Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com Alabama's Premier Football Website Sat, 15 Dec 2018 22:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.1 135213907 Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts showered with loud ovation at graduation https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/15/alabama-quarterback-jalen-hurts-showered-with-loud-ovation-at-graduation/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 22:41:34 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54630 He never gave up on the University of Alabama and like moments at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the student body and fans of the program honored him royally this morning as he marched with his undergraduate degree.   Jalen Hurts relished the spotlight in the fourth quarter of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game; however, he smiled brightly upon hearing his name […]]]>

He never gave up on the University of Alabama and like moments at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the student body and fans of the program honored him royally this morning as he marched with his undergraduate degree.  

Jalen Hurts relished the spotlight in the fourth quarter of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game; however, he smiled brightly upon hearing his name called for his bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Per a video captured by UA, a loud burst of excitement filled Coleman Coliseum when President Bell called Hurts’ name. 

Regardless of what he has been through, the native Texan taught everyone a lesson in commitment, determination and in his own words, “Put it in God’s hands.”  

His decision to stay at Alabama was questioned at first, but Hurts’ had the last word as he delivered his team to SEC title with a strong performance versus Georgia.  The junior completed seven of nine passes for 82 yards and total two touchdowns — including a 15-yard run to the end zone to put the Tide ahead for good at 35-28.

RELATED: Jalen Hurts to graduate Alabama this weekend as legend and fan favorite

While he is ready to continue working toward a showdown with Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff, he will enjoy this moment with his family.

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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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Kayvon Thibodeax chooses Oregon over Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/15/kayvon-thibodeax-chooses-oregon-over-alabama/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 20:55:20 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54621 Kayvon Thibodeaux announced his commitment to Oregon on Saturday over Alabama. Thibodeaux is the number 1 ranked player in the nation, according to ESPN. The ducks became a favorite for his commitment after an official visit in October and they use that momentum to get a commitment from the nation’s best player. Alabama looks to […]]]>

Kayvon Thibodeaux announced his commitment to Oregon on Saturday over Alabama.

Thibodeaux is the number 1 ranked player in the nation, according to ESPN. The ducks became a favorite for his commitment after an official visit in October and they use that momentum to get a commitment from the nation’s best player.

Alabama looks to bounce back from missing out on two back-to-back 5-star recruits. The Tide’s 2019 recruiting class still has a chance to finish strong as some key targets remain on the board heading into the early signing period.

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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’s Waddle, Surtain land on Associated Press All-Freshman Team https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/15/alabamas-waddle-surtain-land-on-associated-press-all-freshman-team/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 19:52:52 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54622 National accolades keep coming to the University of Alabama and while graduations are happening on campus this weekend, two more players received major honors.  Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and cornerback Patrick Surtain II were both named to the Associated Press’ All-Freshman Team on Friday, according to the publication.  Congrats, Patrick Surtain II & Jaylen Waddle for making @AP Freshman All-America!#OutworkYesterday#RollTide pic.twitter.com/askE9EklBu […]]]>

National accolades keep coming to the University of Alabama and while graduations are happening on campus this weekend, two more players received major honors. 

Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and cornerback Patrick Surtain II were both named to the Associated Press’ All-Freshman Team on Friday, according to the publication. 

Waddle, a native of Houston, Texas, was impressive all season with 803 yards and seven touchdowns on 41 catches.

He stands in the top three on the team in each category; however, Waddle’s output in yards (eighth) and scores (tied for fifth) both rank in the top-10 for receivers in the Southeastern Conference.

The 5-foot-10, 177-pounder has a knack for creating explosive plays after the catch, with four scores of in excess of 50 yards.

Waddle burned multiple SEC programs with his speed; nevertheless, it was his performance against Georgia in the conference title game that helped save Alabama’s season. He brought in a quick slant from Tua Tagovailoa and turned on the jets for a 51-yard house call. 

For the elite receiving prospect, his efforts cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 28-21 and the Tide ultimately won the game by a score of 35-28. Waddle has three 100-yard matchups versus Louisiana (138), Tennessee (117) and Georgia (113) with four scores total in those games. 

RELATED: Alabama football lands four players on 2018 All-SEC Freshman Team

Surtain, a native of Plantation, Fla., was able to lock down some of college football’s best weapons on the outside.

The five-star defender was rarely tested this season and when opposing quarterbacks tried him, they were unsuccessful more times than not.

He had 33 tackles – including 1.5 tackles for loss and posted six pass breakups with one interception. 

Despite him helping the Tide surrender just one 100-yard outing from receiver – Jauan Jennings, Tennessee, 102 yards – Surtain has his work cut out for him as Oklahoma brings Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Ceedee Lamb to face Alabama’s secondary on Dec. 29. 

Both Waddle and Surtain were previously named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team.

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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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Kayvon Thibodeaux recruitment breakdown; prediction https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/15/kayvon-thibodeaux-recruitment-breakdown-prediction/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 15:44:10 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54600 5-Star defensive end, Kayvon Thibodeaux, will announce his college decision today at approximately 2-2:30 p.m. CST. He is set to make his announcement live on ESPN during the halftime of the New Mexico Bowl. Thibodeaux first visit to Alabama as a recruit was in April. He let it be know immediately that Alabama was in […]]]>

5-Star defensive end, Kayvon Thibodeaux, will announce his college decision today at approximately 2-2:30 p.m. CST.

He is set to make his announcement live on ESPN during the halftime of the New Mexico Bowl.

Thibodeaux first visit to Alabama as a recruit was in April. He let it be know immediately that Alabama was in the mix for his announcement.

“Alabama was crazy,” Thibodeaux said via Twitter after the visit. “I will be back in the Fall.”

He shocked many when he made a return trip to Alabama for the Champion’s Cookout, which was huge for Alabama. They got a recruit from California to visit two times in the span of three months on his own dollar.

