wasn’t enough, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will also be eyed as a candidate to win the Davey O’Brien Award. The Davey O’Brien Award is handed out to college football’s top quarterback for that particular season. The last two years Oklahoma quarterbacks Kyler Murray and […]]]>

As if being selected to the Maxwell Player of the year watchlist wasn’t enough, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will also be eyed as a candidate to win the Davey O’Brien Award. The Davey O’Brien Award is handed out to college football’s top quarterback for that particular season. The last two years Oklahoma quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield have taken home the hardware and Tagovailoa looks to break that streak this season.

It should come as no surprise that based off of last season, the Heisman runner up would be eyed as one of the best players, let alone quarterbacks, in the entire country. After winning the starting job last year Tagovailoa put on an absolute show passing for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns. Both were Alabama records and all of this was done while not playing in most second halves.

Although Tua may seem like a lock-based off of his stellar numbers from last season, there will surely be a lot of competition throughout the country. Fellow SEC quarterback Jake Fromm (Georgia), will definitely have revenge on his mind any way he can get it after the last two seasons ended against Alabama. Not mention Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will now enter his first full season as the starting quarterback, along with an extremely favorable schedule.

Having a lot of competition is something that Alabama players are very accustomed to. If Tagovailoa keeps trending in the right direction as he’s done his entire career, then there may not be enough trophies to hand him by seasons end.

*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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Find Out How Former Alabama Players were Rated in Madden 20 https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/find-out-how-former-alabama-players-were-rated-in-madden-20/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 16:10:55 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62941 Yesterday EA Sports released the official ratings for all of the players currently in the NFL. As you can imagine Alabama has sent a bevy of players to the next level and are staples of the Madden franchise. Being a huge fan of the games myself, I can honestly say that I can’t remember a game […]]]>

Yesterday EA Sports released the official ratings for all of the players currently in the NFL. As you can imagine Alabama has sent a bevy of players to the next level and are staples of the Madden franchise. Being a huge fan of the games myself, I can honestly say that I can’t remember a game with this many members of the crimson tide in it, and also this many with very good overalls.

Typically you take Madden ratings with a grain of salt for they aren’t true indicators of how good a player is and they fluctuate so much throughout the season. But it’s undeniably cool to see these former players get to play as themselves in the game. What’s pretty funny about all of this is how certain ratings of players will motivate them to want to do better during the season.

Now more than ever, professional athletes are immersing themselves into the gaming culture. Especially with the particular game, their likeness is involved in. It may seem a little ridiculous on the outside but some of the pros actually take offense to some of their ratings. The engineers creating the game basically get a free crack at calling these players slow, weak, unclutch etc. And there’s no great way to get back at these guys other than proving them wrong on the field.

Below is the list of former Alabama players overall ratings in Madden 20. Did Madden get them all right?

Atlanta Falcons: WR Julio Jones 98 OVR

Chicago Bears: S Eddie Jackson 91 OVR

Dallas Cowboys: WR Amari Cooper 89 OVR

N.Y. Jets: LB CJ Mosley 87 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: RB Mark Ingram 86 OVR

Denver Broncos: CB Kareem Jackson 86 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: CB Marlon Humphrey 85 OVR

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TE O.J. Howard 84 OVR

Washington Redskins: S Landon Collins 83 OVR

Tennessee Titans: RB Derrick Henry 83 OVR

New England Patriots: LB Dont’a Hightower 83 OVR

Indianapolis Colts: C Ryan Kelly 83 OVR

Washington Redskins: DL DA’Ron Payne 83 OVR

Washington Redskins: DL Jonathan Allen 83 OVR

Seattle Seahawks: OL D.J. Fluker 81 OVR

Seattle Seahawks: DL Jarran Reed 81 OVR

Chicago Bears: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 80 OVR

Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Marcell Dareus 80 OVR

Miami Dolphins: S Minkah Fitzpatrick 80 OVR

N.Y. Giants: DL Dalvin Tomlinson 80 OVR

N.Y. Jets: DL Quinnen Williams 80 OVR

Miami Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake 79 OVR

Detroit Lions: DL Dashawn Hand 79 OVR

Atlanta Falcons: WR Calvin Ridley 79 OVR

Cincinnati Bengals: CB Dre Kirkpatrick 78 OVR

Tennessee Titans: LB Rashaan Evans 77 OVR

Detroit Lions: DL A’Shawn Robinson 77 OVR

Buffalo Bills: RB T.J. Yeldon 77 OVR

Washington Redskins: LB Reuben Foster 75 OVR

Minnesota Vikings: TE Irv Smith Jr. 75 OVR

Oakland Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs 74 OVR

Green Bay Packers: P J.K. Scott 74 OVR

Buffalo Bills: CB Levi Wallace 74 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: LB Tim Williams 74 OVR

