Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com Alabama's Premier Football Website Tue, 22 Jan 2019 01:50:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 135213907 Alabama football with five potential first-round picks for 2019 NFL Draft https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/21/alabama-football-with-five-potential-first-round-picks-for-2019-nfl-draft/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 01:36:37 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56191 Aside from winning national championships and bringing in top recruiting classes, the NFL Draft is a very special moment for Nick Saban. The head coach for the University of Alabama football program uses this venue for more than just a recruiting tool: he truly likes to see his players get selected as high picks and move […]]]>

Aside from winning national championships and bringing in top recruiting classes, the NFL Draft is a very special moment for Nick Saban.

The head coach for the University of Alabama football program uses this venue for more than just a recruiting tool: he truly likes to see his players get selected as high picks and move on to create success as professional athletes.  

As we have entered the season of mock drafts, different analysts test their skills in seeing if they can predict the draft correctly. While most have the Crimson Tide placing three to four standouts in the first round, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine sees five in round one. 

RELATED: Holmon Wiggins enters conversation for Alabama at wide receivers’ coach

Listed below is his Mock Draft 1.0 in terms of former Tide stars. 

Quinnen Williams, DL

Pick: No. 1 overall 

Team: Arizona Cardinals 

Despite him being regarded as an elite offensive mind, it would be very tough for Kliff Kingsbury to pass up a chance to help his defense in getting Quinnen Williams with the first overall pick.

The 39-year-old is a division where he has to face Russell Wilson, Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo twice a year, and the Cardinals need someone on defense to affect them. 

Chandler Jones led the team in sacks (13) last season, but the former New England Patriot needs help around him.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds, Williams needed one year to show college football and NFL analysts on why he is better than Ed Oliver. He led Alabama in tackles for loss (19.5) and quarterback pressures (12) in 2018, while being among the team leaders in total tackles (71) and sacks (eight).

Arizona does have Robert Nkemdiche, but Williams has proven to be the ultimate disruptive.

He would make the most since for Kingsbury here. 

Jonah Williams, OL

Pick: No. 18 overall 

Team: Minnesota Vikings 

Kirk Cousins finished in the top-10 in passing yards (4,298) and touchdown passes (30), but he also sacked 40 times last season. Minnesota missed the playoffs and while boasted two 1,000-yard receivers in Adam Thielen (1,373) and Stefon Diggs (1,021), the franchise could not produce a consistent rushing attack. Even with players as good as Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray are, the Vikings were 30th in rushing offense.

Drafting Jonah Williams works here. 

Regardless of the noise in stating how he is not a first-round type at offensive tackle, he along with Barrett Jones were the two guys that Nick Saban trusted in that role at Alabama – despite both being under 6-foot-6. Williams, a native of California, started in 43 games as a tackle (28 at left tackle, 15 at right tackle) and grew into becoming the most consistent one. 

He missed just three assignments in 847 snaps at left tackle in 2018, grading out at 90 percent or better in 14 of 15 games.

Williams did not allow a sack last season and anchored a group that surrendered less than one sack per game (0.93) — which ranked eighth in college football and first in the Southeastern Conference.

Behind him, running back Damien Harris was a two-time 1,000-yard rusher (2016, 2017) and Tua Tagovailoa became the fourth quarterback of the Saban era to pass for at least 3,000 yards.

He recorded 3,966 yards with 48 total touchdowns, en route to earning recognition as a Heisman finalist and consensus All-American as a sophomore.  

Williams was one of two unanimous All-Americans (Quinnen Williams, the other) for Saban’s 2018 unit and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the SEC.

The 6-5, 301-pounder may not have the best of wingspans; however, he is the soundest technician of this offensive linemen class. 

Josh Jacobs, RB 

Pick: No. 21 overall 

Team: Philadelphia Eagles 

The ability to successful run the football is what gives Doug Pederson’s offense the flavor it needs to offset defenses.

Versatility at the running back position is what made Philadelphia very attractive in the past.

Seeing names such as Brian Westbrook, Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy all turn in major numbers is what provided the Eagles with swagger in recent years. 

With Carson Wentz being the future of the team at quarterback, Philadelphia needs to regain some juice in its backfield.

Rolling the dice on Josh Jacobs makes a lot of sense.  

The 5-foot-10, 216-pounder amassed 1,491 yards rushing in three seasons at Alabama with 15 touchdowns – including 640 yards and a team-high 11 scores in 2018. He proved to be an electrifying receiver, totaling 571 yards with five touchdowns on 48 career receptions. 

Jacobs is dangerous on kickoff returns, posting one score and 428 yards last season. 

Deionte Thompson, FS 

Pick: No. 26 overall 

Team: Houston Texans 

Houston made the playoffs at 11-5 as champions of the AFC South, but it carried one of the league’s worst pass defenses. Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien saw his group at No. 28 in the NFL for this department, allowing a quarterback rating of 92.7 and giving up 28 touchdown passes to forcing 15 interceptions.

The franchise is expected to lose former Louisiana State University star, Tyrann Mathieu, as he signed to Houston for one year through 2018. 

It returns a combined seven interceptions from Kareem Jackson, Justin Reid and Andre Hal; however, bringing a native Texan in Deionte Thompson back home couldn’t hurt.  

His playing weight of 185 pounds has NFL scouts a little nervous, but Thompson is currently training in California for the Scouting Combine. Should he reach the 200-pound benchmark, all fears will be erased and teams will come to him.

As for now, scouts really like his instincts, tackling prowess, coverage skills, and ability to track the football inside the numbers. 

He collected 78 tackles for the Tide and tallied six pass breakups, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2018.  

Mack Wilson, ILB

Pick: No. 28 overall 

Team: Oakland Raiders 

Oakland is going to allow Jon Gruden to build the franchise his own way, although he may have a strange complex in thinking the league is still in 2002. After trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, he has three first-round picks to work with and Gruden may possibly go defense first. 

Mack Wilson’s performance in 2018 was not up to his standards by any means; nevertheless, Gruden and the Raiders may reach for him at No. 28 overall.

In his lone Super Bowl win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gruden had a big-play linebacker in Derrick Brooks.  