Alabama would go on to join Oregon, USC, Florida State and Florida in Thibodeaux’s top 5 later that month. Thibodeaux shared that he would take officials to all five schools before he made his announcement.

Alabama got Thibodeaux’s second official  visit in September. This time his family joined him on the trip. Him and Saban shared a special moment during this trip, which showed Thibodeaux had some Alabama roots and that is always a plus for the Crimson Tide.

“I had a great time at Alabama,” Thibodeaux said via Twitter. “I just wanna give a special thanks to Coach Saban , he signed a picture of my great grandfather who passed away, he was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and was a big #Bama fan . That made my grandmother so happy. So thanks again #RollTide .”

Thibodeaux will go on to take the rest of his official visits and caught everyones attention when he announced he was going to push up his commitment date in October after an official visit to Oregon. The Ducks immediately looked like the favorite for his commitment and gained some major traction.

Thibodeaux’s next major announcement would be that he will make his announcement on his birthday, Dec.15. ESPN’s Tom Luginbell announce Thibodeaux will announce his commitment on ESPN on Thursday.

It is now known that Thibodeaux has made his decision. He made it late Friday night.

 

 

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Nick Saban releases statement on D.J. Durkin, said “he’s not been hired at UA” https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/nick-saban-releases-statement-on-d-j-durkin-said-hes-not-been-hired-at-ua/ Sat, 15 Dec 2018 04:22:28 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54596 After dealing with unwanted speculation, Nick Saban quickly cleared the air on D.J. Durkin and his involvement with the University of Alabama in Friday’s press release.   Per Saban, Durkin has “not been hired in any capacity at UA.”  “D.J. Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint,” Saban said. “He is simply observing our […]]]>

After dealing with unwanted speculation, Nick Saban quickly cleared the air on D.J. Durkin and his involvement with the University of Alabama in Friday’s press release.  

Per Saban, Durkin has “not been hired in any capacity at UA.” 

“D.J. Durkin is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint,” Saban said. “He is simply observing our operation as many other coaches have done through the years.”

RELATED: Is Nick Saban wrong for having D.J. Durkin consult at Alabama? 

Both Chip Kelly and Lane Kiffin were part of this program. 

Kelly would consult before moving on to the National Football League, while Kiffin’s situation turned into him being hired at offensive coordinator.

Not saying that will happen for Durkin, but history is interesting. He is not expected to travel with the Crimson Tide to Miami, Fla., for the College Football Playoff semifinal game against Oklahoma.

Durkin spent two seasons as head coach at the University of Maryland (2016-17), prior to getting fired from the program and desiring to help Saban behind the scenes.

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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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Alabama star QB returns to work; team works on basics for Orange Bowl https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/alabama-star-qb-returns-to-work-team-works-on-basics-for-orange-bowl/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 22:43:22 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54586 While students and student-athletes prepare for graduation at 7 p.m., Nick Saban and Alabama returned to practice for its first session in working toward Orange Bowl matchup with Oklahoma for the College Football Playoff.  Rain kept the Crimson Tide indoors, but the team worked on fundamentals.  Listed below are notes from Friday.  *Get the BEST Alabama football […]]]>

While students and student-athletes prepare for graduation at 7 p.m., Nick Saban and Alabama returned to practice for its first session in working toward Orange Bowl matchup with Oklahoma for the College Football Playoff. 

Rain kept the Crimson Tide indoors, but the team worked on fundamentals. 

Listed below are notes from Friday. 

 

 

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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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Tua Tagovailoa graces cover of Sports Illustrated heading into CFP https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/tua-tagovailoa-graces-cover-of-sports-illustrated-heading-into-cfp/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 19:18:08 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54573 Alabama returns to practice today in preparation for a College Football Playoff semifinal with Oklahoma and before he takes the field, Tua Tagovailoa has snagged a cover of Sports Illustrated.  The accomplished sophomore quarterback turned in an impressive season as a first-year starter, becoming the fourth signal-caller of the Nick Saban era to account for 3,000 yards passing (3,353) […]]]>

Alabama returns to practice today in preparation for a College Football Playoff semifinal with Oklahoma and before he takes the field, Tua Tagovailoa has snagged a cover of Sports Illustrated. 

The accomplished sophomore quarterback turned in an impressive season as a first-year starter, becoming the fourth signal-caller of the Nick Saban era to account for 3,000 yards passing (3,353) as he also totals 37 touchdown passes to four interceptions through 13 games. 

Tagovailoa guided the Crimson Tide’s offense to 50-plus points in eight matchups, while being responsible for two 60-point games versus Mississippi and Arkansas. He has 42 total scores this season, which is a school record and his 48 scoring passes (career) is tied for second all-time in history. 

For the native Hawaiian, he has reinvented the style of Tide football and earning a multitude of accolades along the way. Tagovailoa was recognized as the Southeastern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, Maxwell Player of the Year, Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year and Polynesian College Player of the Year.  

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa wins Polynesian College Player of the Year award

He is a consensus All-American and a Heisman finalist, following his exploits during the regular season.

Despite sustaining an ankle injury in the SEC title game and playing through pain all year, the team doctors at Alabama cleared Tagovailoa to not have the walking boot on his left leg at the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Since his surgery was not as severe as Jalen Hurts’ was, the former five-star is expected to recover faster and start the contest versus the Sooners on Dec. 29. 

He looks to help the Tide repeat as national champs for the first time since 2011-12.

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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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Jalen Hurts to graduate Alabama this weekend as legend and fan favorite https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/jalen-hurts-to-graduate-alabama-this-weekend-as-legend-and-fan-favorite/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 18:05:58 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54557 When he steps into Coleman Coliseum tonight and shakes hands with President Stuart R. Bell of the University of Alabama, all would have come full circle for him.  The story of Jalen Hurts is one of instant success, trials, doubters, and a resurgence to show nothing causes for him to second guess who he is. Upon coming […]]]>

When he steps into Coleman Coliseum tonight and shakes hands with President Stuart R. Bell of the University of Alabama, all would have come full circle for him. 