Kansas City Chiefs: LB Reggie Ragland 73 OVR

Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Mark Barron 72 OVR

Buffalo Bills: WR Robert Foster 72 OVR

Cincinnati Bengals: OL Jonah Williams 72 OVR

Jacksonville Jaguars: S Ronnie Harrison 71 OVR

Washington Redskins: LB Ryan Anderson 70 OVR

Washington Redskins: LB Shaun Dion-Hamilton 70 OVR

New England Patriots: RB Damien Harris 69 OVR

Atlanta Falcons: OL James Carpenter 69 OVR

Jacksonville Jaguars: OL Cam Robinson 69 OVR

Arizona Cardinals: S Deionte Thompson 69 OVR

Los Angeles Chargers: CB Tony Brown 67 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: CB Anthony Avrett 67 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: DB Cyrus Jones 67 OVR

Los Angeles Chargers: DL Damion Square 67 OVR

Washington Redskins: WR Cam Sims 65 OVR

Kansas City Chiefs: WR Gehrig Dieter 65 OVR

Carolina Panthers: LB Christian Miller 64 OVR

Cleveland Browns: LB Mack Wilson 64 OVR

Pittsburgh Steelers: DL Isaiah Buggs 63 OVR

Baltimore Ravens: OL Bradley Bozeman 63 OVR

Carolina Panthers: WR DeAndrew White 63 OVR

Houston Texans: QB A.J. McCarron 62 OVR

Washington Redskins: OL Ross Pierschbacher 62 OVR

Seattle Seahawks: RB Bo Scarbrough 62 OVR

Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Savion Smith 57 OVR

*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 makes top eight for 4-Star wideout, Arian Smith https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/alabama-makes-top-eight-for-4-star-wideout-arian-smith/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:16:36 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62968 4-Star wide receiver, Arian Smith, released his top eight on Monday and included the Tide along with five other SEC schools.   I would like to thank every school that recruited me but I would also like to turn all my interest and attention to these TOP 8 SCHOOLS 🗣‼️@GatorsFB @OU_Football @LSUfootball @FSUFootball @Vol_Football @AuburnFootball […]]]>

4-Star wide receiver, Arian Smith, released his top eight on Monday and included the Tide along with five other SEC schools.

 

Smith is a product of Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida. Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn rounded out his top school’s list. The Tide were able to host Smith in June.

Alabama’s 2020 recruiting class currently has three 4-star wide receivers committed, according to Touchdown Alabama’s 2020 commitment rankings. Javon Baker, Thaiu Jones-Bell and Traeshon Holden currently make up this group. The Tide would like to add one or two more wide receivers in this class and Smith is one of their leading targets.

If Nick Saban and company are able to grab a commitment from Smith in the 2020 class, they will land one of the fastest wide receivers in the nation. At 6-1 and 190 pounds, Smith has natural speed and the ability to kick it to another level in the open field. Smith is also a successful and accomplished sprinter on his high school’s track team.

A commitment from Smith would also continue a long and standing tradition of the Tide pulling talented wide receivers from the sunshine state. Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy are all products of Florida. Alabama current commit, Thaiu Jones-Bell, hails from Florida as well.

The Tide are also still pushing for other 2020 wide receivers. One of those recruits is in-state wide receiver, EJ Williams, who will announce his commitment on Aug. 24.

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

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

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Alabama is a double-digit betting favorite according to Las Vegas insider https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/vegas-bama-odds/ https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/vegas-bama-odds/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2019 13:43:32 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62966 The Alabama Crimson Tide is merely two weeks away from opening fall camp, and the chatter surrounding the program is heating up. With the Tide seeking to avenge its College Football Playoff Championship loss against the Clemson Tigers, expectations for them to return are just as high. While speaking with Kelly Stewart of WagerTalk, Senior […]]]>

The Alabama Crimson Tide is merely two weeks away from opening fall camp, and the chatter surrounding the program is heating up. With the Tide seeking to avenge its College Football Playoff Championship loss against the Clemson Tigers, expectations for them to return are just as high.

While speaking with Kelly Stewart of WagerTalk, Senior Analyst, Stephen M. Smith gave his perspective of how he sees the Tide’s season going.

Stewart, who is also featured as part of Bleacher Report, revealed Alabama is a double-digit favorite in all of their regular season matchups according to Vegas, including a 30-point favorite against the Duke Blue Devils to open the season.