Wilson totaled 71 tackles last season and has shown throughout his career at Alabama that he excels in coverage.

The Montgomery (Ala.) native accounts for six interceptions and seven pass breakups in his tenure. He must improve his tactics in film study and calling signals on the field, yet and still, Wilson’s athleticism makes him a next level linebacker.

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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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Holmon Wiggins enters conversation for Alabama at wide receivers’ coach https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/21/holmon-wiggins-enters-conversation-for-alabama-at-wide-receivers-coach/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:21:46 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56186 Although three names are in the mix to coach wide receivers at the University of Alabama, two individuals are being highly considered. Lance Taylor, who played receiver at Alabama from 1999 to 2003 and was a graduate assistant under Nick Saban from 2007-08, is one of the names.  He had two stints with the Carolina Panthers of […]]]>

Although three names are in the mix to coach wide receivers at the University of Alabama, two individuals are being highly considered. Lance Taylor, who played receiver at Alabama from 1999 to 2003 and was a graduate assistant under Nick Saban from 2007-08, is one of the names. 

He had two stints with the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League and was exceptional in getting guys to work with Cam Newton. Should Taylor not be rewarded the opportunity to return to his Alma mater, watch Holmon Wiggins of Virginia Tech.  

He has become the rising name in the conversation to replace Josh Gattis, who accepted an offensive coordinator position at University of Michigan, and has a lot of experience. 

RELATED: Charles Huff expected to be hired as running backs’ coach

Wiggins has served seven years coaching receivers from 2012 to 2018 at both Memphis and Virginia Tech.

A native of Los Angeles, Calif., he was under Justin Fuente as head coach for both schools and mentored 13 players to total at least 500 yards receiving between the two. Despite having to grow a roster of young talent for the Hokies, Wiggins tutored a 1,000-yard weapon in Isaiah Ford in 2016. He finished with 1,094 yards receiving with seven touchdowns on 79 receptions. Wiggins would help six others generate 500-plus yards as pass catchers. 

At Memphis, he was pivotal in the development of Anthony Miller. 

Before becoming a two-time 1,400-yard target in 2016 and 2017, Wiggins paced Miller to 694 receiving yards with five scores on 47 catches in 2015. Prior to leaving for Virginia Tech, he guided six wide outs from the Tigers to at least 500 yards.  

All 500-yard WRs under Wiggins

Isaiah Ford, VA Tech (1,094 yards, in 2016)

Cam Phillips, VA Tech (983 yards, in 2016; 964 yards, in 2017)

Bucky Hodges, VA Tech (691 yards, in 2016)

Damon Hazleton, VA Tech (802 yards, in 2018)

Eric Kumah, VA Tech (559 yards, in 2018)

Tre Turner, VA Tech (535 yards, in 2018)

Marcus Rucker, Memphis (525 yards, in 2012)

Keiwone Malone, Memphis (555 yards, in 2014)

Mose Frazier, Memphis (506 yards, in 2014; 799 yards, in 2015)

Anthony Miller, Memphis (694 yards, in 2015)

Phil Mayhue, Memphis (670 yards, in 2015)

Upon looking at Alabama, all of its big-play guys return. 

Jerry Jeudy will be back as a junior, following his 1,000-yard (1,315) campaign that ended with him winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award last season. The trio of Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle all finished with over 500 yards and averaged over 16 yards per reception. 

Wiggins fits perfectly in Tuscaloosa, but we’ll see what happens. It is down to him, Taylor, and possibly Butch Jones for receivers’ coach.

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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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Reggie Ragland exhausts everything for Chiefs in tough AFC title game loss https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/20/reggie-ragland-exhausts-everything-for-chiefs-in-tough-afc-title-game-loss/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 04:04:38 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56180 He gave his all in four seasons with the University of Alabama from 2012 to 2015, and Reggie Ragland exhausted everything on Sunday in a 37-31 loss for Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game against New England.  It was Patrick Mahomes II and the Chiefs offense that was mostly recognized for getting the franchise […]]]>

He gave his all in four seasons with the University of Alabama from 2012 to 2015, and Reggie Ragland exhausted everything on Sunday in a 37-31 loss for Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game against New England. 

It was Patrick Mahomes II and the Chiefs offense that was mostly recognized for getting the franchise deep into the postseason; however, Ragland and his teammates on defense did experience moments of brilliant play.

A native Huntsville, Ala., Ragland turned in his second interception of the season and first of his career in the playoffs, when he picked off Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter.

His efforts would fuel a matchup that went into overtime to decide a champion and a challenger to face the Rams in Super Bowl 53. 

RELATED: Former Alabama safety Mark Barron headed to first-ever Super Bowl

Ragland’s 12 total tackles was good for second on the team. 

He finishes the season with 98 tackles – second on Chiefs – three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and two interceptions.

Since being traded to Kansas City from Buffalo in 2017, Ragland has felt at home at Arrowhead Stadium in his second season. While former Tide standouts Mark Barron and Dont’a Hightower will meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta two weeks from now, Ragland waits for his opportunity at a Super Bowl very soon. 

He was a two-time national champion (2012, 2015), a unanimous All-American (2015) and Defensive Player of the Year for the Southeastern Conference in 2015 for Alabama football.

*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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Former Alabama safety Mark Barron headed to first-ever Super Bowl https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/20/former-alabama-safety-mark-barron-headed-to-first-ever-super-bowl/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 23:59:24 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56176 Head coach Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are sick to their stomachs following a loss to the Los Angeles Rams, which featured multiple calls that did not go to the Saints.  Despite the disappoint in a 26-23 overtime defeat at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, one of the first ambassadors of Together Assisting People under founder, Chris Rogers, […]]]>

Head coach Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are sick to their stomachs following a loss to the Los Angeles Rams, which featured multiple calls that did not go to the Saints. 

Despite the disappoint in a 26-23 overtime defeat at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, one of the first ambassadors of Together Assisting People under founder, Chris Rogers, is heading to his first-ever Super Bowl.

For Mark Barron, the former University of Alabama safety captured an NFC Championship and will represent the crimson and white in Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 as a member of the Rams.