The story of Jalen Hurts is one of instant success, trials, doubters, and a resurgence to show nothing causes for him to second guess who he is. Upon coming to Alabama from Houston, Texas in the 2016 signing class, Hurts impressed as a marquee athlete. 

Under the guidance of Lane Kiffin, he won Southeastern Conference Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year – totaling a school-record 36 touchdowns.

After helping the team secure a conference championship and appear in the College Football Playoff, struggles in the passing game starting setting in on Hurts in the following season. Despite tossing one interception, the Crimson Tide was limited on offense and it showed in the CFP national title matchup. 

RELATED: Jalen Hurts cements legacy at Alabama with SEC Championship heroics

He completed just three of eight passes for 21 yards versus Georgia to start 2018, and after Tua Tagovailoa delivered the team to a title off the bench, the offseason turmoil began for the native Texan.

Thoughts of Hurts needing to leave Alabama sparked throughout spring and summer, especially with college football instituting the new redshirt/graduate transfer rule. 

Regardless of some pushing for him to go and others expecting him to leave, the junior continued to state his piece on remaining with the Tide. In the midst of chaos, he inherited a quarterbacks’ coach in Dan Enos and started improving his mechanics. Throughout this season, Hurts has looked better than the last two years and nothing was more evident of this than his outing in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game two weeks ago. 

Against the same team in the same venue, Hurts emerged with a championship on the line. 

He replaced an injured Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter and completed seven of nine pass attempts for 82 yards with two total touchdowns. Hurts converted five third downs with his arm and found wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 10-yard scoring strike that tied the game at 28. 

His 15-yard touchdown run was similar to his 30-yard run versus Clemson in the national championship game his freshman year. His desire to shine for his team in critical moments delivered the program to a 35-28 win over the Bulldogs, punching its ticket to the CFP. 

In the aftermath of the game, multiple players spoke on Hurts’ leadership. 

“We do not win this game without Jalen Hurts,” Alabama long snapper Thomas Fletcher said, in celebration after the SEC title game. What Jalen did tonight in coming into a game where you don’t know if you are going to have an opportunity to play as a second-string quarterback…the fact that he came in and did what he did was huge.”  

“I am really proud of Jalen,” Tide linebacker Dylan Moses said. “I know he went through a lot and I know it hurts, but I am just happy for his success. I want him to do well.” 

He came in with trademark dreadlocks was a record-setter and as he marches with his undergraduate degree, Hurts’ numbers rank high amongst the all-time leaders at Alabama. 

Career numbers for Jalen Hurts 

Passing yards: 5,616, seventh all time 

Passing TDs: 48, tied for second all-time (Tagovailoa, 48) 

Total TDs: 71, second all-time (AJ McCarron, 80) 

Total yards: 7,592, third all-time 

Nick Saban and the Tide resume practice today after a long break, following the SEC Championship Game. With all eyes focused on the health of Tagovailoa (ankle), Hurts will be prepared as if he will start.

His decision on moves following this season are uncertain, but he desires another national title before anything else occurs.

Congrats to Hurts on graduating.

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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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Is Nick Saban wrong for having D.J. Durkin consult at Alabama? https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/is-nick-saban-wrong-for-having-d-j-durkin-consult-at-alabama/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 16:11:35 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54552 Let’s pump the brakes on this situation.  Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been getting hammered on social media and from different news outlets in the last few hours or so on his decision to have former Maryland coach, D.J. Durkin, in Tuscaloosa in a “consultant role.” The 40-year-old was fired from the Terrapins back on Oct. […]]]>

Let’s pump the brakes on this situation. 

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been getting hammered on social media and from different news outlets in the last few hours or so on his decision to have former Maryland coach, D.J. Durkin, in Tuscaloosa in a “consultant role.”

The 40-year-old was fired from the Terrapins back on Oct. 31, due to an investigation on his program being “toxic” and him reportedly creating a culture of “fear” and “intimidation.”

News on Durkin at the University of Alabama came from Matt Zenitz of AL.com.

According to the story, Jordan McNair collapsed from heat stroke on May 29 of this year during team workouts. He died two weeks later on June 13. The 19-year-old offensive lineman was one of the leaders on the team, and though Durkin was not voluntarily involved in McNair’s tragic passing, various media personalities feel as if Saban made a hasty decision to have him consult. 

RELATED: Nick Saban named one of six finalists for George Munger Coach of the Year

In reflecting back to Zenitz’s piece, the University of Maryland Board of Regents held an investigation on the program and found nothing to deem as toxic. In fact, Durkin was even brought back 80 days later after initially being put on administrative leave on Aug. 11. 

While students and others could not deal with him, it is apparent that maybe Saban has need of him with the Crimson Tide. Durkin is not getting paid for providing his thoughts, and via the article, it is “uncertain” as to whether the 67-year-old will hire him on staff. 

For all the badgering the six-time national champion has taken, let’s all be reminded of Saban’s history in hiring coaches that have had issues in their past.

The likes of Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, Michael Locksley and Butch Jones all brought baggage with them; however, Saban extended an opportunity to each one and all have now accepted a coaching job elsewhere. 

Also, keep in mind that Alabama allowed Chip Kelly (UCLA head coach) to come an consult in the spring of 2013 — prior to him taking a head coaching position for the Philadelphia Eagles. The lone reason why Kiffin was offered a job as an offensive coordinator after consulting was Doug Nussmeier bolted for Michigan to be a play caller.

Like his mentor, Bill Belichick, Saban is building an impressive coaching tree. 

To go beyond the coaches, he has even granted players with second chances.

People remember guys like Tony Brown and Kenyan Drake. Both individuals came in rough around the edges, but ole Saint Nick found a way to stick with them and get the most out of both. Current quarterback Mac Jones and former players Geno Matias-Smith and Dillon Lee both were all charged with driving under the influence. Instead of dismissing them from the team, like many hoped he would, Saban had an alternative solution that helped all three while keeping them in football. 