See the full conversation between Stewart and Smith below.

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Former Alabama Backup Robert Foster Living NFL Cinderella Story https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/robert-foster-cinderella/ https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/16/robert-foster-cinderella/#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2019 11:09:57 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62899 History judges a man greater who is knocked down by circumstances but doesn't stay down. Robert Foster is one of those men. Read this great story of success]]>

As a longtime writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, I was extremely excited to see the Tide sign Robert Foster. In 2013 he was the number two receiving prospect in the nation, a dead flat speedster with shifty moves and great hands. I was sure he was going to be the next great receiver at Alabama, maybe giving Julio Jones records a shot. Yes, he was just that good.

But because of the talent there and some nagging injuries, he was redshirted his freshman. His redshirt freshman season showed some glimpses of what he could do, but he was never a main target or first team starter.

In his sophomore season he got off to a good start and he was building to become a real go to guy, but in the third game of that season, he suffered a season ending shoulder injury.

Three years had now passed and Foster still hadn’t lived to his high school ranking and stardom, he was getting discouraged.

Now he was in his junior year on a team with ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley being the stars. There was also a graduate transfer, Gehrig Dieter getting lots of reps along with Cam Sims and Trevon Diggs. Foster was languishing behind all those guys in receptions and playing time and thought about leaving the team. They were indeed dark days.

Though I never did a formal interview with him, I caught him for a few seconds on the field after a game and told him, “I don’t know when, but I’m sure one day your star is going to shine. I’m sure of it.” He patted my shoulder and smiled and said, “Thanks, I’m hoping to see that too.”

But many thought he may take his speed and talent and leave to be “THE” guy somewhere else and show the world just what he could do with the starring role.

But when media days rolled around in the spring, Foster explained why he chose to stay at Alabama. “One thing I never want to do is quit,” Foster told AL.com at Alabama media day. “I want to be a leader, not just for my team and not just for my receivers or any of the offense. One thing I’ve noticed is quitting won’t get you nowhere in life, so I hope my mentality will help everyone, the young kids and (everyone) in general.”

But still, with so many stars ahead on him in the depth chart, he didn’t get the stardom he wanted or the stats he needed to impress the NFL scouts. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft, but Saban and his staff kept the phones busy and told everyone who would listen that Foster was the undrafted jewel that some team was going to be lucky to get.

They didn’t have to tell too many people. His former offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll knew the talent that was there and was vocal to have the powers that be give him a hard look. Foster helped himself by running a 4.41 second 40 yard dash, 5th best among all receivers in the draft, but the NFL concentrates more on folks with big stats than potential.

In the end though, Buffalo gave him a contract as an undrafted free agent after no one else came calling.

Failing to really impress and not getting the opportunity he needed, by October he was waived from the team but signed to the practice squad. Here was Foster seeing the dream slip away one more time. He could see things getting near rock bottom, but instead of feeling sorry for himself, instead on blaming others for his misfortunes, he remembered that he was a guy who didn’t quit.

He impressed his coaches and fellow players for not taking the demotion as a reason not to give his all. He worked harder than ever and by November when the team needed him to fill in again and he was re-signed to the active roster, he just had a can do attitude and determined that he was going to be unstoppable.

In November Foster recorded his first 100 yard receiving game against the New York Jets. In his next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars he got his first NFL touchdown, a long 75 yard pass where he got to use that speed to leave defenders in the dirt chasing him. When he faced the Jets again a few weeks later, he notched another 100 yard game and followed up that game with yet another 100 yard plus game against Detroit including another touchdown in a closely fought 14-13 win. In the last game of the season, Foster scored another touchdown against Miami, finishing the season as a red hot NFL threat.

His late season surge got him lots of attention, and he was name by Pro Football Focus as a member of the All Rookie Team as an offensive flex player.

Now going into training camp this year, he is far removed from the guy who the NFL didn’t draft and fought to get signed as an undrafted free agent who was cut from the team in his first and only year in pro football.

He is now a veteran that the offense will use as one of their keys to build their offense around. He’s going to have a chance to build on his late season rookie season success and finally show folks what he can do with a full season as a guy who gets steady attempts.

I’m writing this story to let folks know that while this might seem like a Cinderella story of a guy that never caught a good break and made good, it’s not that kind of story at all. Unlike Cinderella, Foster’s success had nothing to do with magic and everything from hard work and an “I won’t quit” attitude.

