Jones, Smith, Harris reconnect at Alabama's pro day No. 2
Patrick Surtain II and Mac Jones had the spotlight at Alabama's Pro Day, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)DeVonta Smith was there for quarterback Mac Jones once again, this time it was at Alabama's latest pro day. “He didn't have to do that,” Jones told the SEC Network, which aired the pro day. '”Jones showcased his arm strength a week after participating in the Crimson Tide's first pro day. “Mac was just on me like, ‘Bro, come catch, come catch, come catch,’” Smith told the network.
Playmakers wanted: Defending champ Alabama replacing stars
Saban and Alabama opened spring practice Friday, March 19, 2021l with an immediate goal. For now, they need to find replacements for three of college football's top offensive weapons. Patterson, File)Nick Saban and Alabama opened spring practice Friday with an immediate goal. He also didn't get a spring practice last year because of the pandemic. The Crimson Tide holds its spring game on April 17 and opens the regular season against Miami on Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
Alabama follows up title by finalizing star-studded class
The recruiting class that Alabama finalized Wednesday has the highest rating in the history of the 247Sports Composite team rankings, which go back to 2010. Steve Wilfong, the director of recruiting for 247Sports, notes this celebrated Alabama class arrives as most of the Tide’s decorated 2017 class departs. Ad“You’re replacing one of the best recruiting classes ever for what they accomplished with maybe the best recruiting class on paper coming in,” Wiltfong said. While plenty of SEC teams joined Alabama in signing impressive classes, Ohio State stood out from its Big Ten foes. All three were quarterbacks, with Bryce Young enrolling at Alabama, DJ Uiagalelei selecting Clemson and CJ Stroud selecting Ohio State.
Franks-to-Yeboah TD seals National's 27-24 Senior Bowl win
American Team quarterback Kellen Mond of Texas A&M (12) has his throw tipped by National Team offensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa of UCLA (92) during the first half of the NCAA Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)MOBILE, Ala. – Texas A&M's Kellen Mond was the Senior Bowl Most Valuable Player but two fellow Southeastern Conference Western Division products made the decisive big play. Fitzpatrick had six catches for 90 yards in the showcase game for senior and graduate NFL prospects, earning offensive player of the game honors. Obviously, kind of shaky at the beginning but it definitely shows a lot of poise to be able to bounce back.”North Carolina running back Michael Carter also had a big game. Jamie Newman completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Trevon Grimes with 49 seconds left for the American team after Franks and Yeboah made it a two-score game.
Alabama QB Mac Jones heads into Senior Bowl on gimpy ankle
The next game he plays is for his NFL draft stock, provided the Alabama quarterback's gimpy left ankle is good to go. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said the plan is for Jones to dress out and see how his ankle feels. “Just being in that room, I already learned so much about NFL football,” he said. Mond started 44 games for the Aggies, Ehlinger logged 43 starts for the Longhorns,Mond led the Aggies into College Football Playoffs contention in his final season. I just wanted to come and kind of learn more about NFL football and learn a new playbook, which I thought I did a good job with.
Bama hires ex-Texans coach O'Brien as offensive coordinator
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien watches during an NFL football training camp in Houston. Alabama has hired former Texans coach O'Brien as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – National champion Alabama has hired former Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. O'Brien also served as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions and won national coach of the year honors after going 8-4 in 2012. A 28-year coaching veteran and former Brown defensive player, O'Brien was also offensive coordinator at Duke.
Alabama's Nick Saban already working on chasing title No. 8
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)Nick Saban wasn't ready to contemplate his legacy moments after capturing a record seventh national championship “because you're always looking forward.”It was time to start chasing No. "It’s an ongoing process, building a team," Saban said. Only Florida in the SEC championship game came closer than 15 points. “There’s no team that will ever play an SEC schedule like that.”The 2009 Alabama team that went 14-0 is Saban's only other undefeated group. “I came back to get a degree and to win a national championship,” Smith said.
Unstoppable Tide: Alabama routs Ohio St for national title
DeVonta Smith was uncoverable, Najee Harris unstoppable and Mac Jones impeccable as the top-ranked Tide won the College Football Playoff national championship game 52-24 against No. 7 overall, breaking a tie with Alabama great Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most by a major college coach. "To me this is the ultimate team,” Saban said. “To me this team accomplished more than almost any team," Saban said. “Heaven knows what he would have done if he played the whole game,” Saban said.
