Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com Alabama's Premier Football Website Mon, 10 Aug 2020 21:38:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://i0.wp.com/tdalabamamag.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-TDA.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Touchdown Alabama https://tdalabamamag.com 32 32 135213907 Najee Harris showcasing remarkable leadership for Alabama during trying times https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/najee-harris-showcasing-remarkable-leadership-for-alabama-during-trying-times/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 21:34:26 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80927 Alabama senior running back Najee Harris is known for grabbing opposing defenses’ attention with his big-play ability and insane open-field hurdles, but it is his voice that has attention on the California native as of late. With the future of college football in the air due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Harris has […]]]>

Alabama senior running back Najee Harris is known for grabbing opposing defenses’ attention with his big-play ability and insane open-field hurdles, but it is his voice that has attention on the California native as of late.

With the future of college football in the air due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Harris has stepped up and become one of the leading voices in the fight to have a college football season this fall. Posting a tweet supporting the #WeWantToPlay movement Sunday, he became one of the first players to do so. Harris did not stop there as he is continuing to make sure his voice is heard.

“We want our voices to be heard and what we are saying is we want to play football this Fall,” Harris tweeted Monday. “Alabama is doing everything they can to keep us safe and I honestly believe our football facility is the safest place for us.”

Harris also pointed at the hard work he and his teammates have put in as another reason why the football season should not be canceled.

It is hard to doubt the work Harris has put in this off-season. Working with former Auburn running back, Brad Lester, the senior back looks poise to have a big season.

The SEC has not made any statement or hinted at canceling the season yet. However, there are reports that the conference plans to meet soon.

With much uncertainty circling around college football, Harris and other prominent college football players are not keeping silent about their desire to play football this season.

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Mac Jones trusts the process, asks decision makers to trust the athletes https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/mac-jones-trusts-the-process-asks-decision-makers-to-trust-the-athletes/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 21:27:24 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80930 Many of college football’s most prominent players have voiced their own thoughts regarding the possible cancelation of the fall sports season. From Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence to Ohio State’s Justin Fields, the countries biggest stars are making themselves heard. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is one of those stars to recently reveal his thoughts, and he did […]]]>

Many of college football’s most prominent players have voiced their own thoughts regarding the possible cancelation of the fall sports season.

From Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence to Ohio State’s Justin Fields, the countries biggest stars are making themselves heard.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is one of those stars to recently reveal his thoughts, and he did so in an official statement he released on Monday.

“When we committed to the University of Alabama and the SEC we trusted the process and we still do,” said Jones. “We believe the safest place for us is to be together playing football as a team at the University of Alabama. Trust us and let us play.

“I trust the process; coach Saban; and the University of Alabama; I believe playing the proposed modified season is the right decision. Our program has implemented numerous safety protocols in concurrence with our medical staff, CDC guidelines and the NCAA including but not limited to testing to help ensure the safety and well being of our coaches, staff, teammates and university. In making this decision, I do not mean to diminish the pain that this pandemic has caused everyone. Nonetheless, I am committed to playing football this season-as are the majority of my teammates. Paying for a better tomorrow. Roll Tide.”

Just a few hours ago in an interview with ESPN, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban discussed his feelings about player safety.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Saban told ESPN. “I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2 percent positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of the July. It’s a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar or just hanging out.”

These comments and the thousands more joining in on the #WeWantToPlay hashtag originally began when reports surfaced that the Big Ten was looking for all the Power Five conferences to join together and cancel the fall sports season.

Since then multiple players from all the conferences, even the Big Ten, have voiced their displeasures and made it clear that they want to play.

As of right now, there has been no official word from any Power Five conference about canceling the fall sports season.

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

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WATCH: 5-Star DT Damon Payne Film Breakdown https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/watch-5-star-dt-damon-payne-film-breakdown/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 21:03:02 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80912 Alabama has a commitment from one of the top defensive tackles in the nation with a pledge from 5-Star defensive tackle, Damon Payne. Payne is unique 2021 athlete at 6-4 and 290 pounds plus. He is extremely agile and quick for a player his size and tends to intimidate opposing offensive linemen. Scouting/Recruiting Analyst Justin […]]]>

Alabama has a commitment from one of the top defensive tackles in the nation with a pledge from 5-Star defensive tackle, Damon Payne.

