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Posts tagged with "Alabama"

McGill-Toolen dual-sport star Bubba Thompson has decided on one sport for college.

The Yellow Jacket senior announced on Twitter on Tuesday he was committing to play baseball at the University of Alabama.

Thompson, also an all-state quarterback, had offers to play both sports at several colleges, including Troy. However, after an official baseball visit to Alabama last week, he decided on the Crimson Tide.

He will leave football behind.

“I prayed hard about it, and I feel good about my decision,” Thompson told AL.com. “I like the coaches and the environment at Alabama. I feel like I’ll have a chance to go in and play quickly. I like to steal bases, and that is what they do. I feel like this was the best decision for me.”

Thompson said he notified Alabama baseball coach Greg Goff and Troy football coach Neil Brown of his decision on Monday night. The spring signing period begins April 12.

Ironically, Thompson was committed to play baseball at rival Auburn earlier this year until his football success led to heavy interest in that sport as well, including offers from Tennessee and Ole Miss at one point.

“I’m excited for him because I know in his heart – having a great football season like he did – he could have honestly played both or either sport in college,” McGill baseball coach Tim Becker said. “However, that is tough on the college level. You get pulled in all directions.

“With Bubba, I think the biggest thing is he likes to run, and they like to run at Alabama. In his heart, I think he realized there is a lot of wear and tear to do both and keep up in the classroom. I told him I would have been proud of him no matter what he decided. Now, he can focus on playing baseball and finishing his senior year.”

Thompson, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound outfielder, hit .469 with 39 runs scored, 19 stolen bases and 11 doubles for the Yellow Jackets as a junior. He helped McGill reach the Class 7A state semifinals. Becker has compared Thompson’s skill in that sport to Deion Sanders. Becker and Sanders played minor league baseball together.

Thompson’s future also could be impacted by the Major League Baseball Draft, which will take place June 12.

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Jonathan Allen has been a regular in the Alabama interview room since his sophomore season. Polished in front of the cameras and microphones, the senior has been known to talk with candid passion.

Before the College Football Awards Show, the Crimson Tide’s first national defensive player of the year added a little more insight on a few topics.

A couple brought interesting answers.

First, Allen was asked about the toughest test the Alabama defensive line faced this fall. Take a few guesses and you probably won’t identify the one that impressed Allen the most.

“The best offensive line? I have to give it to the Kentucky front,” Allen said. “That was probably the most physical game that I played in this year. I have to give it to them. They came with it that game and kind of caught us by surprise. That was a real physical game.”

The Wildcats ran for 72 yards on 36 carries and finished with 161 total yards. Alabama sacked the passer four times, twice resulting in lost fumbles.

What made Kentucky so stout?

“I don’t know, I guess it was just the determination and the want to,” Allen said. “They meant business when they came. I feel like we kind of overlooked them a little bit at first. But yeah, man, it was a wake-up call for us up front. We have to bring it. These guys are playing SEC ball.”

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USCALOOSA, dosage Ala. — Alabama football’s Jalen Hurts was named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, remedy which is given to the nation’s top quarterback.

Hurts is the first true freshman ever to start under Nick Saban and the first freshman to start at quarterback for Alabama since 1984. Hurts finished the regular season 11-0 as the Crimson Tide’s starter. He has thrown for 2,454 yards and 21 touchdowns with only 9 interceptions. Hurts is completing 65.9 percent of his passes to maintain a 147.14 quarterback rating that ranks third in the Southeastern Conference. Hurts has also rushed a team-high 154 times for 840 total yards and 12 touchdowns, a total that also leads all Alabama rushers.

Hurts averages 274.5 yards per game, and ranks second in UA single-season history with 33 touchdowns responsible for (21 passing, 12 rushing). In total, Hurts has compiled four 100-yard rushing games, the most ever in a single season by an Alabama quarterback. He became the first Alabama quarterback to ever rush for 100 yards and pass for 300 yards in a single game thanks to his 347 yards passing and 100 yards rushing against Mississippi State earlier this season.

Joining Hurts as finalists are: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Zach Terrell (Western Michigan) and Deshaun Watson (Clemson).

The winner of the 2016 Manning Award will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.

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OK, Alabama football fans, here’s a question for you: Is this year’s Crimson Tide the best team ever in the AP poll era?

The Tide is 12-0 and a heavy favorite against Florida in this weekend’s Southeastern Conference championship game. The playoffs await after that.

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26: O.J. Howard #88 of the Alabama Crimson Tide attempts to break a tackle by Tre' Williams #30 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 26: O.J. Howard #88 of the Alabama Crimson Tide attempts to break a tackle by Tre’ Williams #30 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Southeastern Conference league office named Crimson Tide senior tight end O.J. Howard to its 2016 Community Service Team on Wednesday afternoon.

One of the team’s leaders on offense, Howard is a member of the team’s leadership council and has been named a game captain on numerous occasions. The senior makes an effort to be available to the fans, win or lose, always displaying a positive attitude, and goes out of his way to use his available time to contribute in the community.

Across his four seasons in Tuscaloosa, Howard has gone above and beyond what is asked of Alabama football student-athletes. Howard has spent extensive time working with the elderly and youth organizations across the state of Alabama.

He spent time at the children’s hospital in New Orleans during the team’s two trips to the Sugar Bowl and also spent time at the Dallas children’s hospital during the Tide’s trip to the 2015 Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Howard has volunteered numerous hours at retirement homes across Tuscaloosa and has made visits to the Tuscaloosa VA hospital in each of the last three years.

