Football in Alabama: The portal was very good with Nick Saban

Happy Friday everyone. I can’t lie, the earnings are a bit meager today. You may have heard that Jerry Jeudy was arrested for what appears to be a ridiculous bickering with his significant other that involved no physical contact for the sheriff. So stupid.

The relocation portal was, by all accounts, very good for Alabama.

Meanwhile, Alabama added a total of 39 starts in 2021. That number could have been higher were it not for Eli Ricks who faced injury for part of the season at LSU. He has had six starts. Overall, new offensive lineman Tyler Steen led the pack with 12 for Vanderbilt.

“(Steen) will definitely help us in depth,” Young said during spring practice. “I’m thrilled with her participation. So, I trust us and I trust everything.”

Ricks produced a coverage rank in the top five nationwide in 2020 as a true freshman. He was tasked with a hefty dose of male coverage and handled it like a pro. The former five-star led all corners of the Power 5 in men’s coverage for the year. Ricks’ physicality on the scrimmage line and balance at the capture point make him a difficult cornerback to outright beat. A 2021 full of injuries prevented the former LSU cornerback from taking advantage of his extraordinary freshman campaign. Now fully healthy, he can do it in 2022 as a member of Crimson Tide.

Ricks suffered a small setback in his quest to earn a starter job when he was arrested for possession, but will still make noise at the pitch. The battle between Eli and Khyree Jackson to start alongside Kool Aid McKinstry is going to be fun.

The ACC is attempting to take what appears to be a logical step to improve its conference championship game.

“The two, I think, drivers of this: one, is the opportunity for our student athletes to play in all schools of the ACC for a period of four years,” said Phillips. “That’s just not the case right now. The other piece is that I always thought it was a local decision on how to run your conference. You’re seeing this in multiple conferences that would like to dictate the look and feel of their league structure and ultimately lead to an expanded football playoff.

“You want your two best teams to have a chance to play at the end of the year for many reasons. That’s why it took us … you might think it’s a bit longer, but it really isn’t. We are very much on the right track. But again, I want to make sure I’ve talked to everyone to see, are we missing something here? “

It is difficult to discuss all this. We have seen many cases in the SEC where the top two teams did not play for the conference title. If something like this had been in place in 2011, poor LSU could have been spared the embarrassment of having their pride stolen in New Orleans, instead of getting whipped in Atlanta.

Finally, this is a great piece from Bruce Feldman on how coaches recruit their coaching staff. As usual, Saban always finds a way to improve throughout the process. He apparently he is known for grilling candidates for inside information during the interview.

“What did he make you call this?” Saban asked Werner. “What did you guys see?”

Usually, this is the part where some coaches get a little nauseous. How much of your stuff, if any, do you share? Werner’s thought process: “I was trying to get the job and I didn’t have a job at the time.”

Another Alabama coach in the room was amused to see his boss’s reaction to Werner’s response.

“He was baffled that it was all Hugh Freeze did up front,” the manager said. “It was that simple. These guys were going up and down the field on us, and all that was, ‘If you were in line 2-High (safeties), we’ll check for a run. If the nickel was in it, we would have run away. ‘

Saban said, “No, seriously, tell us what you do.”

Werner said, “No, really, that’s all we do.”

There are a lot of good things in there. It’s behind a paywall, but get yourself a subscription to The Athletic, cheapskate. That’s eight dollars a month to read the best sports reporters in the business.

That’s all for today. Good weekend.

The tide rolls.

Leave a Comment