Even in the cases of Jonathan Taylor (domestic violence) and D.J. Pettway, he tried to help both young men get on the right path. Taylor, who was charged with third degree domestic violence at the University of Georgia, enrolled at Alabama in 2015 after being dropped from the Bulldogs. 

Saban stuck his neck out for him, got crucified by national media, and while Taylor would be targeted for another DV case, the woman in question recanted her statement. He ended up being let go by the Tide, but Pettway was able to return and finish his undergraduate degree. 

Following a brawl that he was linked to in 2012, Pettway was dumped after an impressive freshman season. He spent a year in junior college and then his name surfaced back on the market for the 2014 signing class. He was hesitant, but Saban gave Pettway another shot. 

The Florida native responded by not only getting his degree, but he also assisted Alabama to a national championship in 2015 and is now on Jeremy Pruitt’s coaching staff at Tennessee. 

Saban wants to continue to learn and he knows the only way to keep his empire going is constantly pulling knowledge from others. If he was not concerned with evolving and getting better, then he does not make the hires he has made in recent years. Maybe there is something Durkin is providing that he’s not getting from those in Tuscaloosa. Whatever the case is, the favorite statement from Tide fans is “trust coach” and “Saban’s the one being paid to make big decisions.”

With both of these being said, we shall see what happens with Durkin.

Before he was fired, he brought in 12 four-star recruits in two recruiting classes combined at Maryland for 2016 and 2017 – including a top-20 class (No. 18) class last year.  

For now, Durkin is not on staff at Alabama.

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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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Nakobe Dean to make announcement live on ESPN https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/14/nakobe-dean-to-make-announcement-live-on-espn/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:14:20 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54542 Nakobe Dean will announce his commitment live on ESPN at 1:20 p.m. CST on Dec. 19. His mother, Neketta Dean, shared the news. 5 DAYS… Where Oh Where will he Go?????? Signing Day Wednesday, December 19 at 1:20 CST on ESPN and Horn Lake High. Join us or tune in. Thanks for your support! I […]]]>

Nakobe Dean will announce his commitment live on ESPN at 1:20 p.m. CST on Dec. 19. His mother, Neketta Dean, shared the news.

Dean is a 5-star linebacker and is the No.1 linebacker in the nation. He has an opportunity to go to almost any school in the nation. He will sign during the early signing period and enroll early.

“Enrolling early will give me a good start on the play book and school,” Dean told Touchdown Alabama in September.

Alabama has been recruiting Dean hard along with other elite programs. The Tide’s coaching staff believes that he can come in and make an immediate impact. Saban even assured him of that in June.

“He basically just told me how much they want me and need me,” Dean said. “He also told me how much of an impact I will make on the team and how I will have a chance to play early due to the low depth at linebacker.”

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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 promotes Dan Enos to OC, will Saban hire a QBs coach? https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/alabama-promotes-dan-enos-to-oc-will-saban-hire-a-qbs-coach/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 03:59:39 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54532 To avoid any speculation in the offseason, Alabama head coach Nick Saban solved one issue on his coaching staff in promoting Dan Enos to offensive coordinator.  After serving one season as quarterbacks’ coach, the Michigan native takes over for Michael Locksley — who has a head coaching position at Maryland. He will start his new job […]]]>

To avoid any speculation in the offseason, Alabama head coach Nick Saban solved one issue on his coaching staff in promoting Dan Enos to offensive coordinator. 

After serving one season as quarterbacks’ coach, the Michigan native takes over for Michael Locksley — who has a head coaching position at Maryland. He will start his new job following the College Football Playoff, as he intends on helping the Crimson Tide secure a national title. 

RELATED: Nick Saban to name Dan Enos as Alabama’s offensive coordinator

Enos had success running an offense at both Arkansas and Central Michigan; however, the question will be if Saban trusts him to with a full scheme while prepping quarterbacks. 

Multiple coaches on staff are able to perform double duty, but seeing how the 50-year-old performs in the CFP will be the determining factor in whether he gets help. While he has produced seven 3,000-yard passers in his tenure, Saban likes for his assistants to be focused on one thing at a time.

No names have surfaced as ideal candidates at quarterbacks’ coach; nevertheless, the Tide will have its pick of the litter once spring and summer roll in. Enos looks to have Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts prepared to face Oklahoma at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 29 for the Orange Bowl.

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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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Kayvon Thibodeaux to announce college decision live on ESPN https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/kayvon-thibodeaux-to-announce-college-decision-live-on-espn/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 01:02:39 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54518 5-Star defensive end and the No. 1 player in the nation, Kayvon Thibodeaux, will announce his college decision live on ESPN at halftime of the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, Dec.15, according to ESPN’s Tom Luginbill. Breaking News: No. 1 high school football recruit @KayvonT8 will announce his college decision live on @ESPN during halftime […]]]>

5-Star defensive end and the No. 1 player in the nation, Kayvon Thibodeaux, will announce his college decision live on ESPN at halftime of the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, Dec.15, according to ESPN’s Tom Luginbill.

Thibodeaux will make his college decision between Florida, Florida State, Alabama and Oregon.

RELATED: Alabama’s key targets heading into national signing day

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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’s key targets heading into early signing period https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/alabamas-key-targets-heading-into-early-signing-period/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:36:27 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54478 Alabama currently boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the 2019 recruiting cycle and the results they receive during the early signing period will affect how this class finish. The Tide will have several 5-Star targets that will make their college announcement in between now and the early signing period. Alabama looks to be in […]]]>

Alabama currently boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the 2019 recruiting cycle and the results they receive during the early signing period will affect how this class finish.