Payne is unique 2021 athlete at 6-4 and 290 pounds plus. He is extremely agile and quick for a player his size and tends to intimidate opposing offensive linemen. Scouting/Recruiting Analyst Justin Smith provided a break down of the Michigan product’s film on the latest edition of “Smity’s Film Room.”

Smity’s Film Room is a video show, that will be posted on Touchdown Alabama’s Youtube page, where Smith breaks down the film of some of Alabama’s top targets and commits. The show will air every Monday. 

WATCH VIDEO BELOW:

 

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Alabama AD Greg Byrne shows support for Tide players’ desire to play 2020 season https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/alabama-ad-greg-byrne-supports-2020-football-season-for-tide-players/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 20:50:14 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80913 Tuscaloosa, Ala — The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of changing storylines and emotions to fill the entire Bryant-Denny Stadium. With reports surfacing that the Big Ten conference will cancel its 2020 college football season, and the Pac-12 expected to follow, the remaining Power 5 conferences (SEC, ACC, and Big 12) are shuffling […]]]>

Tuscaloosa, Ala — The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of changing storylines and emotions to fill the entire Bryant-Denny Stadium. With reports surfacing that the Big Ten conference will cancel its 2020 college football season, and the Pac-12 expected to follow, the remaining Power 5 conferences (SEC, ACC, and Big 12) are shuffling through the calls to cancel and calls to continue at a feverish pace.

Late last night, projected No. 1 overall pick, Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, sent shockwaves through the social media landscape when he selflessly stated emphatically his and fellow college football players’ desires to continue on with the season. Clemson, an ACC school, awaits in the balance as well and player after player, and coach after coach continue to express their position on not wanting their season taken from them.

Related: SEC can create superconference adding OSU and other Big Ten schools

While it took some time, Alabama players quickly barraged Twitter with the collective statement of solidarity #WeWantToPlay posts. As for the administration, an overall silent approach from Athletic Director, Greg Byrne and Tide coach, Nick Saban — save for a likely scheduled tweet regarding Alabama’s new equipment room from the Crimson Tide Twitter account.

After a message from SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey, stating the conference has and will continue to take a deliberate approach as it relates to Covid-19 activities, Byrne publicly endorsed continuing on with the season and standing by the Alabama players.

Additionally, in an interview with ESPN’s Chris Low, Saban also stood in solidarity with his players believing the players are a lot safer under the guise of the Alabama staff than at their homes.

With arguably the most prominent coach in college football, and the blessing from its AD, Alabama adds more pressure to University of Alabama president, Stuart Bell on how to best proceed moving forward.

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Nick Saban believes his players are ‘a lot safer with us than they are running around at home’ https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/nick-saban-espn-interview-players-safer-covid-19/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 20:11:01 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80910 In the wake of discussions surrounding a possible vote to cancel the upcoming college football season, Alabama head coach Nick Saban gave his two cents on the matter during an interview with ESPN. The head coach made it clear that he and his players are in favor of a season and believe the players are […]]]>

In the wake of discussions surrounding a possible vote to cancel the upcoming college football season, Alabama head coach Nick Saban gave his two cents on the matter during an interview with ESPN.

The head coach made it clear that he and his players are in favor of a season and believe the players are at more of a risk if college football is not played.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Saban told ESPN. “I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2 percent positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of the July. It’s a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar or just hanging out.”

Saban has already met with leadership on Monday and following the meeting gathered the team for one of their own.

“It’s more important than ever to engage your players, and if you’re not, then you’re not doing your job as a coach,” said Saban.

A number of other Alabama players have also voiced their opinions regarding the season continuing. Leaders like running back Najee Harris, quarterback Mac Jones and defensive lineman LaBryan Ray have all contributed to the #WeWantToPlay Twitter movement.

Along with laying out the potential risks of not having a season, Saban also shared how he did not understand the rush to making any final decisions.

“It’s going to be a challenge when the other students get on campus, and I get that,” Saban said. “But we really don’t know what that entails until it happens. It’s a big reason we pushed the season back (in the SEC), to assess that, which is the prudent way to do it.”

Also present during the interview was Harris and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood who discussed the lack of player involvement in the decision making.

“There’s a lot of noise and bad stuff out there about playing football with the virus going on, but I haven’t really seen anything about what the players want,” said Leatherwood. “We’ve been grinding all summer, and you don’t want it to be all for nothing.

“The story that needs to be written is that we want to play.”

Every two weeks Saban and Alabama bring in an epidemiologist to talk to the team about the virus on top of testing each player at the start of every week.