It’s proof that even if no one else believes in you but yourself, then you aren’t defeated. Foster never had the career at Alabama that he wanted, but it may have been the college experience he needed to be the man and player he is today. He now knows he can overcome any adversity. Whatever happens in Foster’s the remaining years of Foster’s career, he will always be a winner. You can count on that.

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

Larry Burton has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter

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LSU safety says Tigers have “best defensive backs in the nation” https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/lsu-safety-says-tigers-have-best-defensive-backs-in-the-nation/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 02:50:38 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62960 Some words to munch on for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his receivers and the Crimson Tide’s defense were said on Monday to start SEC Media Days.   Aside from the Tide, Louisiana State University is one of the more confident programs within the conference. Among the players that accompanied Ed Orgeron was safety, Grant Delpit.  The junior […]]]>

Some words to munch on for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, his receivers and the Crimson Tide’s defense were said on Monday to start SEC Media Days.  

Aside from the Tide, Louisiana State University is one of the more confident programs within the conference. Among the players that accompanied Ed Orgeron was safety, Grant Delpit. 

The junior from Houston, Texas returns as the leader of a defensive backfield that lost cornerback Greedy Williams to the National Football League. Delpit had a strong year in 2018, recording 74 tackles, five sacks, nine pass breakups and five interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 203-pounder was named a unanimous All-American and first-team All-SEC for his performance. 

Despite the accolades, there was one quarterback and one group of receivers that gave him troubles: Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama’s unit of weapons. In a 29-0 loss at Tiger Stadium, Tagovailoa torched Delpit and company for 295 yards and two touchdowns. 

He would even account for a 44-yard rushing score on a bad knee. 

Jerry Jeudy had a game-high eight receptions for 103 yards, while Henry Ruggs III caught a touchdown pass and brought in a ridiculous one-handed catch. Even with Tiger fans being silenced at Baton Rouge, La., Delpit said LSU has the “best defensive backs in the nation.” 

“They are great athletes,” Delpit said on Tagovailoa and Alabama’s weapons. 

“They definitely know what they are doing. They’ve got that offense down pat, but I’ll take my secondary, our group of DBs any day. We also have great receivers too that we go up against every day in practice.” 

Aside from Justin Jefferson and Stephen Sullivan, one would be hard-pressed to find an elite receiver for the Tigers. As for Alabama, it returns a veteran secondary – headlined with names such as Xavier McKinney, Shyheim Carter, Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Diggs and Jared Mayden. 

LSU has lost its last eight matchups against the Tide, dating back to the 2012 BCS National Championship Game off the 2011 season. Will Delpit and the Tigers back up their talk? 

With members of national media marking LSU as the game Alabama may lose, this November should be fun.  

*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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Sports Illustrated names ten UA players to Top 100 list for 2019 https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/sports-illustrated-names-ten-ua-players-to-top-100-list-for-2019/ https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/sports-illustrated-names-ten-ua-players-to-top-100-list-for-2019/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2019 02:05:34 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62954 Media pundits from around the southeast region and surrounding areas have convened upon the Hyatt-Regency/Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., for Southeastern Conference Media Days.  Alabama head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will speak on Wednesday, but Sports Illustrated has joined the likes of Maxwell Football Club in releasing its top 100 players for this season […]]]>

Media pundits from around the southeast region and surrounding areas have convened upon the Hyatt-Regency/Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., for Southeastern Conference Media Days. 

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will speak on Wednesday, but Sports Illustrated has joined the likes of Maxwell Football Club in releasing its top 100 players for this season in college football.

In the article provided, SI singled-out 10 student-athletes from Alabama – five on offense, five on defense – with three joining Saban at SEC media days. 

Xavier McKinney, a junior at SS, started the list of names at No. 86. 

He’s coming off a season where he had 74 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. As the leader of veteran defensive secondary, the native Georgian anticipates this team returning the physical style of play that makes it special. 

RELATED: Trio of UA Players named to Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List

Najee Harris, a junior at RB, chimes in at No. 71. 

The former five-star from California will be the primary rusher, following his time spent behind Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs. He finished second on the team last year in rushing with 783 yards and four touchdowns on 117 carries. His average of 6.69 yards per rush led the team. 

Anfernee Jennings, a senior at OLB, was No. 61. 

The 6-foot-3, 259-pounder had a rebound year in 2018 — posting 50 tackles (13 for loss), 5.5 sacks, six quarterback hurries, 11 breakups (team-high) and one interception.

If he remains healthy, the Tide’s room of outside linebackers will be the scariest group in the nation. 

Jaylen Waddle, a sophomore WR, chimes in at No. 39. 

His freshman season was nothing short of sensational, as he dazzled fans with his speed, secure hands and explosive playmaking abilities.