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Let’s get this out of the way right now, health you college football lunatics: Alabama can’t beat the Cleveland Browns. I am sure there are some true believers in Roll Tide Nation who think Nick Saban and his undefeated team and his fabulous hair could give the floundering 0-12 Browns a fight—or even eke out a narrow win. But sensible football minds agree that not only would it not happen, medicine it wouldn’t be close.

Too big, too strong, too good. Even the Cleveland Browns.

“The size, the speed, the athleticism, the mentality,” said Joe Namath, the Alabama and New York Jets legend, ticking off what he considers the profound differences between pro and college play. “A pro team would really have to beat itself by fumbling, interceptions, dropping the ball…it would have to play its worst game and the college team would have to play its best.”

Big speed,” said the Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt. “The size of the players and the speed—it’s too much. ‘Big speed’ is the biggest differentiator from college to pro.”

“The size, the speed, the athleticism, the mentality,” said Joe Namath, the Alabama and New York Jets legend, ticking off what he considers the profound differences between pro and college play. “A pro team would really have to beat itself by fumbling, interceptions, dropping the ball…it would have to play its worst game and the college team would have to play its best.”

Big speed,” said the Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt. “The size of the players and the speed—it’s too much. ‘Big speed’ is the biggest differentiator from college to pro.”

Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart dives to the end zone during Alabama’s win over Auburn on Saturday.ENLARGE
Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart dives to the end zone during Alabama’s win over Auburn on Saturday. PHOTO:JOHN DAVID MERCER/REUTERS

What do the people who pick games for a living think about this daffy premise? They’d probably be happy to take your money, but Vegas thinks you’re Nutter Butters if you want to roll with Alabama over Cleveland.

“Don’t ever compare college football to pro football,” said Johnny Avello, director of the Wynn’s Sports and Race Book. “Pro teams are much more intricate.”

Asked for a betting line on Bama-Browns, Avello said: “We’re talking two touchdowns, and even that might be too low. It might be three or four.”

Meanwhile, we also checked in with the quants. The gang at WhatIfSports.com ran a simulation pitting the current Crimson Tide roster against the current Browns, and, over the course of 1,001 games, the 2016 Browns won 93.9% of the time, by an average score of 33-14.

Roll Browns Roll!

Look, we all know this is a pretty dopey debate, but this always happens when there’s a college sports juggernaut and a flailing professional club. It was a thing a few years backwhen Kentucky had a NCAA basketball powerhouse and the Philadelphia 76ers were starting four lawn chairs and a tabby cat.

Back then, Kentucky’s coach, John Calipari, howled at any suggestions his Wildcats could beat an NBA roster. “If we played any NBA team, we would get buried,” he insisted.

(As it turned out, that Kentucky team didn’t even win the NCAA tournament, losing in the Final Four to Wisconsin in what was the third-happiest day of my life after my two kids were born.)

This is not the first time that an Alabama team has provoked this conversation. A couple years ago, the college and pro coach Steve Spurrier made headlines when he said he thought the 2012 Tide could beat some NFL outfits. That notion was rejected by Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, a former college coach himself, who called it a “falsehood.”

“It ain’t even close,” Carroll said.

It’s not very polite, either. Chris Fowler, the ESPN college football play-by-play commentator, said that even asking the question of whether the Tide could beat Cleveland was “a huge compliment to Alabama and a huge insult to the Browns.”

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor dives for yardage against New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins on Sunday.ENLARGE
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor dives for yardage against New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins on Sunday. PHOTO: RON SCHWANE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fowler allowed that Alabama was one of the few college teams he’s watched that plays with the “ferocity” witnessed on NFL Sundays. But even a struggling pro team, he said, would easily capitalize on mismatches, and be especially challenging for a college offense.

“The problem would be scoring,” Fowler said.

For decades, top college football players did compete against the pros, in a preseason charity game in Chicago that pitted college all-star seniors against the reigning NFL champions. Namath played in one of these contests, in 1969, as the quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Jets.

“We won the game, thank goodness,” Namath said. “It would have been downright embarrassing.”

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Nick Saban made an interesting statement after Alabama’s second and final fall scrimmage on Saturday.

“We’ll probably have more freshmen play this year maybe than we’ve had for a while around here, no rx ” Saban said at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “We feel good about some of them. They’ve got a long way to go, symptoms but we lost a lot of good players. Some of those guys are certainly adding depth at a lot of positions for us, nurse and we need them to be able to have roles…”

With that being said, 2016 could be a youth movement for the Crimson Tide and its top-ranked signing class. Below, BamaOnLine takes a look at the freshmen that could make an impact on the field this upcoming season.

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After receiving a complaint, the Holtville High School band won’t be allowed to perform “Amazing Grace” during the upcoming football season.

In a statement to the Elmore & Autauga News, the Elmore County Board of Education said legal counsel recommended that the religious-themed song be pulled from the band’s repertoire following the complaint.

“Our Constitution prohibits us from promoting religion in our educational programs and activities,” the statement read, in part. “While we understand the feelings of the parents who are unhappy about the decision, we have an obligation to comply with the law.”

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What an opening week of high school football in Birmingham/Central Alabama. Who’s Got Talent? These guys do! So now, it’s time to vote for a favorite.

Just like last season, only one player per week can be AL.com’s Player of the Week for the Birmingham region. So check out the options below, and vote for a favorite.

The polls will run through 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.

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YULEE | Make a right turn off the interstate and drive straight through town. Construction barrels and a few detour signs dot the road.

Things are always changing here.

It’s down this same road that people drive from hundreds of miles away asking the same questions that they’ve asked the same people for years.

 What can you tell me about Derrick Henry, online the best running back to ever play high school football, prescription the best running back in college football?

Henry didn’t put Yulee on the map, but he’s given it an authenticity like never before.

 

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