“We also test anybody that has symptoms and have an open testing site where they can go and get tested as many times as they want or any time they feel like they need to,” Saban said. “But our guys aren’t going to catch (the virus) on the football field. They’re going to catch it on campus. The argument then should probably be, ‘We shouldn’t be having school.’ That’s the argument. Why is it, ‘We shouldn’t be playing football?’ Why has that become the argument?”

Harris, the senior running back, was one of 30 players from the Power Fice conferences, to participate in a zoom call on Sunday which ended with a resounding agreement to play as long as all the conferences were able to follow the health protocols and that players who opt-out will not lose their scholarship.

“Coach Saban listens to his players and wants to hear from us first,” said Harris. “He told us that none of this is about him, but it’s about us. He wants to hear our concerns, and we made it clear that we want to play and feel like Alabama is doing everything they can to make sure we can play safely.”

Harris also told ESPN that he would sign a waiver stating that he would not sue the university if he were to contract the virus and also shared that he feels safer on Alabama’s campus than he does back home in Antioch, California.

“We want our voices to be heard,” Harris said. “Our main demand on the call was that we as players know the players we’re playing against have all gone through the same testing guidelines, but we want to play.”

Leatherwood also chimed in by saying: “We take risks every single day, especially in this sport, and life shouldn’t stop. If there is a chance for long-term effects if you get it and people don’t feel comfortable, then don’t play. Everybody is entitled to their right. But we want to play, and we’re going to play.”

Both SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Alabama Athletic Director Greg Sankey have released comments of their own on the current developments.

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

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An attorney has emerged in favor of college football for the SEC and ACC https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/sec-acc-college-football-attorney/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:56:44 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80898 In the commotion that is to play or not play college football in the fall, law enforcement has now made its way into the conversation. Jason Setchen, an attorney and advocate for professional and NCAA student-athletes, has emerged in favor of college football for players in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) […]]]>

In the commotion that is to play or not play college football in the fall, law enforcement has now made its way into the conversation.

Jason Setchen, an attorney and advocate for professional and NCAA student-athletes, has emerged in favor of college football for players in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) this fall.

He has been pushing the agenda of players such as Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Kylin Hill (Mississippi State), multiple athletes from the University of Alabama and players at other schools.

Setchen not only represents players for both conferences, but he also attached letters to the Board of Governors of the NCAA, Mark Emmert (NCAA President), Greg Sankey (SEC Commissioner) and John Swofford (ACC Commissioner) concerning the demands of the players.

While they understand it will be little to no fans cheering for them in stadiums, student-athletes are requiring two things: a COVID-19 waiver and the transfer rule in place.

With the unprecedented time we are in, players do not want the 2020-21 football season counting against their eligibility. In a situation where they miss a few games or if the season is postponed in the middle of the year, athletes want to keep that year of eligibility.

The other thing players want is the immediate implementation of a “One-Time Transfer Waiver.”

If student-athletes are granted the opportunity to transfer one time before graduation without penalty, it would allow them to not only play but also feel safe on campus.

For a lot of parents, they do not feel comfortable about schools sending their children home.

RELATED: President Donald Trump stands united with college football players with statement of support

Also, a player would need the opportunity to transfer if its school or conference decides to cancel the season.

The players started the #WeWantToPlay movement, but seeing a lawyer come to their aid was much needed.

*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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President Donald Trump stands united with college football players with statement of support https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/president-donald-trump-supports-we-want-to-play-movement/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:44:05 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80895 Since yesterday evening, college football’s student-athletes have seen an outpour of support for the #WeWantToPlay stance. Countless amounts of players, coaches, analysts, and fans joined in on the hashtag and now even the President of the United States has voiced his support. President Donald Trump quote tweeted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was one of […]]]>

Since yesterday evening, college football’s student-athletes have seen an outpour of support for the #WeWantToPlay stance.

Countless amounts of players, coaches, analysts, and fans joined in on the hashtag and now even the President of the United States has voiced his support.

President Donald Trump quote tweeted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was one of the first to organize the movement.

“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to get canceled. #WeWantToPlay” read Trump’s tweet.

The post from Lawrence contained the demands of college football players who are seeking proper health and safety protocols for COVID-19, having the ability to opt-out of the season and not lose their scholarship and the formation of college football’s first players union.

Lawrence’s and thousands of other athletes’ stands stemmed from the reports of the Big Ten looking for a joint cancellation of fall sports amongst the Power Five conferences.