Waddle totaled 848 yards in 2018 with seven scores on 45 catches. He was electrifying on special teams as well, averaging nearly 15 yards per punt return (14.56) and took one back for a touchdown at home versus Louisiana. 

Alex Leatherwood, a junior OL, fell at No. 32. 

He played right guard last year with Jonah Williams at left tackle, but Leatherwood now returns to his marquee position. As a guard, he did not allow a sack through 15 games and helped quarterback Tua Tagovailoa turn in a record-setting season as a first-year starter.  

Trevon Diggs, a senior CB, was No. 24. 

If not for a foot injury versus Arkansas, Diggs could have had a monster year in 2018. 

He started the season with 20 tackles and a team-high six breakups – prior to the mishap – however, his return gives Alabama experience and versatility in its secondary.  

Dylan Moses, a junior at ILB, stood at No. 16. 

The scepter has entered his hand as Moses comes in a lineage of strong, athletic and studios inside linebackers.

Like Tagovailoa is important on offense, all eyes will be on Moses to navigate the Tide’s defense back to the College Football Playoff title game and win. 

Raekwon Davis, a senior at DE, was at No. 10. 

He took a step back last season after having a great sophomore campaign. 

The 6-foot-7, 312-pounder totaled just 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2018, but Davis has embraced a leadership role and looks to return to form. A former five-star from Mississippi, he, LaBryan Ray and true freshman DJ Dale expect to each have double-digit totals in sacks.  

Jerry Jeudy, a junior at WR, was named at No. 4. 

He was the ringleader of Alabama’s weapons – snatching 68 passes for 1,315 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Jeudy, a native Floridian, led the team in receiving and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award.

He returns for an opportunity to create a top-five NFL Draft stock. 

Tua Tagovailoa, a junior at QB, was No. 2. 

Obviously, SI named Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) at No. 1 and that should fire up Tagovailoa for this season.

He was the fourth 3,000-yard quarterback of the Saban era (3,966) in 2018, as he accounted for 43 touchdown passes and 48 total scores – both were school records. He was running away with the Heisman Trophy after the first seven to eight weeks of the year, until a couple of injuries crept in.

Tagovailoa finished as a Heisman finalist and All-American; however, he now wants 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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Behind the vision of recruits, former UA players and others wanting success https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/behind-the-vision-of-recruits-former-ua-players-and-others-wanting-success/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 23:49:01 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62896 The month of July started with a sweltering Saturday.  While yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine had second thoughts on the destination, there was one man who sought neither cool air nor a bottled water. For Dezmond Willis, he is well respected by many – especially those in Prattville, Montgomery, Wetumpka and surrounding areas. His brand, […]]]>

The month of July started with a sweltering Saturday. 

While yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine had second thoughts on the destination, there was one man who sought neither cool air nor a bottled water. For Dezmond Willis, he is well respected by many – especially those in Prattville, Montgomery, Wetumpka and surrounding areas.

His brand, Top Rated Speed and Performance Training, is geared toward helping youth, collegiate athletes and professional players become well-rounded people. 

With triple digit temperatures, due to the heat index, Willis and his team were at the Wetumpka Field Complex on the first weekend of the month.

In his second annual youth camp, he brought in coaches, former pro athletes and college players to help recruits in the 2020-22 signing classes get ready for the next level at each position.

RELATED: Former Tide star Trent Richardson to continue his dream in XFL

A mixture of laughs, smiles and cameras were present, but all Willis saw was high competition and the next wave of greatness.

Despite it being an area where many do not get discovered, Top Rated has become an outlet for athletes to have an opportunity. It is more than actions on the field for Willis, his desire is to have each individual excel in the classroom, value family and value God first and foremost. 

Dezmond Willis of Top Rated Speed and Performance Training talking with WFSA 12: Photo from Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Of the 2020 guys he trains, three – Issac Nickson, BJ Smith and Otis Porter – are collegiate stars in strong position for the NFL Draft. Willis has TJ Jackson, product of Stanhope-Elmore High School and a 2020 verbal commitment to Troy. Tre Cutler, who attends Autauga Academy, is another 2020 prospect that has offers from both Faulkner University and South Alabama. 

Jeremy Thompson, a student-athlete at Stanhope-Elmore, is a 2020 guy that is looking for an offer and should get one soon. As for 2021, Willis has William Whitlow Jr. of Stanhope-Elmore who has an offer from the University of Tennessee. Last, but not least, Nick James (Prattville) boasts offers from two Southeastern Conference schools – Tennessee and Auburn – for 2022. 