RELATED: Rams defense to depend much on LB Mark Barron in 2018 NFL season 

A former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL Draft, Barron has been with the Rams since 2014 and has become a stalwart at inside linebacker. He posted nine total tackles – including seven solo stops versus New Orleans. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound enforcer was exceptional in run support, limiting the Saints to 48 yards rushing on 21 carries. 

Mark Ingram, another Crimson Tide product, could not get loose as Barron rendered him to just 31 yards on nine attempts. His nine stops were a season-high for him in 2018, while giving him eight games (regular season and playoffs) where he totaled at least six tackles.  

While much of the credit goes to the 32-year-old genius in Sean McVay, Barron knows a lot about performing well in marquee games. He was a two-time BCS national champion at Alabama (2009, 2011) and two weeks from now, the 29-year-old will have an opportunity to add Super Bowl champion to his resume.

*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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Projected two-deep depth chart for Alabama’s offense in 2019 https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/20/projected-two-deep-depth-chart-for-alabamas-offense-in-2019/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 21:29:55 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56168 For the first time under Nick Saban, the University of Alabama football program was more noticed on offense than defense throughout the 2018 season.  With a first-year starting quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide averaged 45.6 points and 522 yards offensively per game – en route to totaling at least 50 points in eight of 15 […]]]>

For the first time under Nick Saban, the University of Alabama football program was more noticed on offense than defense throughout the 2018 season. 

With a first-year starting quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide averaged 45.6 points and 522 yards offensively per game – en route to totaling at least 50 points in eight of 15 matchups and 60 points in two games.

Tagovailoa became the fourth 3,000-yard passer of the Saban era (3,966) and earned recognition as a Heisman finalist and consensus All-American. 

RELATED: Projected two-deep depth chart for Alabama football on defense in 2019

As for the Tide receiving unit, five players accounted for at least 500 yards – including Jerry Jeudy, who led the team with 1,315 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. He was the recipient of the Fred Biletnikoff Award and was also regarded a consensus All-American for his efforts. 

Despite the success, Alabama lost four offensive assistants to different jobs after not defending its title as national champions. Saban is currently putting together a staff to avenge his loss to Clemson, but for now, we look at the two-deep depth chart for the Tide’s offense. 

 

 

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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 football: Charles Huff expected to be hired as running backs coach https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/20/alabamafootballcharleshuff/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 18:31:11 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56163 Alabama football has always been known for having an incredible stable of running backs, and now it looks like these backs may have a new leader. According to multiple sources, Nick Saban is on the verge of hiring a new running backs coach to replace Joe Pannunzio in Tuscaloosa. Pannunzio has coached running backs since […]]]>

Alabama football has always been known for having an incredible stable of running backs, and now it looks like these backs may have a new leader.

According to multiple sources, Nick Saban is on the verge of hiring a new running backs coach to replace Joe Pannunzio in Tuscaloosa. Pannunzio has coached running backs since Burton Burns moved to an off field role, but now it looks like Charles Huff may be his replacement.

RELATED https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/18/alabama-football-coaches/

Charles Huff has been the running backs coach at Mississippi State since December 1, 2017. He was also running backs coach at Penn State when Saquon Barkley was carrying the ball for the Nittany Lions. This hire is absolutely huge for Alabama. Charles Huff will be tasked with getting Alabama’s run game back to top form, and there’s no question that he is the man for the job. We will keep you updated as we learn more on all these changes to the Alabama football staff.

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Stay tuned to tdalabamamag.com for all your Alabama football and recruiting news, updates, and analysis. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TDAlabamaMag

Ricky Green is a writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @rickylamargreen

 

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Alabama signees compete in Polynesian Bowl; Tagovailo wins HS POY https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/20/alabama-signees-compete-in-polynesian-bowl-tagovailo-wins-hs-poy/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 15:54:38 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56146 Five Alabama signees competed in the Polynesian Bowl on Saturday in Hawaii and all showed a small sample of what they can do. Taulia Tagovailoa, DeMarcco Hellams, Khris Bogle, Trey Sanders and Jahleel Billingsley represented Alabama. Bogle and Sanders suited up for Team Makai and Hellams, Billingsley and Tagovailoa suited up for Team Mauka. Team […]]]>

Five Alabama signees competed in the Polynesian Bowl on Saturday in Hawaii and all showed a small sample of what they can do.

Taulia Tagovailoa, DeMarcco Hellams, Khris Bogle, Trey Sanders and Jahleel Billingsley represented Alabama. Bogle and Sanders suited up for Team Makai and Hellams, Billingsley and Tagovailoa suited up for Team Mauka. Team Makai won 27-7.

Tagovailoa finished 13-of-24 for 266 yards and one touchdown. He also threw two interceptions.

The Hawaiin native was awarded the High School Polynesian Co-Player of the year award on Saturday. The award is awarded annually to the best high school football player of Polynesian ancestry.

Hellams, a 2019 defensive back, spent most of the game at the safety position. He made a couple of tackles and showed he can play pretty much anywhere in the defensive backfield.

Billingsley, a 2019 tightend, caught one pass for 20 yards, which he got a chance to show he is a receiving tight end first. One of his passing targets did result in a Tagovailoa interception. Bogle, a weak-side defensive end, may have been the most impressive of the five as he accounted for multiple tackles and showed his ability to set the edge.

Trey Sanders, Tide 5-Star RB signee, got a chance to show his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and tenacious running style. Although, his only touchdown was called back for a penalty.

This is the last high school football game for all five recruits. The next time they suit up will be in Tuscaloosa.

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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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PODCAST: Nick Saban hits reset button on staff; putting strong group together https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/19/podcast-nick-saban-hits-reset-button-on-staff-putting-strong-group-together/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 01:50:49 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56140 He does not lose often, so when he does fall, Nick Saban returns stronger than ever for the following season. After taking a crushing loss to Clemson, the six-time national champion at the University of Alabama decided to hit reset on the coaching staff.  RELATED: UA expected to hire Charles Kelly of Tennessee on coaching staff While […]]]>

He does not lose often, so when he does fall, Nick Saban returns stronger than ever for the following season. After taking a crushing loss to Clemson, the six-time national champion at the University of Alabama decided to hit reset on the coaching staff. 