Although no official vote has taken place, players from numerous other conferences are letting it be known that they want the season to move forward.

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

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

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Justin’s Recruiting Bites https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/justins-recruiting-bites-2-18/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:40:08 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80867 Alabama Recruiting Update Alabama has an opportunity to make some noise on the recruiting trail this month as two of their top defensive targets have commitment dates set. Some intel on those prospects’ upcoming decision, an updated look at the Tide’s 2021 defensive back targets and more is included in Justin’s Recruiting Bites. Get the […]]]>

Alabama Recruiting Update

Alabama has an opportunity to make some noise on the recruiting trail this month as two of their top defensive targets have commitment dates set.

Some intel on those prospects’ upcoming decision, an updated look at the Tide’s 2021 defensive back targets and more is included in Justin’s Recruiting Bites.

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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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Adding Ohio State and other top Big Ten programs to the SEC for 2020 makes a monumental college football season https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/sec-big-ten-super-conference/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:21:39 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80886 Not every school in the Big Ten conference is fine with canceling the football season. According to a report from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State are all considering the option of moving to the Big 12 for the fall. RE: reports of Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State exploring […]]]>

Not every school in the Big Ten conference is fine with canceling the football season.

According to a report from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State are all considering the option of moving to the Big 12 for the fall.

While it would be fun to see that, the Southeastern Conference could re-establish itself as the leader of the sport if it were to add Ohio State along with other top Big Ten programs.

After seeing former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer make big on his vision of a conference championship game, Greg Sankey could have fans in utter excitement with the SEC forming a super conference for one season.

Consumers of SEC football were already happy with a 10-game, conference-only schedule; however, if it pulled Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa and maybe Penn State, people would flock to television sets and networks would jump through hoops.

It would be a season to remember, especially given all the turmoil and thoughts of taking football away from student-athletes — due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, the amount of money the SEC would make from having a season will be shared with the Big Ten programs that decided to join. Not only would coming to the SEC give fans the matchup of Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh again, but it would also present the opportunity for Alabama to play Ohio State on the field.

The NCAA owes it to the players, coaches and fans to have a product that makes them feel whole.

RELATED: SEC AD’s speak out in favor of a season: Alabama’s Greg Byrne remains silent

According to close, respectable sources, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine was told that Sankey is currently at work behind the scenes inviting schools to join the SEC — if its respective conference chooses to cancel on the season.

We are in a dire need for football, and the SEC-Big Ten forming a super conference would be much appreciated.

*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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SEC presidents schedule impromptu meeting to discuss 2020 season particulars https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/sec-presidents-meeting-discuss-2020-season/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:06:33 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80887 Time is of the essence for a decision on the 2020 college football season, and the presidents from the South Eastern Conference aren’t going to waste any time. On Monday it was reported by Sports Illustrated that the SEC’s presidents and chancellors had scheduled a meeting to discuss the football season after numerous reports of […]]]>

Time is of the essence for a decision on the 2020 college football season, and the presidents from the South Eastern Conference aren’t going to waste any time.

On Monday it was reported by Sports Illustrated that the SEC’s presidents and chancellors had scheduled a meeting to discuss the football season after numerous reports of a possible widespread cancellation.

The Big Ten had moved closer to calling off its season over the weekend, and now many other reports state the conference has already voted to halt the season with an official announcement arriving on Tuesday.

The report from Sports Illustrated states that a vote on canceling or moving forward with the SEC season is not necessarily expected from the upcoming meeting and the context of the call is unclear. But the swirling reports over the past several hours provide some evidence as to what the topic of conversation may be.

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

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SEC AD’s speak out in favor of a season: Alabama’s Greg Byrne remains silent https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/greg-byrne-alabama-college-football-season/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:11:52 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80859 It started with Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Kyle Hill, but now players at the University of Alabama and at least two athletic directors from the Southeastern Conference have joined in the #WeWantToPlay movement for college football this fall. Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas athletics director On behalf of the @RazorbackFB team (that includes my son) and […]]]>

It started with Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Kyle Hill, but now players at the University of Alabama and at least two athletic directors from the Southeastern Conference have joined in the #WeWantToPlay movement for college football this fall.

Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas athletics director

Ross Bjork, Texas A&M athletics director

We have even had a couple of coaches in the conference step up to support the players.

Sam Pittman, Arkansas’ head football coach

Tim Brewster, tight ends’ coach for Florida Gators

One SEC athletics director that has been silent is Greg Byrne.