The Tide will have several 5-Star targets that will make their college announcement in between now and the early signing period. Alabama looks to be in play for most of them. Here is a quick look at some of the commitments to look out for.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is a 5-Star defensive end out of Thousands Oaks, California. He will announce his decision on Saturday. Oregon, Florida State, Alabama and Florida remain in the mix for his commitment.

ANALYSIS: Thibodeaux is an elite defensive end with a long frame and wing span. He uses his natural long arms to keep offensive lineman from getting a hold of him and to make tackles on fleeing ball carriers. 

 

Nakobe Dean is a 5-Star linebacker out of Hornlake, Mississippi. He is the No.1 inside linebacker in the nation. He will make his announcement on Dec. 19. Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss remain in contention for his commitment.

ANALYSIS: Dean is a 6-feet-2-inches 215-pounder that is very mobile and can play sideline to sideline. His speed and knowledge of the game allows him to attack plays early and effectively.  He also has the ability to be an asset in the defensive passing game.

Evan Neal is a 5-Star offensive tackle out of IMG Academy. He will make his announcement on Dec. 19  live on ESPN. Alabama and Miami looks to be the two favorites for his commitment.

ANALYSIS: Neal stands at 6-feet-8-inches and weighs over 300 pounds. He rarely loses one on one battles and has impressive footwork, which helps him make his body wide to stop speedy defensive ends. He is also pretty good at blocking on the run as he leads the way for the No.1 running back in the nation and Alabama target, Trey Sanders.

Trey Sanders is a 5-Star running back out of IMG Academy. He will also make his announcement live on ESPN. Georgia, Alabama and Florida looks to be in contention for his commitment.

ANALYSIS: Sanders brings a combination of speed and power to the table. His 5’11” frame allows him to stay low to the ground and create a low center of gravity. This allows him to break tackles and run the ball hard. The tenacity that he runs the ball with allows him to run in between the tackles and grind out runs.

Marcus Stripling is a 4-Star defensive end out of Houston, Texas. He will make his decision on Dec. 19.  He will most likely stay close to home as Oklahoma and Texas A&m looks to be his favorites.

ANALYSIS: Marcus Stripling has the speed to beat offensive lineman off the snap. At 6-feet-2-inches and 260 pounds, he doesn’t have the size to over power offensive lineman, which is where Stripling will need to improve. He most likely will not be able to out run offensive lineman 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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Alabama RB Josh Jacobs readies himself for showdown with Oklahoma https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/alabama-rb-josh-jacobs-readies-himself-for-showdown-with-oklahoma/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 22:23:27 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54507 The first practice for Alabama in preparing for its College Football Playoff matchup with Oklahoma starts Friday, and for one player in particular, this is a moment where he will be stamped as an all-around legendary individual.   Even in being a young father and facing the challenges he had as a child, running back Josh […]]]>

The first practice for Alabama in preparing for its College Football Playoff matchup with Oklahoma starts Friday, and for one player in particular, this is a moment where he will be stamped as an all-around legendary individual.  

Even in being a young father and facing the challenges he had as a child, running back Josh Jacobs could not have imagined a better scenario than what he’s witnessed in Tuscaloosa. 

During his time, he has gone from a three-star prospect to the most complete back on the Crimson Tide’s roster and a fan favorite. His blend of toughness, leadership, determination and the many things he does on a field gives Alabama an element that very few others possess.  

RELATED: Josh Jacobs battles flu-like symptoms to win MVP award

Hailing from Tulsa, Okla., the Tide’s version of a swiss-army knife averages a jaw-dropping 16.0 yards a play upon him getting the ball through 13 games. 

Jacobs leads the team in rushing touchdowns (11) and totals 1,064 all-purpose yards – 495 rushing, 171 receiving and 398 kick return – with 14 scores on 122 touches. His tendency to finish runs with power and anger led to his most valuable player effort in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Georgia, where he recorded 83 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns on eight carries in Alabama’s 35-28 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  

Regardless of reason, neither Oklahoma, Tulsa, Missouri nor Arkansas wanted Jacobs in the 2016 recruiting cycle.

For someone who is both outspoken and takes pride in what he does, expect for the 5-foot-10 jack of all trades to have a monster showing in Miami, Fla.  While his skill set fits the mold of the modern-day back in the National Football League, Jacobs is not too much concerned about turning professional at the moment.

As he intends to help the Tide pursue another national championship, knocking out the Sooners is his first goal.

*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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Larry’s Losers in the Bowl Season – 2018 and 2019 https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/larrys-losers-6/ https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/larrys-losers-6/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:03:40 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54185 So you think you know how the bowl games will go? Well test your talents against the top picking prognosticator and see who wins.]]>

Larry’s Losers in the Bowl Season – 2018 and 2019

By: Larry Burton

Well sports fans, I hope that this glorious holiday season finds your team off the loser’s list and that we all celebrate a wonderful ending of a great football season as well as the real reason for the season, the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

After a rocking football season that saw upset after upset, a hurricane that damaged everything in my neck of the woods and a great SEC Championship Game, we now have the bowl season for one last hurrah and a big chance to flex some SEC muscle and show some SEC pride.

There are some absolutely great matchups that would make any football forecaster faint in trying to perfectly pick this pack of player’s performances. But we’re not scared, just mildly mystified over a few, so we will be watching and may be biting our nails on a few of them, so without any further ado, let’s get to listing them…

 

Dec. 27th – Baylor vs Vanderbilt – Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl – Houston, Texas – Can a high scoring team from the defenseless BIG 12 overwhelm one of the SEC’s traditional weak little brothers who can play defense? That’ll be the question fans will be watching to see answered.

Now these Bears plan on feasting on these Song City Sailors and going into hibernation will a full stomach and to do so, they think they just run circles around these swabbies and put so many points on them that they raise the white flag and surrender.