RELATED: UA expected to hire Charles Kelly of Tennessee on coaching staff

While some have moved on to new jobs, Saban has interviewed and is expected to hire individuals on staff that under the Bama way and intend on delivering what the head coach and this fan base desires.

No announcement has come from the Crimson Tide’s athletics department on who has been hired; however, reports and rumors are flying around on certain names. 

On Saturday’s airing of In My Own Words, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine discusses the coaching carousel and the names Saban is expected to hire. 

You can check out the video podcast below.

You can also check out the audio version of podcast on SoundCloud.

*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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Projected two-deep depth chart for Alabama football on defense in 2019 https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/19/projected-two-deep-depth-chart-for-alabama-football-on-defense-in-2019/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 23:19:30 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56134 As Quinnen Williams projects as the No. 1 overall pick for the upcoming NFL Draft and a few more choosing to leave with him for the professional level, the University of Alabama begins to locate different players that will step up and continue positive consistency for next season.  Despite not defending its title as national champions, head […]]]>

As Quinnen Williams projects as the No. 1 overall pick for the upcoming NFL Draft and a few more choosing to leave with him for the professional level, the University of Alabama begins to locate different players that will step up and continue positive consistency for next season. 

Despite not defending its title as national champions, head coach Nick Saban is prepared for another strong run and he has the experience and talent to do it. While most Crimson Tide fans are excited for the return of spring practice in March, we here at Touchdown Alabama Magazine have already started a projected two-deep depth chart on offensive and defense for 2019. 

Listed below is the defensive version. 

Defensive End 

Raekwon Davis 

Antonio Alfano 

Summary: After not having the junior year he was expected to have, it was a smart move on Raekwon Davis to return for next fall. The 6-foot-7, 316-pound witnessed a decrease in his production for total tackles (55), tackles for loss (5.5) and sack (1.5), following a stellar performance as a sophomore in 2017.

With Quinnen Williams and Isaiah Buggs both heading for the NFL Draft, Davis will get another chance to prove he’s a big-play talent and leader. 

Antonio Alfano, a five-star defensive end, needs a little more weight on him; however, he is going to get opportunities at 6-foot-5 to be a huge part of the rotation. Hailing from New Jersey, he signed his letter of intent for Alabama and wants to be the next playmaking candidate on the defensive line.

Alfano did one television interview in particular with a No. 99 jersey on so, he is really looking forward to learning from the Mississippian – Raekwon Davis. 

Defensive Tackle 

Phidarian Mathis 

Christian Barmore/D.J. Dale 

Summary: Phidarian Mathis got much-needed playing in rotating in for Quinnen Williams and the redshirt freshman from Louisiana totaled 18 stops in 2018 at defensive tackle. 

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder is strong inside, but also possesses the ability to shed offensive linemen and run plays down from behind. His initial steps to generate negative plays are quick; however, Mathis has to continue keeping his pad level low to frustrate opposing fronts. 

Christian Barmore and D.J. Dale will battle for second-string. 

Barmore, a redshirt freshman, encountered early struggled in practice last season, but started to understand more of the system down the stretch. Listed at 6’5” and 292 pounds, the four-star from Pennsylvania was listed at No. 75 on the ESPN 300 out of high school in the 2018 class. 

Dale, a four-star defensive tackle, comes in at 330 pounds. A product of Clay-Chalkville High School in Pinson, Ala., Dale is one of the guys pushing for a starting job from the 2019 class. 

He may have to drop five pounds to improve his quickness, but Williams sees Dale as a “freak” and believes he is ready to make an immediate impact.  

Defensive End 

LaBryan Ray 

Stephon Wynn  

Summary: He has whetted the taste buds of Tide fans in the last two years, but LaBryan Ray will have the full beast come out next season. As he has grown to 294 pounds, the rising junior is among team leaders in tackles for loss (six) and totaled 2.5 sacks through 15 games. 

Ray also chimed in with two pass breakups and two quarterback pressures, and according to Rudy Griffin of Hewitt-Trussville High School, the defensive coordinator and former Alabama defensive lineman compared the James Clemons High School product to Terrell Suggs. 

“He’s got that quick-twitch pass rush ability,” Griffin said of Ray. 

Stephon Wynn has dropped eight pounds – 308 to 299 – since arriving to the University of Alabama for the 2018 class, but he is still a monster at 6-foot-4. The native of South Carolina recorded three tackles last season and is ready for more production once spring ball starts. 

As a four-star, he was one of the top defensive end prospects.  

Wynn totaled 13.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in his sophomore and junior seasons at T.L. Hanna High School, before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior year.  

SAM (Strong-side LB) 

Anfernee Jennings 

Christopher Allen 

Summary: Anfernee Jennings came to life during the middle portion of 2018, following his return from a knee injury in the 2017 College Football Playoff semifinal versus Clemson. 

He collected 50 total tackles – including 13 stops for loss and 5.5 sacks. 

Jennings also posted a team-high 11 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups, one interception and one fumble recovery for a touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 266-pounder has the size and strength to set the edge against the run, while possessing the speed and hand strength to affect quarterbacks. 

RELATED: Anfernee Jennings’ return to UA makes OLB room most dangerous in CFB

His decision to return brings experience and depth at strong-side linebacker. 

Christopher Allen, a five-star from the 2017 class, was tearing it up in spring practice prior to a knee injury in the summer of 2018. Hailing from Baton Rouge, La., he has big-time edge rusher and run stuffer written on him, if he can stay healthy going into next fall.  

MIKE (Middle LB) 

Dylan Moses 

Joshua McMillion/Markail Benton 

Summary: Mack Wilson’s departure to the NFL Draft hands the keys of Alabama’s defense to Dylan Moses, who is already prepared to take over. Moses had a better year than Wilson last season, totaling a team-high 86 tackles and having 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. 

He was a finalist for the Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker) and Moses is also someone that takes film study seriously.

With the Baton Rouge native setting everyone in order, expect Alabama to not only get back to the CFP, but to win it all next season under Nick Saban. 

Joshua McMillon and Markail Benton are both talented. 

The duo each turned in 14 tackles, with McMillion having more solo stops (11). Benton, a native of Phoenix City, Ala., has more athleticism, but McMillon has been in the system longer. 