Student-athletes for the Crimson Tide such as Najee Harris, Seth McLaughlin, Emil Ekiyor Jr., and Evan Neal among others have all joined together in desiring to play football. Without the players, college football means nothing.

While athletic directors, coaches, presidents and chancellors mean something, consumers of the sport do not pay their hard earned monies to see them. Fans attend games, purchase memorabilia and develop a long-lasting relationship with college football because of the players.

Without the athletes, the sport goes bankrupt and there is no market for it at all.

Those in positions of power state how they care about what is in the best interest of the players.

Now, the moment has come to truly be about it.

RELATED: Alabama players join in on #WeWantToPlay movement

The SEC wants to play and Alabama wants to play, so it is time for Byrne to break his silence.

He arrived in 2017 as one of the youngest, innovate administrators in the sport.

Players for the Crimson Tide need the support from Byrne.

*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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The power of the #WeWantToPlay movement and who the real decision makers in college football should be https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/we-want-to-play-movement-college-football/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:52:05 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80831 Canceled. The word that strikes a chord with thousands, some who wish to utilize it and others who are fed up with what it has morphed into. But canceling something doesn’t automatically mean mal-intent or cause for anyone to be frustrated or fearful. It can stand for justice and protection of the once oppressed. Its […]]]>

Canceled.

The word that strikes a chord with thousands, some who wish to utilize it and others who are fed up with what it has morphed into.

But canceling something doesn’t automatically mean mal-intent or cause for anyone to be frustrated or fearful. It can stand for justice and protection of the once oppressed. Its place in society is important when issued by the right people with true conviction.

In the case of college football, I’m not entirely sure that the decision to cancel the 2020 season can be done without the proper parties. And I’m not talking about gathering a bundle of athletic directors and suits.

I’m talking about allowing the players and coaches to make the call.

An athletic director’s role is obviously one of tremendous importance and the opinion of one is nothing to neglect. Not only are they responsible for putting together coaching staffs, but they are required to have to make difficult decisions with the coaches and players in mind.

That’s all fine and good when it comes to scheduling opponents or organizing state of the art renovations. But when we are talking about people’s livelihoods and futures, the decision to end their professions cannot be left up to a group of roughly 14 people.

And if the #WeWantToPlay movement has proved anything, it’s that the opinions of the players are currently not being considered.

And that’s an issue.

Maybe the decision-making process is too early in its stages and getting around to the players hasn’t happened yet.

If that’s the case, then the decision-making system needs to be altered.

Without the players as well as the coach’s input on the matter, then the true consensus cannot be encompassed. Yes, this is how the system usually goes with a board deciding what the best course of action is for the league.

But dare I say the system is broken.

And this has led to college football’s biggest stars to take matters into their own hands.

The list of players, former and current, joining in on the trend grows by the second in support of what the student-athletes have in mind.

In just a few hours the movement morphed into something even bigger, with the call to start the first college football players association.

At no other point in time has there been this much pressure put on conferences and the NCAA in terms of the benefits of student-athletes. A week ago the Pac-12 players took a stand with the #WeAreUnited article in The Players Tribune, which asked for player compensation, protections and protocols for COVID-19 as well as help in ending racial injustice in college sports and society.

And with the sports biggest names getting involved and taking stands it almost feels like the gears are shifting, ever so slightly.

But despite the huge backing by people with large and small numbers of followers on social media, the debate surrounding the upcoming season should still be had amongst players and their coaches.

Coaches have to voice their thoughts on the season, especially those with underlying health conditions. And players who are not supportive of the #WeWantToPlay movement need to be heard as well.

But their thoughts should not be held in higher regard than the other athletes or coaches, but rather treat them all as equals.

These are the people who are at the most risk. These are the people who are going to campus and following the protocols set by their local governments and athletic conferences.

If they believe a season should happen then they need to be brought front and center into the discussion.

And even if college football is met with cancellation, the decision should be made in conjunction with the student-athletes along and their coaches.

Because whatever decision they come to will be the right one.