Children participating at Top Rated Camp: Photo comes via Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Above all else, his love of seeing young men succeed stars at the University of Alabama. 

Willis has his hand in molding five Crimson Tide players. He coached linebackers Lyndell “Mack” Wilson and Shaun Dion Hamilton at Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala. 

Before he became a first-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, O.J. Howard was mentored by Willis as a five-star tight end from Autauga Academy.

Prior to graduating Robert E. Lee High School and going to UA, Henry Ruggs III spent time with Willis. Regardless of him spending his final two years of eligibility at Tennessee, Brandon Kennedy was first at Alabama in its 2015 signing class.

He was on two national championship teams and before arriving on campus, Willis trained him to be a star at Wetumpka High School. 

Former UA offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy giving back to youth at Top Rated Camp in Wetumpka, Ala. Photo comes via Stephen Smith – TDA Magazine

Wilson and Hamilton are extensions of Willis. 

Both guys were selected in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively at the NFL Draft. 

Hamilton looks to put together a dominant full season with the Redskins, and Wilson anticipates taking Cleveland’s defense to new heights in the AFC. Ruggs enters his junior year at wide receiver this fall and a strong performance could land him with value as a top-15 pick. 

At the end of the day, Willis is about the players. 

Nice catch made by one of the participants at the Top Rated Camp: Photo via Stephen Smith – TDA Magazine

He has a bunch of guys in the next three recruiting classes that are incredible talents and Nick Saban may need to get a look at them.

Top Rated is excitement for him and it’s a safe haven for his athletes.  

*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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Two Alabama Defenders Named to Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/two-alabama-defenders-named-to-bednarik-award-preseason-watch-list/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 19:25:18 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62925 With the Maxwell Football Club announcing their award watchlists today, 81 players were put on a watch list for the Bednarik Award this season. Two of the those 81 reside in Tuscaloosa. Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Dylan Moses are both seen to be in the hunt for the award given out to […]]]>

With the Maxwell Football Club announcing their award watchlists today, 81 players were put on a watch list for the Bednarik Award this season. Two of the those 81 reside in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis and linebacker Dylan Moses are both seen to be in the hunt for the award given out to college football’s best defensive player. Recently the crimson tide has flexed their muscles in this race as they have won two in the last three years. Jonathan Allen won the universities first Bednarik award in 2016 with Minkah Fitzpatrick taking it home the following year in 2017.

But in 2019 both Moses and Davis will need to have some big-time seasons.

Davis passed up the NFL draft after having a bit of a step back in production his junior year. Now the senior is the most productive and experienced player returning on the defensive line. In his career, Davis has played in 36 games, started in 20, recorded 128 tackles, 11 sacks and eight quarterback hurries. He surely has the talent to be on this list, it’s just now him putting it all together.

Last year Moses was one of the top-rated linebackers in the country and this season he will need to do it again. After being a second-team All-American and finalist for the Butkus Award last season, it’s safe to say that there are some pretty high expectations for the junior. But after seeing significant playing time in all three of his seasons, it’s safe to say that Moses is cool with the pressure.

With Moses and Davis being put on their respective watchlist, that now makes a total of five Alabama players that are seen to be in the hunt for major awards this season.

Not too bad if you ask me.

*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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College Fantasy Football Now Available https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/college-fantasy-football-now-available/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 19:09:55 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62904 In case you missed it, Alabama football fans will now have the chance to play college fantasy football and possibly make money. Through daily fantasy apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings, football fans can enter a variety of weekly fantasy football contests in which participants select a roster just as you would in a season-long […]]]>

In case you missed it, Alabama football fans will now have the chance to play college fantasy football and possibly make money. Through daily fantasy apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings, football fans can enter a variety of weekly fantasy football contests in which participants select a roster just as you would in a season-long league.

The roster would consist of skill players only (QB, RBs, WRs, TE and FLEX PLAYER). Also, when building your team, you must stay within the salary cap that each platform allows. The salary cap for FanDuel is $60,000 and for DraftKings its $50,000. In each contest, there is a certain of money amount that is needed to enter. Entry fees typically range from $0.25 to sometimes $100. The larger the entry fees for a contest, it improves your chances of winning because less people are likely playing. 

The winner with the most points will win the contest and the first-place prize money.  The rest of the money is divided based  on where a player places in the contest. The size of the contest determines how many winning slots there are available.