But Derek’s Deckhands have other plans and they think they can slow that running around from Baylor to a crawl and pour their own points on those Baylor boys and when it’s all over, the Sailors make it a long hungry winter for these Bears. Larry’s loser – Baylor

Coach said we shouldn’t get suckered into playing on their terms, but here we are…

Dec. 28th – Purdue vs Auburn – Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Nashville, Tennessee – Last season the War Eagle laid a big egg in the post season and this year the SEC is hoping that they’ll do a better job of holding up the winning percentage of the group when they try and put out the fire in the Boilermaker’s boilers.

But when Brohm’s Boilermen travel down to the country crooner capital to take on the Tigers, they won’t be scared of an SEC also ran who plummeted from a prime program to the team that has weekly notices if their coach will stay or go, get some money or give back money.

But Malzahn’s Meowers have a ton of talent on the Tiger squad and while it might be a close one for a while, talent usually rises to the top and that’s how we see Larry’s loser being Purdue.

I just hope I can find the Waffle House in Nashville when this is over…

Dec. 29th – Florida vs Michigan – Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta, Georgia – When the Wolverines fly South for the winter with the geese, they’ll quickly find out that Southern charm and manners will go out the window as Mullen’s Mudpuppies will do anything but make them feel welcome.

Now these fur bearing footballers feel like they have a playoff pack of players and even though they were run out of town on a rail by the Buckeyes in their last game, they don’t feel this group of Gators are worthy competitors to conquer them.

But the Gators will give them a game for a while and get their gobbles in, and in a game that could be closer than most think, those rascally Reptiles just fall short making Larry’s loser – Florida

This is the one pick I hope I’m wrong with… Go Gators!

Dec. 29th – South Carolina vs Virginia – Belk Bowl – Charlotte, North Carolina – The Cavaliers have spend the last few weeks sharpening their swords and perusing Pullet recipes in hopes of being the winner winner with a Chicken dinner in this bowl game.

Now while it may hurt that the Carolina Cluckers chief WOW maker, Deebow Samuel is literally Chickening out of this game, Muschamp thinks he has enough Pullets with big peckers to paralyze these sword slingers.

This could be a good one, but in the end, muscle makes the difference and there ain’t much Chicken tenders on this menu and in a game where most see the offense being the key, the Gamecock defense wins the day. Larry’s loser – Virginia

So you Cavaliers think you’re the only one who can sling a blade? Bring it on!

Dec. 31st – Missouri vs Oklahoma State – AutoZone Liberty Bowl – Memphis, Tennessee – The Cowpokes ride off into the sunrise and come East to the stadium near Mud Island to mix it up and try and lasso a Tiger and put their brand on it.

But Barry’s bad boy Bengals feel like they have all the luck they’ll need, or should I say all the Lock they’ll need to blow past the Pokes while showing them what it’s like to play an SEC defense.

If this one turns into a track meet it could be anybody’s game, but we see the Tigers taming the Bull Ropers offense just enough times to come out on top and that’ll make Larry’s loser – Oklahoma State

Missouri even out Cowboys the guys from Okie State….

Dec. 31st- North Carolina State vs Texas A&M – TaxSlayer Gator Bowl – Jacksonville, Florida – When the Wolfpack wanders into SEC country down in Jacksonville to take on the Aggies from out Texas way, they figure they’re going to take on a team in a tailspin since the Aggies have lost their last two games and lots of their luster.

But those were against SEC teams with some mighty stout defenses and Fisher’s farmers know that defense this wily Wolves seem to have left at home for this game and they plan on planting these Puppies out in the East 40 and showing them why the SEC simply out mans the ACC this season.

Now this one will be a fine one to watch, but in the end, these Wolves won’t see a full moon and won’t turn into werewolves with a 2:30 kickoff, so these Farmers won’t fail to hold up their end of the SEC stats in this one making Larry’s losers – North Carolina State

And the Aggies leave the field littered with Wolves…

Jan. 1st – Mississippi State vs Iowa – Outback Bowl – Tampa, Florida – My old pigskin pickin’ pooch pal that passed away just before the season started gave me his last prediction when he said, “Don’t sleep on those Dogs from Mississippi this season.” and he was right, because look who showed up in a New Year’s Day bowl, new coach and all. Now they’re taking on the Hawkeyes who flew in from corn country.

Now these Squawkeyes looked good earlier in the year but tail spun down in the late part of the season losing three in a row before finally righting their way with two final victories and they’re hoping that they can once again straighten up and fly right for one more contest and conquer these Canines while enjoying a little fun time in the sunshine state.

But Moorehead’s Mutts aren’t about to waste this opportunity to show the world that they can maul without Mullen and they’re gonna do just that when these feathered footballers touchdown in Tampa and then they’ll see for themselves that Hawks really do taste like chicken. Larry’s loser – Iowa

We’re not going to let those Hawkeye hide from us anywhere….

Jan. 1st. – Kentucky vs Penn State – VBRO Citrus Bowl – Orlando, Florida – The Penn State Pussycats take the pullman down to Mickey Mouse land to waylay the Wildcats and prove who’s the best feline in this Citrus Bowl Cat show.

Now I don’t think there’s a handful of coaches better than James Franklin and even the boys from Lost Wages, Nevada to ESPN all see these Lions whipping up on their little brothers in the feline family, the Wildcats.

But this is where the upset but won’t bite us, because we know the Lions have trouble against strong defenses and these Kentucky Kitties brought a big one. These Wildcats don’t have too many fairy tale seasons in football and they aren’t about to let this one end without a happy ending, so that’ll make Larry’s loser – Penn State

It takes a Cat to skin a cat… But is this the right cat to be skinned?

Jan. 1st – LSU vs UCF – Playstation Fiesta Bowl – Glendale, Arizona – Both these teams travel outside their comfort zone and go to the desert to duel. These Knights hope to slay a Bayou Bengal and claim another falsely fabricated and highly fictional title.