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

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

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Alabama players join in on #WeWantToPlay movement https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/10/alabama-players-join-in-on-wewanttoplay-movement/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:38:57 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80845 Multiple Alabama football players have joined the #WeWantToPlay movement as the fate of college football remains in serious jeopardy due to the concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Multiple reports of the Big Ten looking at canceling or postponing their 2020 football season surfaced Sunday afternoon, which sent social media in a frenzy. Many […]]]>

Multiple Alabama football players have joined the #WeWantToPlay movement as the fate of college football remains in serious jeopardy due to the concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Multiple reports of the Big Ten looking at canceling or postponing their 2020 football season surfaced Sunday afternoon, which sent social media in a frenzy. Many feel if the conference comes out and cancels the season, it will have a domino effect on the other four Power 5 conferences. In response to this, college football players from across the country have taken to social media and posted they want to play football this Fall.

Here is a look at some of the Crimson Tide’s players, who have posted and join the #WeWantToPlay movement:

Seth McLaughlin – Freshman OL

Najee Harris – Senior RB

Emil Ekiyor – Redshirt Sophomore OL

Malachi Moore – Freshman DB

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Outside pressure on university presidents may cause college football to cancel for 2020: Will Nick Saban speak out in favor of a season? https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/nick-saban-speak-out-college-football-season/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 01:13:24 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80818 One person whose words carry an intense amount of weight is Nick Saban. He said upon his arrival to the University of Alabama in 2007 that he would give fans a program it would be proud of, and he delivered with five national championships. Saban’s influence on the sport of college football has had rules […]]]>

One person whose words carry an intense amount of weight is Nick Saban.

He said upon his arrival to the University of Alabama in 2007 that he would give fans a program it would be proud of, and he delivered with five national championships.

Saban’s influence on the sport of college football has had rules changed and it awarded him with a 10-game, conference-only schedule.

More so than that, his love and willingness to support his players led to the iconic “Black Lives Matter” tribute — which featured offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood as the writer of the piece.

This moment had parents of athletes in the 2020 recruiting class proud to have their child at Alabama, and it jump started the efforts for the 2021 cycle.

RELATED: Power Five Conferences headed towards cancelling football and all other fall sports

He’s done so much for the Crimson Tide and while his peers take pride in wanting to beat him on the field, another opportunity has emerged for Saban to help the sport. Over the weekend, there has been a growing concern as to whether or not college football should be played.

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire United States and with football being the closest contact sport, university presidents are feeling the outside pressure of it not being a smart idea to have a season in the fall.

Despite the notion, student-athletes really want to play. Aside from an enormous damage to the economy, not having a football season puts players at a bigger risk.

For many of these young men, if they return home, they go back to a disadvantaged environment that has very little to no healthcare.

Also, returning home presents an increased probability of contracting the virus and transmitting it to others.

Some athletes do not have an active mother or father in the household and if both parents are not active, they rely on grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or foster parents for guidance.

With this being mentioned, there are multitudes of players that view the gridiron game as their only way out of a rough situation.

For those, the mission becomes football or succumb to undesirable activities.

RELATED: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence championing college football to proceed with 2020 season

After it was the first conference of the Power Five to transition to a conference-only look, the Big Ten now appears to be the first one that wants to cancel football altogether.

Nothing has been said by the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC, but the Big Ten expects the other four conferences to side with it.

Here is a moment for Coach Saban to step up and demonstrate his leadership, in terms of caring for athletes.

Marquee names such as Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Kylin Hill (Mississippi State) have used their social media platforms to promote the #WeWantToPlay movement.

NFL Draft experts have spoken on the contracts that Lawrence and Fields could earn if they opt out and prepare for the 2021 draft; however, money does not drive them.

Both players, along with others, relish this chance to be with their teammates.

In a society that has become filled with confusion, chaos, division, negativity and fear, we need athletics more than ever.

Sports, especially football, teaches us the values of unity, teamwork, appreciation, toughness, togetherness and most importantly, love.

Saban embodies all of these characteristics and he instills these traits into his players to be better men.

Right now, athletes around the college football landscape do not want this season ripped from them.

They need a voice to stand for them and Saban must become that voice.

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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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Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence championing college football to proceed with 2020 season https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/clemson-trevor-lawrence-not-cancel-college-football/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 01:04:53 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80821 Shortly after reports circled sharing that the fall sports season may be in jeopardy, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to Twitter to do a little bit of his own sharing. The national champion took a hard stance that college football players would not be safe if the season were to be canceled and would even […]]]>

Shortly after reports circled sharing that the fall sports season may be in jeopardy, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to Twitter to do a little bit of his own sharing.

The national champion took a hard stance that college football players would not be safe if the season were to be canceled and would even put some at financial risk. He also went down the path of discussing the release football provides for student-athletes and the sports many fans.