Playing daily fantasy football doesn’t require commitment to a year-long league with players you’re basically stuck with. It also gives fans a chance to monitor the progress of a player’s statistical season. Remember, the key to daily fantasy football is to not overspend and to pay attention to daily trends that could affect a player’s performance. Those trends being: injury, suspension, or benching. As the season draws near, I’ll offer more valuable information that should help you pick the perfect roster. Not to mention, information that will assist you in understanding the scoring system under both fantasy providers. Until then, be sure to download either app at no cost.  

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Trio of Alabama Players named to Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/trio-of-alabama-players-named-to-maxwell-award-preseason-watch-list/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 18:58:45 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62920 It really is never too early to start predicting who will take home some hardware at the end of the season. Earlier today a list of the preseason Maxwell Award candidates was released and out of the 81 players named, three were from Alabama’s offense. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and running back […]]]>

It really is never too early to start predicting who will take home some hardware at the end of the season. Earlier today a list of the preseason Maxwell Award candidates was released and out of the 81 players named, three were from Alabama’s offense. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and running back Najee Harris were all on the list.

The Maxwell Award is has been given out since 1937 and is awarded to that year’s top college football player. Last season, the award was won by Tagovailoa who finished the season shattered Alabama and the SEC’s record books with his passing. Tagovailoa was also the third Alabama player to take how the award as he joined running back Derrick Henry (2015) and quarterback AJ McCarron (2013).

But the defending Maxwell Award winner will have his fair share of competition, not only from the rest of the country but also from his teammates.

Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is recognized as the best at his position in college football with some NFL scouts having him be in contention to be the first overall pick in next years draft. He currently ranks fifth in career touchdowns at Alabama and is poised to put up another huge year.

Although, he didn’t start in 2018 that didn’t stop Najee Harris from making his way onto the list. It may come as a curious choice to some that Harris makes the list but college football junkies all know just how talented this player is. It’s also not a bad idea to include an Alabama running back in the conversation of awards. They have a pretty good track record in that department.

Despite it being roughly two months until any game action is played. It goes to show you how well regarded these players are amongst the country.

*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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Bama Fever giveaway for Touchdown Alabama fans! https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/bama-fever-gift-card-giveaway-touchdown-alabama-app/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 18:05:54 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62913 Touchdown Alabama Magazine is partnering with Alabama football apparel company, Bama Fever to offer fans an opportunity to win a free gift card! To win all fans have to do is submit a picture or video of themselves through the Touchdown Alabama app with their email address. For Android users, click here, for Apple, here. […]]]>

Touchdown Alabama Magazine is partnering with Alabama football apparel company, Bama Fever to offer fans an opportunity to win a free gift card!

To win all fans have to do is submit a picture or video of themselves through the Touchdown Alabama app with their email address. For Android users, click here, for Apple, here.

The winner’s picture or video will be posted on our The Touchdown Alabama Facebook page on Thursday, so be sure to “Like” our page to see if you are the lucky winner!

Bama Fever gift card

Alabama fans can win a free Bama Fever gift card by downloading the Touchdown Alabama app!

How to play:

To submit your photo for the giveaway, simply open the app and select “Fan Giveaway” at the top of the page. That’s it!

So, download the Touchdown Alabama app today for the best news and information for Alabama football and for your chance to win!

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Alabama long snapper, Thomas Fletcher, kills bottle cap challenge https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/15/alabama-long-snapper-thomas-fletcher-kills-bottle-cap-challenge/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 17:46:35 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62911 The bottle cap challenge has taken over social media and Alabama football got in on the fun when long snapper, Thomas Fletcher, performed the ultimate bottle cap twist with two bottles. WATCH VIDEO BELOW: Thomas Fletcher (@longsnapfletch ) killed the bottle cap challenge. Check that bottle hold out too 👀. #bottlecapchallenge @LauraRutledge @ESPNCFB @espn @BR_CFB […]]]>

The bottle cap challenge has taken over social media and Alabama football got in on the fun when long snapper, Thomas Fletcher, performed the ultimate bottle cap twist with two bottles.

WATCH VIDEO BELOW:

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Former Tide star Trent Richardson to continue his dream in XFL https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/14/former-tide-star-trent-richardson-to-continue-his-dream-in-xfl/ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 23:31:10 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62893 He has had roadblocks, struggles and critics, but Trent Richardson still pursues a career in football with strong faith. The former University of Alabama star spent time the National Football League, Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football League (disbanded), however, his next move is one he hopes gets him back to the NFL.  […]]]>

He has had roadblocks, struggles and critics, but Trent Richardson still pursues a career in football with strong faith. The former University of Alabama star spent time the National Football League, Canadian Football League and Alliance of American Football League (disbanded), however, his next move is one he hopes gets him back to the NFL. 