It will be a battle to see which one comes behind Moses. 

WILL (Weakside LB) 

Ale Kaho 

Jaylen Moody 

Summary: Ale Kaho’s time is now. 

Teammates like him, coaches are drawn to how he processes things, and he has the build/intelligence that rivals former Alabama linebacker, C.J. Mosley. 

He was a massive weapon on special teams, but Kaho’s quickness fits the Tide perfectly at weakside linebacker in base 3-4 alignment, nickel and dime formations. 

Like Kaho, Jaylen Moody is a natural head buster. 

He was added on late to the 2018 class, but the three-star from South Carolina did a lot of good things on special teams and has great potential at either weakside or middle linebacker. 

Moody is bigger than Kaho at 230 pounds – Kaho at 218 pounds – but he is positioned at weakside here, due to his quickness as well. 

JACK (Rush LB) 

Terrell Lewis 

Eyabi Anoma 

Summary:  All that Tide fans want is one season with Terrell Lewis healthy. 

He can affect the passing game and rushing attack of opposition, but he can he do it at full strength for one year?

All hopes rest on that.

Lewis returns for the 2019 season after missing the entire 2018 campaign with a knee injury.

The former five-star from Washington, D.C. native is a big play waiting to happen at 6-5 and 256 pounds, but he has to perform with availability. 

Lewis at full strength grants the Tide a defense that no one wants to face. 

For Eyabi Anoma, the comparisons for him have been as low as Tim Williams to as high as Derrick Thomas. He has the capabilities to reach his full potential as a five-star from Maryland in the 2018 signing class. He has to continue to get stronger; however, he’s a growing specialist. 

CB (Left) 

Trevon Diggs 

Josh Jobe 

Summary: Alabama’s secondary gained a huge shot in the arm, when Trevon Diggs announced via social media that he was returning for his senior year. He missed nine games of the 2018 campaign after suffering a foot injury against Arkansas.

The 6-foot-2, 199-pound cornerback had a team-high six pass breakups before the mishap, but has a chance to put it all together next fall. 

Josh Jobe, a rising sophomore, was one of three talented corners signed in 2018; joining Patrick Surtain II and Jalyn Armour-Davis. He got on the field in the national title game versus Clemson and did a decent job in the absence of Saivion Smith. Another year in the system should bode well for him as he continues to improve his craft.

Jobe is a four-star from Miami, Fla. 

CB (Right)

Patrick Surtain II 

Jalyn Armour-Davis/Nigel Knott 

Summary:  It has a ton of depth returning to the secondary – especially at corner — but Patrick Surtain II is one of the leaders for the Tide. As a true freshman, he was selected to the All-Freshman Team for the Southeastern Conference, Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America.

The Florida native turned in 37 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and one interception. Despite a rough performance against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, it was the lone game where Surtain was attack throughout the matchup. 

Jalyn Armour-Davis is going to be great in the fall, but he’ll have to battle Nigel Knott for backup corner on the right side.

Armour-Davis, a four-star from Mobile, Ala., sustained an injury earlier in the season that prevent him from coming on the field in 2018. He was one of the nation’s top cornerback prospects, but so was Knott (4-star) in 2016 out of Madison, Miss.  

This will be a matchup to watch. 

Star (Nickel) 

Kyriq McDonald 

Nigel Knott 

Summary: Shyheim Carter owned this position a season ago, but Kyriq McDonald has the playmaking skills to serve in the role next fall.

McDonald, a three-star from James Clemon High School in Madison, Ala., saw action in 11 games and had seven tackles as a redshirt freshman. 

He came as one of the best defensive backs and athletes in the 2017 class and at 5-11/197 pounds, McDonald has the ideal size of a nickel corner. His quickness is good enough to play in the slot and he has a good feel for breaking on passes to generate turnovers.  

If he can’t serve in that spot, watch for Nigel Knott. 

Money (Dime) 

Jared Mayden 

Daniel Wright 

Summary: Aside from him getting called for targeting versus Auburn, this is the ideal position for Jared Mayden moving forward. He presents himself as a natural thumper and in dime he can perform the role across the formation. Hailing from Texas, Mayden tallied 18 tackles, including one tackle for loss and one sack in 2018. He has accounted for two pass breakups in 13 games. 

Daniel Wright played in just four games, but he had to have surgery to repair a labrum in his shoulder.

He faced suspension via the coaching staff, yet he remains one of the better defensive backs on the roster as a returning junior. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, the Florida native came into the 2017 class as one of the top safety prospects out of Boyd Anderson High School. 

He quickly made a name for himself as a killer on punt and kickoff coverage, so he can transition into be a thumper in the secondary.  

SS (Strong safety) 

Xavier McKinney 

Jared Mayden 

Summary: Xavier McKinney filled up the stat sheet and showed that can be a better coverage defender, rather than being just a big-time hitter. The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder finished with 74 total tackles (third on team), six tackles for loss, three sacks, 10 breakups (tied for second), two quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and two interceptions through 15 games in 2018. 

At times, the native Georgian mimicked the big-play abilities of Minkah Fitzpatrick. 

Mayden lies behind McKinney. Should things not work in dime, he can be an enforcer at strong safety on run plays and be a secure tackler on pass patters across the middle.  

FS (Free safety) 

Shyheim Carter 

Daniel Wright 

Summary: With Deionte Thompson gone to the NFL Draft, this is the best spot for Shyheim Carter to dominate when spring ball returns. The 6-foot, 195-pounder from Louisiana provided fans and media personnel with much tape of him defending the elite receivers from all angles. 

He took off late in the 2018 season, including a masterful showing versus Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta. Carter recorded 44 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups (tied for second) and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. 

He has the ideal range of a free safety. 

Regardless of him being more of a thumper right now, Daniel Wright can grow into becoming a valuable defender in coverage. Like Carter, he has the wingspan to force quarterback into throwing perfect passes against him.

Wright must continue to learn, but he fits here too.