Lawrence also proclaimed that without a college football season no one will be following the correct guidelines and players will be at even more of a risk.

Sports Illustrated reported that high-level meetings amongst the Power Five conferences would be taking place later this week regarding the postponement of the fall season. The Mid-American Conference began the movement on Saturday when it announced its own cancellation, and more reports shared that the Big Ten is pushing for a joint postponement amongst the rest of the conferences.

Although there is no set date for these meetings, one industry source told Sports Illustrated that the news would be coming sooner rather than later.

“In the next 72 hours college football is going to come to a complete stop,” said the source.

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

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

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Power Five Conferences headed towards cancelling football and all other fall sports https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/power-five-conferences-cancelling-football/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 00:28:01 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80819 Just like the virus that has swept the nation, conversations surrounding the outlook of college football have rapidly been spreading throughout the Power Five conferences. And the common collective response is far from ideal. On Sunday, Sports Illustrated reported high-level conference meetings will be getting planned this upcoming week and the expected outcome of these […]]]>

Just like the virus that has swept the nation, conversations surrounding the outlook of college football have rapidly been spreading throughout the Power Five conferences.

And the common collective response is far from ideal.

On Sunday, Sports Illustrated reported high-level conference meetings will be getting planned this upcoming week and the expected outcome of these conversations is to be postponing the fall sports season, including college football to the 2021 season.

“It’s gotten to a critical stage,” said one conference official. “I think all of us will be meeting with our boards in the coming days. We have work to do that is no fun.”

These reports come on the heels of the Mid-American Conference postponing its fall sports season over the weekend.

Sports Illustrated also reported that the Big Ten is moving towards canceling the fall season and urging the other Power Five Conferences to join them in doing so later this week.

“In the next 72 hours college football is going to come to a complete stop,” an industry source told Sports Illustrated.

CBS Sports also spoke with a number of Power Five athletic directors on Sunday, who shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s not fair what we’re doing to our coaches and student-athletes,” one Power Five AD said. “The sooner we can come to a finality, the better.”

“I think it’s inevitable [the season will not be played in the fall],” said another Power Five AD.

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

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

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Dr. Matt Rhea speaks out on ‘Covid paranoia,’ encourages masses to trust team doctors https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/matt-rhea-covid-paranoia-team-doctors/ Sun, 09 Aug 2020 23:11:01 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80810 With so much talk about the importance of canceling a football season this year — due to Coronavirus concerns — players and coaches are speaking out against the idea. Two of the top quarterbacks in the sport, Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Justin Fields (Ohio State), want to play for their schools and others have followed […]]]>

With so much talk about the importance of canceling a football season this year — due to Coronavirus concerns — players and coaches are speaking out against the idea. Two of the top quarterbacks in the sport, Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Justin Fields (Ohio State), want to play for their schools and others have followed with hashtag statement #WeWantToPlay.

He was hired to the University of Alabama in March as the program’s Director of Performance Science, and Dr. Matt Rhea has made a significant impact all summer long. The Crimson Tide’s coaching staff, players and fans love he and David Ballou for the dedication they have in trying to get Alabama back to winning championships.

In the midst of the drama that has college football hanging in the balance, Rhea issued one message to the masses: trust the team doctors at the various schools.

For someone who has worked in the realm of sports science since 2001, Rhea is frustrated with the paranoia that has been caused by the virus.

The consulting company Rhea launched in 2001 has helped the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

His work has also contributed to the International Olympic programs and college athletic departments, in terms of providing directions in speed training, injury prevention and performance optimization for clients.

It is one thing to be cautious, but it becomes a different situation when one goes overboard.

Rhea is sensing the overreactions of people to stories on the news. He even quote tweeted a story from Neuroscience News on how masks reduce the spread of COVID-19.

A risk will happen whether college football is played or not; nevertheless, the bigger of two evils is not playing because of the negative domino effect. Not only will the economy in certain areas take a massive hit, but also ripping a sport away from young athletes who have worked tirelessly for it is not good either.

All Rhea wants is for people to trust the medical doctors.

RELATED: Alabama adds Missouri and Kentucky to its 2020 schedule

Fall camp for Alabama and the Southeastern Conference is scheduled to start on Monday, Aug. 17.