Now last year, the Knights got another big SEC name, to roll over and play dead for them and they figure that this year won’t be any different and they’ll just add another Tiger rug to the locker room floor when they take on this bunch of Bengals.

But these Tigers don’t roll over and play dead for anybody and UCF finally sees what a motivated bunch of Bengals can do when they want to and while some are saying this one could swing the Knight’s way, we say it’s lights out for the Knights in this one. Larry’s loser – UCF

I don’t think the Knight’s armor will help them in this one…

Jan. 1st – Texas vs Georgia – Allstate Sugar Bowl – New Orleans, Louisiana – These Longhorns take the not so long flight to the Big Easy to try and trample the Bulldogs from red clay country.

Now lately these Grass Eaters ain’t done too well against the SEC, but this year they’re hoping to catch a Dog that’s still dealing with a heartbreaking loss in the SEC Championship Game and hook ’em with their horns while they’re still moping Mutts.

But we’re going to step out here and predict a Bow Wow blowout here where these Bulldogs bully these Bulls all night long and send them stampeding back to the locker room with bite marks on every butt showing the world that one of the four best teams in football ain’t in the playoffs after all. By at least three touchdowns Larry’s loser will be Texas.

And the Bulldogs beat them so bad they made a statue for all time…

College Football Playoff Semifinal 

Dec. 29th – Alabama vs Oklahoma – Capital One Orange Bowl – Miami, Florida – The Sooners soiree into the stadium down in Miami town with the notion that they’ll beat these Bamers like they always do with a quarterback that beat the Bama quarterback in the big trophy brawl and it’ll just be business as usual for the Boomer Sooners.

But this pack of Packyderms plan on not only showing them who has the best quarterback, but who also has the best bunch of ballers and they intend on having this one settled by halftime as they blow out they Boomers in embarrassing style.

While some may think this is going to be a close one, it won’t matter which quarterback Alabama uses in this one as the defenseless dust bowl boys once again get blown away by an offense without end. Larry’s loser – Oklahoma

Paybacks are hell as the Sooners will soon learn after the trampling….

Well that’s it except for the big kahuna in the end. Do we really think the SEC is so powerful they’ll win all but one contest in this year’s bowl season? Why yes we do. While it was nice to have finally made a perfect week of perfections this season, it was a rough year for us overall. While we still did better than anyone else publicly posting predictions, we weren’t up to our usual plentiful predictions. Maybe because this was our first year without my pal and sidekick, Bacardi the Wonder Dog, who I dedicate this season too. We poked some serious fun at every team for 12 years together and were the top talliers for true truths in listing losers for that entire time together.

Whether his following Fido, Rumsley the Wonder Dog can ever get past his puppy-hood and get predicting, we’ll just have to wait and see. Even Bacardi didn’t come into his own right away, it took a few years until he was full fledged football officiant.

But in a non politically correct chorus from the crowd at the Loser’s Lair, we sincerely wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year and we’ll all get back together if Bama backs my prediction with the Larry’s Losers in the SEC Championship Game Prediction. Till then, I’m off for a two month trip to the other side of the world to skip winter and simmer in summer in places like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Our final forecast will come from Aussie country, so with a sip or two of Bundaburg rum from kangaroo country, we hope to talk to you one last time before it’s all over.

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LARRY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN ALMOST EVERY MEDIA OUTLET FOR COLLEGE SPORTS AND NOW PRIMARILY WRITES HERE FOR TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA. HE WRITES IN A COLLOQUIAL AND IRREVERENT STYLE FOR THIS SERIES OF ARTICLES. LARRY’S VIEWS AND SENSE OF HUMOR MAY OFFEND, BUT HE AIMS TO OFFEND EVERYONE EQUALLY. IF HE HASN’T INSULTED YOUR FAVORITE TEAM WITH LARRY’S LOSERS, JUST WAIT. FOLLOW LARRY ON TWITTER FOR INSIDE THOUGHTS AND GAME TIME COMMENTS AT HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/LBSPORTSWRITER

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Premium Alabama football watches offered at exclusive deal to Touchdown Alabama Magazine readers https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/premium-alabama-football-watches-offered-at-exclusive-deal-to-touchdown-alabama-magazine-readers/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:43:30 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54442 Every once in a while, something, that has never been done before comes along. As proud members of the Crimson Tide family, we knew these luxury watches were special the moment we saw them. HAIL Brand makes only 50 steel watches and 50 gold watches each year. One of these officially licensed timepieces is a must-have for […]]]>

Every once in a while, something, that has never been done before comes along. As proud members of the Crimson Tide family, we knew these luxury watches were special the moment we saw them.

HAIL Brand makes only 50 steel watches and 50 gold watches each year. One of these officially licensed timepieces is a must-have for a true die-hard Alabama football fan or alumnus. They are built to last and will surely be something you’ll want to pass down to the next generation.

HAIL Brand Alabama watches are a must-have for true Alabama die-hard fans.

According to HAIL Brand, the Edition 1 Swiss Made timepiece captures the essence of the University of Alabama experience. Each timepiece strikes the perfect balance between the nuanced art of Swiss watchmaking, the rich traditions of the University of Alabama, and the uncompromising passion of the Crimson Tide.

We will be posting a detailed review next week. To learn more about these gems or order yours before they sell out, visit www.hailbrand.com/alabama. Be sure to use the discount code TDALABAMAG for upgraded 2-day shipping for free!

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Tua Tagovailoa wins Polynesian college player of the year award https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/13/tua-tagovailoa-wins-polynesian-college-player-of-the-year-award/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:38:15 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54481 Tua Tagovailoa was selected as the 2018 Polynesian college player of the year on Thursday. WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa on being named the 2018 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.@Tuaamann @HankSouth247 @BamaOnLine247 @aldotcomSports @sportsiren @Charlie_Potter @dtagovailoa @CecilHurt @JohnGarcia_Jr @SWiltfong247 @BryantDenny_UA @BrandonHuffman @dtagovailoa pic.twitter.com/sAwqkWBbHz — Polynesian Bowl (@polynesiabowl) December 13, 2018 “I am humbled and honored […]]]>

Tua Tagovailoa was selected as the 2018 Polynesian college player of the year on Thursday.