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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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Report: UA expected to hire Charles Kelly of Tennessee on coaching staff https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/19/report-ua-expected-to-hire-charles-kelly-of-tennessee-on-coaching-staff/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 21:23:33 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56119 More news on the coaching carousel has arrived this weekend.  While the University of Alabama is expected to hire Sal Sunseri and Jimmy Lake on defense, news has been reported on Charles Kelly of Tennessee joining Nick Saban’s staff.  Tim Watts of 247Sports (BamaOnline) was first to break the information, as Kelly served as special teams’ coordinator and safeties […]]]>

More news on the coaching carousel has arrived this weekend. 

While the University of Alabama is expected to hire Sal Sunseri and Jimmy Lake on defense, news has been reported on Charles Kelly of Tennessee joining Nick Saban’s staff. 

Tim Watts of 247Sports (BamaOnline) was first to break the information, as Kelly served as special teams’ coordinator and safeties coach for the Volunteers. Prior to Tennessee, the native of Ozark, Ala., was a defensive coordinator at Florida State University from 2014 to 2017. He produced marquee defensive backs in Jalen Ramsey, Tarvarius McFadden and Derwin James.

For now, Karl Scott is still on the Crimson Tide’s roster as defensive backs coach and the players seems to like him a lot. According to sources, Saban is more than likely to have Scott coach cornerbacks and Kelly take safeties while having a co-defensive coordinator tag.

Also with the 57-year-old approaching retirement, Kelly can provide Saban’s staff with continuity for three years.

In continuing with sources, Touchdown Alabama Magazine was told Kelly understands that he is more of a position coach/coordinator and is not looking for a bigger role. 

With news on Jimmy Lake of Washington dying down, Pete Golding is the ideal name to run the Tide’s defense in 2019.

Saban and the players really like the Louisiana native. The 35-year-old has plenty of experience as a coordinator at Tusculum College (2007-09), Delta State (2010-11), Southeastern Louisiana (2012-13) and University of Texas-San Antonio (2016-17).

Under Kelly, Tennessee had nine interceptions in 2018 for 124 return yards – including two for touchdowns.

We’ll see what happens between he and Scott where safeties are concerned. 

Continue to follow tdalabamamag.com for more updates.

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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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Anfernee Jennings’ return to UA makes OLB room most dangerous in CFB https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/18/anfernee-jennings-return-to-ua-makes-olb-room-most-dangerous-in-cfb/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 04:20:08 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56115 For a moment, imagine how menacing Alabama football would be on defense if Anfernee Jennings, Terrell Lewis and Christopher Allen all were healthy for a whole season.  The dream can be a reality for Crimson Tide fans, as the trio returns next fall.  Jennings and Lewis displayed raw emotion out of respect for one another […]]]>

For a moment, imagine how menacing Alabama football would be on defense if Anfernee Jennings, Terrell Lewis and Christopher Allen all were healthy for a whole season. 

The dream can be a reality for Crimson Tide fans, as the trio returns next fall. 

Jennings and Lewis displayed raw emotion out of respect for one another after the College Football Playoff National Championship win over Georgia, to end the 2017 season. 

Both could have decided to turn professional; however, the bash brothers want one final year to create havoc on college football and go out together.

Jennings and Lewis are freakish athletes and during 2018, the former showed how great he can be when at full strength. 

RELATED: Anfernee Jennings gives update on Terrell Lewis, talks chemistry with OLBs

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 266 pounds, Jennings finished the season among the team leaders in total tackles (50), tackles for loss (13) and sacks (5.5). He recorded a team-high 11 pass breakups with six quarterback hurries, one interception and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

His strength on the edge allowed him to affect opposing quarterbacks in more ways than one.

While he presents himself as an exceptional pass rusher, Jennings’ long arms and big hands can disrupt passing lanes – causing batted passes. 

He was not himself during the first part of the 2018 season due to a knee injury; nevertheless, Jennings returned to form late in the year. His decision to come back for a senior season brings experience and depth to an outside linebacker position that can be the best in the nation. 

Pairing him back with Lewis, Allen, Eyabi Anoma, and rising sophomores Cameron Latu and Jarez Parks spells nothing but trouble for offenses. This group still needs the coach to put in game-changing situations, but Jennings makes the outside ‘backer’ room scary in 2019.

*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 expected to hire Kyle Flood; Sal Sunseri https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/18/alabama-expected-to-hire-kyle-food-sal-sunseri/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 21:09:06 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56101 Alabama is expected to hire Kyle Flood and Sal Sinseri, according TDA’s Stephen M. Smith. Flood is expected to come in and serve as the offensive line coach and Sunseri’s role is uncertain at the moment. Flood served as the head coach of Rutgers from 2012-2015. His next stint as a coach was with the […]]]>

Alabama is expected to hire Kyle Flood and Sal Sinseri, according TDA’s Stephen M. Smith.

Flood is expected to come in and serve as the offensive line coach and Sunseri’s role is uncertain at the moment.

Flood served as the head coach of Rutgers from 2012-2015. His next stint as a coach was with the Atlanta Falcons. He coached the offensive line in Atlanta for one season.

Sunseri last coach stint was at the University of Florida. He coached the defensive line. He served on Alabama’s staff from 2009 to 2011 as a linebackers coach. Although his position is unclear at the moment, he will most likely served as a coach on the defensive side of the ball.

Sunseri’s son, Vinnie Sunseri, is also expected to join the Tide’s staff.

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Alabama football: Coaches coming and going…Updated https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/18/alabama-football-coaches/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:18:51 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56088 The Alabama football coaching staff will need a major reshuffle for the second consecutive year. Can Nick Saban once again assemble a championship winning staff in Tuscaloosa? It’s that time of year. The post season madness has officially begun. After replacing both coordinators and several position coaches at the conclusion of the 2017 season, Nick […]]]>

The Alabama football coaching staff will need a major reshuffle for the second consecutive year. Can Nick Saban once again assemble a championship winning staff in Tuscaloosa?

It’s that time of year. The post season madness has officially begun. After replacing both coordinators and several position coaches at the conclusion of the 2017 season, Nick Saban has to do it all over again. Here, we will take a look at what we are hearing as it pertains to Alabama football staff changes.