*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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WATCH: Update on Alabama defensive back targets for 2021 recruiting class https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/alabama-defensive-back-2021-signing-class/ Sun, 09 Aug 2020 19:15:51 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80805 Alabama football has 16 verbal commitments for its 2021 recruiting class. According to Justin Smith, the lead scouting/recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, four of those commitments are five-stars — including JC Latham. The 6-foot-6, 306-pound offensive lineman from Florida has a diamond grade of one, which means he projects as an “immediate contributor and […]]]>

Alabama football has 16 verbal commitments for its 2021 recruiting class.

According to Justin Smith, the lead scouting/recruiting analyst for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, four of those commitments are five-stars — including JC Latham.

The 6-foot-6, 306-pound offensive lineman from Florida has a diamond grade of one, which means he projects as an “immediate contributor and a game changer.”

The quartet of Latham, Tommy Brockermeyer, Damon Payne and Agiye Hall are all five-stars.

While it wants to add more defensive linemen, Alabama is also targeting players for its secondary.

RELATED: WATCH: Alabama football draws No. 3 preseason ranking via Amway Coaches Poll

The trio of Ga’Quincy McKinstry (five-star), Kamari Lassiter (four-star) and Terrion Arnold (four-star) are all on the Crimson Tide’s recruiting board for this class.

Fans of the program want to see the Tide land all three guys, but it will be interesting to see how the commitment falls for the group.

On Friday of last week, Justin Smith joined yours truly on In My Own Words to update the defensive back targets, tight end targets and defensive lineman, Tim Keenan.

*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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WATCH: Alabama football draws No. 3 preseason ranking via Amway Coaches Poll https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/nick-saban-alabama-cfp-title/ Sun, 09 Aug 2020 18:01:40 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80794 In this fight for a college football season, student-athletes, coaches and fans are hoping and praying to see action. The global Coronavirus pandemic has brought health and safety to the forefront; however, is there a way to protect players and still provide them with an opportunity to play? This is a thought that needs to […]]]>

In this fight for a college football season, student-athletes, coaches and fans are hoping and praying to see action.

The global Coronavirus pandemic has brought health and safety to the forefront; however, is there a way to protect players and still provide them with an opportunity to play?

This is a thought that needs to be taken into consideration, especially with schedules being released by different conferences.

The Amway Coaches Poll, powered by USA TODAY Sports, unveiled its Top-25 preseason rankings on last week and the University of Alabama football program came in at No. 3.

RELATED: 2020 Player Spotlight: QB Mac Jones

It is behind Ohio State (No. 2) and Clemson (No. 1), but the Crimson Tide has a schedule that will test its resolve.

Nick Saban and company will play four teams in the Top-25 for its 10-game, conference-only schedule.

Should it earn wins over Georgia (No. 4), LSU (No. 5), Auburn (No. 11) and Texas A&M (No. 13), Alabama would return to the College Football Playoff stage. A lot of motivation has been behind Saban, his coaching staff and the players in terms of this season. After not winning a national title in each of the last two years, the Tide looks to prove it is still the best in the sport.

On Friday of last week, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine discussed Alabama’s ranking in the preseason poll and the importance of it winning a championship in the fall via In My Own Words.

*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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The Washington Football Team activates Reuben Foster from PUP list https://tdalabamamag.com/2020/08/09/washington-football-team-activate-reuben-foster-pup-list/ Sun, 09 Aug 2020 17:37:08 +0000 https://tdalabamamag.com/?p=80791 So far it’s been a bumpy start to Reuben Foster’s NFL career. But on Sunday the former Alabama linebacker received some uplifting news. The Washington Football Team announced that it was activating Foster from the PUP list (physically unable to perform list) and will be able to take to the field once again. Last season […]]]>

So far it’s been a bumpy start to Reuben Foster’s NFL career.

But on Sunday the former Alabama linebacker received some uplifting news.

The Washington Football Team announced that it was activating Foster from the PUP list (physically unable to perform list) and will be able to take to the field once again.

Last season Foster suffered a torn ACL along with a torn LCL which occurred during the team’s first organized activity back in May of 2019. The team is now less than a week into training camp and is gaining a valuable piece back to the defense.

Foster originally joined Washington when he was claimed off of waivers on Nov. 27, 2018. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and spent two seasons with the team and saw action in 16 total games. The Niners waived Foster after he was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence and was later placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.

The charges against Foster were later dropped and then Washington came calling.

This season Foster will be competing for a spot at outside linebacker for head coach Ron Rivera’s new defense. Foster will be going up against second-year player Cole Holcomb as well as veteran Thomas Davis.

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

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

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