“I am humbled and honored to be name the 2018 Polynesian college football player of the year,” Tagovailoa said. “First and foremost I want to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family for continued support throughout this process.”

This award is presented by the Polynesian football hall of fame. It is awarded annually to the most outstanding college football player of Polynesian ancestry. The inaugural award was presented to Marcus Mariota in 2014.

Tagovailoa is the first Alabama player to win the award. He continues to collect multiple individual awards to add to his trophy case. He has made multiple All-American teams and has won the Walter Camp player of the year award, the SEC offensive player of the year award and the Maxwell Award.

Tua’s younger brother, Taulia Tagovailoa, is up for the high school Polynesian player of the year award.

RELATED: Taulia Tagovailoa finalist for HS Polynesian POY award. 

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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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Tide players bringing something extra to CFP game versus Oklahoma https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/12/tide-players-bringing-something-extra-to-cfp-game-versus-oklahoma/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:21:26 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54469 After seeing how the Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation went, the University of Alabama football program will enter its matchup against Oklahoma for the College Football Playoff with domination on its mind.  While the team looks to show that Tua Tagovailoa should have won, its main goal is pursuing a sixth national championship under Nick Saban and No. 18 in […]]]>

After seeing how the Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation went, the University of Alabama football program will enter its matchup against Oklahoma for the College Football Playoff with domination on its mind. 

While the team looks to show that Tua Tagovailoa should have won, its main goal is pursuing a sixth national championship under Nick Saban and No. 18 in school history.

For five players in particular, the meeting on Dec. 29 is an opportunity for them to raise their level of play. 

RELATED: Alabama players react to Kyler Murray winning Heisman over Tua Tagovailoa

In Wednesday’s airing of In My Own Words, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine breaks down the five individuals to watch for at Hard Rock Stadium when the Tide battles the Sooners in the Orange Bowl.

*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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Alabama LB Christian Miller accepts invitation to Reese’s Senior Bowl https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/12/alabama-lb-christian-miller-accepts-invitation-to-reeses-senior-bowl/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:26:35 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54466 He had to grow into his body and battle through some injuries, but Christian Miller has put together his best season at outside linebacker for the University of Alabama.  The 6-foot-3, 244-pounder is among the team leaders in tackles for loss (10.5, third) and sacks (7.5, third), while leading the group in quarterback pressures with […]]]>

He had to grow into his body and battle through some injuries, but Christian Miller has put together his best season at outside linebacker for the University of Alabama. 

The 6-foot-3, 244-pounder is among the team leaders in tackles for loss (10.5, third) and sacks (7.5, third), while leading the group in quarterback pressures with 12 and having 35 tackles. 

RELATED: Alabama DE Isaiah Buggs accepts invitation to 70th annual Reese’s Senior Bowl

Hailing from South Carolina, the former five-star has the Crimson Tide ranked fourth in the nation for scoring defense (14.8 ppg), 10th in total defense (295.4 ypg), seventh in sacks (42) and eighth in third down efficiency defense (30.9 percent conversion rate). Prior its matchups against Citadel and Auburn, Miller and Alabama rendered both LSU and Mississippi State scoreless.  

He becomes the second Tide player this season to accept an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, pairing him with defensive end Isaiah Buggs.  

Despite a triceps injury limiting Miller to four games in 2017, he has totaled 57 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and 16 quarterback pressures from 2014 to this point. He anticipates using the senior bowl to catapult him higher on draft boards at outside linebacker. For now, he concentrates on helping the Tide repeat as national champions of the College Football Playoff.  

Alabama faces Oklahoma on Saturday, Dec. 29 in Miami, Fla.

*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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Alabama lands two unanimous All-Americans, three consensus All-Americans https://tdalabamamag.com/2018/12/12/alabama-lands-two-unanimous-all-americans-two-consensus-all-americans/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:19:53 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=54456 It has been a strong year for the University of Alabama football program on both offense and defense, as head coach Nick Saban has mentored quite a few All-Americans.  Prior to it getting ready to face Oklahoma at Hard Rock Stadium for the College Football Playoff semifinal, the Crimson Tide has crowned two unanimous All-Americans and three […]]]>

It has been a strong year for the University of Alabama football program on both offense and defense, as head coach Nick Saban has mentored quite a few All-Americans. 

Prior to it getting ready to face Oklahoma at Hard Rock Stadium for the College Football Playoff semifinal, the Crimson Tide has crowned two unanimous All-Americans and three consensus All-Americans for this season.

Per the NCAA, there are five selectors that decide on All-Americans – Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation – and should all name a player to its first team, the individual becomes a unanimous selection. 

If at least three selectors choose a player as a first-team honoree, it is a consensus All-American.  

For the Tide, offensive tackle Jonah Williams and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams have both been honored as unanimous All-Americans.

Both linemen were named first-team selections by all five outlets while Quinnen Williams collected the Outland Trophy, which goes to college football’s top interior lineman for either offense or defense.

RELATED: Alabama DL Quinnen Williams wins 2018 Outland Trophy

Jonah Williams won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the Southeastern Conference and was a finalist for the Outland. 

The duo gives Saban nineteen unanimous All-Americans since offensive tackle Andre Smith started the trend back in 2008. Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry were the lone two former Alabama stars that earned both unanimous All-American status and a Heisman Trophy. 

The trio of Tua TagovailoaJerry Jeudy and Deionte Thompson are consensus All-Americans. 

Tagovailoa: AFCA, Sporting News (POY), Walter Camp (POY) 

Jeudy: AFCA, Sporting News, Walter Camp, AP 

Thompson: AFCA, Sporting News, AP

*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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