 

 

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Ricky Green is a writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @rickylamargreen

UPDATE:

We’ve just learned that at this point, Kyle Flood is expected to be named offensive line coach at Alabama. Also, Sal Sunseri is expected to return Alabama to coach either the defensive line or outside linebackers.

 

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Who has enrolled into the University of Alabama? https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/18/who-has-enrolled-into-the-university-of-alabama/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:28:02 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=55759 The University of Alabama has began its Spring semester and several of the Tide’s 2019 signees are enrolled are plan to enroll this semester. The Tide had four early enrollees in the 2018 recruiting class. That class ended with 21 players. The Tide’s 2019 class surpassed that number during the early signing period with 23 […]]]>

The University of Alabama has began its Spring semester and several of the Tide’s 2019 signees are enrolled are plan to enroll this semester.

The Tide had four early enrollees in the 2018 recruiting class. That class ended with 21 players. The Tide’s 2019 class surpassed that number during the early signing period with 23 signees. Those that have enroll early are looking to get a jump on their collegiate academic and athletic career.

“Enrolling early will allow me to get my degree faster.” Alabama linebacker commit, Shane Lee, told Touchdown Alabama in October. “I will also have a chance to learn the defense and be ahead of the game.”

RELATED: Shane Lee equipped to make early impact.

There are other early enrollees that have much bigger aspirations. The Tide’s kicker enrollee, Will Reichard, wants to come in and compete for a starting kicker spot right away and considering the fact that the Tide’s lacks of consistency in that department it is not out of the question.

“I want to be able to get there in January, so I can go through spring practice,” Reichard told Touchdown Alabama in December. “I want to get use to the workout program, that way I can practice in the spring and summer and win the job.” 

Tide fans will most likely get their first look at these guys in action once Spring practice starts and will hopefully get to see them compete in the Spring game. This also means that Nick Saban and his staff will get a chance to drill the process in this players’ mind early and often. For 4-Star quarterback, Paul Tyson, this is why he chose the Tide.

“I just want to grow as a person and be the best student athlete I can be at the University,” Tyson said in December.

The recruits that are enrolled into the University of Alabama are as listed:

5-Star OL Evan Neal

5-Star DL Antionio Alfano

4-Star LB Shane Lee

4-Star DB Jeffrey Carter

4-Star DL Justin Eboigbe

4-Star OL Amari Kight

4-Star OL Tanner Bowles

4-Star WR John Metchie

4-Star OL Pierce Quick

4-Star QB Paul Tyson

4-Star DL DJ Dale

4-Star DL Kevin Harris

4-Star OL Darrian Dalcourt

3-Star K Will Reichard

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

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Former Tide QB Jalen Hurts takes to Oklahoma as transfer school https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/17/former-tide-qb-jalen-hurts-takes-to-oklahoma-as-transfer-school/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 01:58:11 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56080 He announced his decision on Wednesday via The Players’ Tribune, and while Alabama fans don’t like the fact of Jalen Hurts going to Oklahoma, they have come to respect it.  For three seasons, he turned in strong numbers and showed the character, determination and integrity that embodies the University of Alabama. Hurts, a native Texan, […]]]>

He announced his decision on Wednesday via The Players’ Tribune, and while Alabama fans don’t like the fact of Jalen Hurts going to Oklahoma, they have come to respect it. 

For three seasons, he turned in strong numbers and showed the character, determination and integrity that embodies the University of Alabama.

Hurts, a native Texan, was a part of two Southeastern Conference championship teams – including a 35-28 comeback victory over Georgia in 2018, which he engineered at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.  

RELATED: Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma

Hurts now joins forces with Lincoln Riley in the Big 12 and has an opportunity to do what both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have accomplished: win a Heisman Trophy.  

As an improved quarterback, the former four-star has a chance to win the starting job for the Sooners and navigate the program back to the College Football Playoff.  

In Thursday’s airing of In My Own Words, Stephen Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine recaps Hurts’ decision and goes into the returning pieces that he’ll work with next fall.  

You can check out the audio version of the podcast below.

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

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

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Former Tide safety returns to program as graduate assistant https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/17/former-tide-safety-returns-to-program-as-graduate-assistant/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 01:33:42 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56077 For his next run of multiple national championships, Nick Saban is bringing in people that thoroughly understand and have been around Alabama football.  While the rumors of Bo Davis and Lance Thompson returning to the program continue to generate interest on social media, a former player has already decided to come home.  Per a report from Matt Zenitz of AL.com, […]]]>

For his next run of multiple national championships, Nick Saban is bringing in people that thoroughly understand and have been around Alabama football. 

While the rumors of Bo Davis and Lance Thompson returning to the program continue to generate interest on social media, a former player has already decided to come home. 

Per a report from Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Vinnie Sunseri is expected to serve as a defensive graduate assistant on Saban’s staff. The 25-year-old played under Saban for the Crimson Tide from 2011-13, following his recruitment as a three-star from Northridge High School. 

Coming from a solid program in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was not the most physically imposing player at 6-feet, but he was an exceptional student of the game. As the son of a coach, Sunseri was gifted in dissecting plays, having teammates in the right spots and tracking the football. 

RELATED: Where will Butch Jones end up on Nick Saban’s coaching staff?

He turned in 104 career tackles as a safety, while posting seven pass breakups and four interceptions – including two returned for touchdowns. His junior year was cut short in 2013, due to a serious knee injury.

Sunseri was pivotal on two BCS national championship teams (2011, 2012) and a Southeastern Conference title squad in 2012. Despite not having much success in the National Football League, he was taken in the fifth round of the 2014 draft by the New Orleans Saints.  

Sunseri spent three years in the league with New Orleans, New England and San Francisco. 

He posted a photo to Twitter on Wednesday, showing a sign that he’s back. Former Alabama gymnastics head coach, Sarah Patterson took notice immediately and is very excited. 

A once Tide standout has returned to mold the next generation of talent.

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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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WATCH: Alabama football thanks Jalen Hurts https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/17/watch-alabama-football-thanks-jalen-hurts/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 23:45:34 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56074 Alabama football thanked former Tide quarterback, Jalen Hurts, for his contributions to their program with a memorable video on Thursday. For every pass, every run, every game winner. Thank you Jalen. @JalenHurts #OutworkYesterday#RollTide pic.twitter.com/w4rXJaFSgI — Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 17, 2019]]>

Alabama football thanked former Tide quarterback, Jalen Hurts, for his contributions to their program with a memorable video on Thursday.