Under the guidance of Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment, the XFL started in 2001 but quickly fizzled.

The return for the exciting league is set between January or February of 2020, and Richardson is currently training for the league’s showcase.

He was a fan favorite through three seasons with the Crimson Tide (2009-11) as he was part of two national championships. 

RELATED: Updating Former Alabama Running Back T.J. Yeldon

Richardson made life easy for two quarterbacks – Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron – and until Derrick Henry arrived in 2015, the native Floridian and former five-star held the school’s single-season rushing mark in 2011 with 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns on 283 carries.  

He guided Alabama to a 21-0 win over Louisiana State University in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game and won a host of awards – including unanimous All-American, first-team All-Southeastern Conference, SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award. 

Richardson finished third in the Heisman voting that year.  

His 3,130 career rushing yards ranks seventh all-time, while his 35 touchdowns stand fifth all-time in UA history. Despite his time in the NFL and CFL not panning out like he would have wanted; Richardson has chosen the path of resiliency.

During his lone year in the AAF (2019), he led the league in rushing scores (12) and brought a sense of grit to the Birmingham Iron. 

According to a photo from Coach Reed on Twitter, he excelled in the training process and did well at the XFL showcase. The league will have eight teams and Reed is hopeful that the St. Louis franchise gets Richardson.

For now, the former Tide standout wants to silence doubters. 

*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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Brian Branch lays out senior goals https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/14/brian-branch-lays-out-senior-goals/ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 17:41:07 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62785 2020 4-Star defensive back, Brian Branch, plans on having an impressive senior season after stuffing the stat sheet last year with multiple kick return touchdowns and pick sixes. Branch announced his verbal commitment to Alabama on April 19.  The Georgia product is currently one of Alabama’s four defensive back commits. After having an impressive junior […]]]>

2020 4-Star defensive back, Brian Branch, plans on having an impressive senior season after stuffing the stat sheet last year with multiple kick return touchdowns and pick sixes.

Branch announced his verbal commitment to Alabama on April 19.  The Georgia product is currently one of Alabama’s four defensive back commits. After having an impressive junior season, Branch has his goals set for his senior campaign and knows what he needs to do to reach them.

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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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Updating Former Alabama Running Back T.J. Yeldon https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/14/tj-yeldon/ https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/07/14/tj-yeldon/#respond Sun, 14 Jul 2019 12:33:11 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=62857 Former running back T.J. Yeldon has a new home and new contract in the NFL. But is it the deal and place he should be in? See what you think.]]>

T. J. Yeldon is an Alabama hero who was an impact running back in his years at Alabama. After being taken in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft, Yeldon became an instant millionaire after  signing a four-year, $5.91 million contract, with a $2.56 million signing bonus, and $3.26 million of that was guaranteed. However, he didn’t get the stardom he wanted as the Jaguars also had former LSU running back Leonard Fournette who got the starting nod.

Despite not getting the majority of the running plays, he still led the Jaguar team in yards per carry and was an astounding second place finisher on the team in receiving yards proving he was a very versatile back indeed. Ironically, now both Fournette and Yeldon moved on from the Jaguars following a horrible season and Yeldon was picked up by the Buffalo Bills.

His new contract he signed was a 2 year, $3,200,000 contract with the Buffalo Bills, including a $500,000 signing bonus, $500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,600,000. However, he is once again buried in the depth chart at Buffalo. With the talent and versatility he’s shown to date, plus his good health, you’d have thought that some other NFL team other than Buffalo would have jumped on this free agent and tried to make him their star.

To many of us in the press, this is a real head scratcher.

So far in team practices for the upcoming season, Yeldon has seen some work with the first team, but mostly works with the second team. Given the age and contract status of other running backs on the Bill’s team like Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy, runners who have been there longer and have a better grasp on the starting job for this season, Buffalo would be wise to keep Yeldon knowing they’ll probably lose one or both veterans next season. That would allow Yeldon to be part of one – two punch with whoever remains, probably Devin Singletary who looks to be a good runner who will get some looks this season. To make his one million a year salary this year, he simply has to make the team and be available on week one. That goes nicely with the other million he made in guarantees and a signing bonus.

In the grand scheme of things no matter what happens in Buffalo, Yeldon has beaten the average NFL life so far, has a net worth of about three million dollars after taxes and has income from his current contract coming in for the next two years. He’s set for life at a young age, but T.J. has an itch to show what he could do with a full season as a team’s “go to guy”. He like to rack up some big numbers and he certainly seems capable of doing it given the right team.

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

Larry Burton has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter

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