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Where will Butch Jones end up on Nick Saban’s coaching staff? https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/16/where-will-butch-jones-end-up-on-nick-sabans-coaching-staff/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 03:42:05 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56063 Looks like the plane trip to Maryland for Butch Jones was good enough to get him a cup of coffee with Michael Locksley, because according to a report from ESPN, the 51-year-old has returned to the University of Alabama and is expected to be on the coaching staff for 2019.  Despite earlier reports that linked […]]]>

Looks like the plane trip to Maryland for Butch Jones was good enough to get him a cup of coffee with Michael Locksley, because according to a report from ESPN, the 51-year-old has returned to the University of Alabama and is expected to be on the coaching staff for 2019. 

Despite earlier reports that linked Jones to the Terrapins, he may become either an on-field coach or senior analyst for the Crimson Tide next season. Seeing how Lance Taylor, former Alabama standout and wide receivers’ coach for the Carolina Panthers, continues to be the main name in the conversation to replace Josh Gattis — Jones may take over as running backs’ coach. 

Other rumors have floated on Joe Pannunzio possibly being moved to an off-field role. 

Should Jones be positioned with the Tide’s backs, he does have prior experience at Ferris State (1995) and Central Michigan in 2000 and 2004. He recruited multiple talented rushers to the University of Tennessee as head coach, including the likes of Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara. 

RELATED: Butch Jones to join Mike Locksley’s coaching staff at Maryland

If Taylor is called upon to coach running backs – seeing his experience with Heisman finalist, Christian McCaffrey at Stanford in 2015 – then look for Jones to work with wide receivers. 

Like Taylor, Jones has experience with wide outs too. 

He coached the position at Central Michigan (1999) and West Virginia from 2005-06, while producing an NFL superstar in Antonio Brown in 2009 as head coach of the Chippewas.  

It will be interesting to see where Jones ends up on the roster.

*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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Jalen Hurts. The man, the myth and the inspiration. https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/16/jalen-hurts-the-man-the-myth-and-the-inspiration/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 03:03:16 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56047 The University of Alabama has adopted the slogan “Where Legends Are Made” and Alabama football has produced its fair share of legends. From Julio Jones to Joe Namath, the Crimson Tide has produced legendary players, who have place their stamp on the sport of football. However, the latest addition to this legend’s club did not […]]]>

The University of Alabama has adopted the slogan “Where Legends Are Made” and Alabama football has produced its fair share of legends. From Julio Jones to Joe Namath, the Crimson Tide has produced legendary players, who have place their stamp on the sport of football. However, the latest addition to this legend’s club did not only get this status for his on the field talents, but for his off the field moments.

The story that has surrounded Jalen Hurts since Jan. 8, 2018 was the fact that he was replaced in the fourth quarter of the 2018 National Championship game by his backup, Tua Tagovailoa, who went on to lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback win and their 17th National Championship. A story that is sometimes over look is deads like the one Hurts did during that off season. Of course, He trained to compete for Alabama’s starting quarterback job, but he also took a trip along with former Alabama linebacker, Mack Wilson, to rural Alabama.

The duo took a trip to Perry County, which is in the heart of the poverty-striken black-belt area to offer their own sense of motivation to the youth and the counties’ citizens. The faces of the young and old were filled with glow and admiration to see the well known collegiate athletes in their own backyard.

This moment was just one of the many memorable moments Hurts had off the field. He continued to use his name and brand to impact the lives of others. From attending proms to surprised pop ups, his generosity would flood social media well into the season and throughout it.

UA employee, Denise Albritton, was one of the lucky ones on the receiving end of Hurts’ generosity. Her excitement easily painted the picture of what Hurts means to many.

If one was to ask Hurts why he does these type of things he will attributed it to people getting their just due.

“I am big on giving back,” Hurts said. “I didn’t get here by myself. There are a lot of people back home that have had an impact on me. Being able to give back and give others their just due means a lot.”

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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Report: Tosh Lupoi hired to Cleveland Browns as defensive line coach https://tdalabamamag.com/2019/01/16/report-tosh-lupoi-hired-to-cleveland-browns-as-defensive-line-coach/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 01:33:37 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=56049 After five seasons at Alabama and four as an on-field assistant, Tosh Lupoi is leaving the Crimson Tide and is headed to the Cleveland Browns as its defensive line coach. News came from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, as Nick Saban will be in search of a defensive coordinator for a second straight season. He started in 2014 as […]]]>

After five seasons at Alabama and four as an on-field assistant, Tosh Lupoi is leaving the Crimson Tide and is headed to the Cleveland Browns as its defensive line coach.

News came from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, as Nick Saban will be in search of a defensive coordinator for a second straight season. He started in 2014 as a defensive recruiting intern, but Lupoi quickly became an on-field coach with outside linebackers in 2015.  

He mentored a bunch of talented names, including Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis among others.

The California native was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2017 under Jeremy Pruitt and helped the Tide win a College Football Playoff National Championship.

RELATED: Terrell Lewis excited about Tosh Lupoi calling defense, says team ‘knows what he wants’

Upon his growth, Saban bumped Lupoi to defensive play caller for 2018 and he did a decent job, except getting the team prepared for Clemson in the CFP title game. Alabama fell 44-16 and according to sources, there was a “disconnect” at times between Lupoi and a few of the leaders on defense for Alabama.  

Aside from the issue, the 36-year-old was an elite recruiter. 

Lupoi was responsible for the Tide landing Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, Chris Allen and Dylan Moses in the 2017 signing class. Losing him a huge blow in that department, but getting Steve Sarkisian back may cushion the fall. Sarkisian, like Lupoi, is a native of California.

Lupoi was a defensive line coach at both California and Washington, prior to coming to Alabama.

In terms of potential names to replace Lupoi, keep all eyes on Jimmy Lake of Washington, Todd Bates of Clemson, Lance Thompson (former Alabama LB coach) and Pete Golding (current Alabama co-defensive coordinator).

*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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