Bama's Waddle back practicing, status for title game unclear
Now the question is will he be able to play in the title game Monday night against Ohio State? “I think you absolutely have to prepare as if he's going to play,” Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs said. Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson posted photos on Twitter showing her visiting with coach Ryan Day and the team in the school's indoor practice facility. WEST COAST EXPORTSThe West Coast will be well represented in the national championship game among the players, if not the football programs themselves. Alabama All-America tailback Najee Harris, Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave and Buckeyes All-America guard Wyatt Davis are all from California.
Alabama, Ohio State travel different paths to title game
Ohio State won 49-28. “This team, this program, we persevered through so much,” Ohio State running back Trey Sermon said Monday. In addition to Sarkisian's imminent departure, Alabama has to take care of some Heisman Trophy business while preparing for the matchup with Ohio State. Ohio State (7-0) won that meeting en route to the national title. OHIO STATEOverview: Like many teams, Ohio State faced major obstacles during the pandemic.
Roll Tide! No. 1 Alabama beats Notre Dame 31-14 in Rose Bowl
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – A truly untraditional Rose Bowl setting, a very common result for Alabama in the College Football Playoff. 4 Notre Dame in a CFP semifinal Rose Bowl played inside about 1,400 miles from Pasadena, California. “I don't think there’s anything quite like the Rose Bowl, the tradition, the setting, the mountains. 3 Ohio State, which beat Clemson 49-28 in the other CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Friday night. PERFECT AT COWS HOMEAlabama is 5-0 at AT&T Stadium, with a pair of convincing CFP semifinal wins there.
Tide's DeVonta Smith the 1st WR to win AP Player of the Year
DeVonta Smith is The Associated Press college football player of the year, becoming the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. Jones received nine first-place votes and 67 points as he and Smith became the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting for AP player of the year. Smith is also the first Alabama player to win the award. Derrick Henry won the 2015 Heisman for the Tide, but Stanford's Christian McCaffrey was AP player of the year. ___Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Alabama's Jones, Smith, Harris lead 6 Tide AP All-Americans
Lawrence, the likely first pick in the next NFL draft, made AP All-America for the first time in his career. ___The 2020 AP All-America team:FIRST TEAMOffenseQuarterback — Mac Jones, junior, Alabama. Running backs — Najee Harris, senior, Alabama; Breece Hall, sophomore, Iowa State. Guards — Ben Cleveland, senior, Georgia; Tommy Kraemer, senior, Notre Dame. Safeties — Kyle Hamilton, sophomore, Notre Dame; Tykee Smith, sophomore, West Virginia.
Heisman finalists: Tide teammates plus Lawrence and Trask
(AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)Alabama teammates Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith along with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Florida’s Kyle Trask have been named finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Jones and Smith are the eighth set of teammates to be finalists together since the tradition started in 1982. Smith is trying to become the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991. Jones or Smith would become Alabama's third Heisman winner, but first that is not a running back. Iowa State running back Breece Hall was sixth, followed by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.
Harris scores 5 TDs, No. 1 Bama escapes No. 11 Florida 52-46
11 Florida in a 52-46 shootout for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday night. “The resiliency this team has shown this season to win 11 games is pretty phenomenal.”After falling behind 35-17 by halftime, Florida (8-3, No. Alabama had won every game in the pandemic-affected season by at least 15 points until Florida gave the Tide a scare. Florida: The Gators might’ve pulled off the upset if not for some crucial mistakes in the first half. But Florida also had two silly penalties on apparent third-down stops, extending a pair of drives that turned into touchdowns.
Smith's TD return sparks No. 1 Tide's 52-3 tour of Arkansas
– Alabama has been the dominant program in college football for more than a decade and Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has been coaching in the Southeastern Conference almost all of it. “On tape, it’s the best Alabama team I’ve seen,” said Pittman, a longtime assistant at Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia in his first season has head coach. “(Alabama coach Nick Saban) is going to hate me for saying that. Arkansas: An encouraging first regular season under coach Sam Pittman ended with a four-game losing streak. Alabama: Another trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game, the Tide's third in five years.
Jones bolsters Heisman case; No. 1 Alabama beats LSU 55-17
1 Alabama used a slew of explosive plays to run away from LSU 55-17 on Saturday night. Jones threw three of his touchdown passes to Louisiana native DeVonta Smith, who went to the same high school as Louisiana Gov. Smith's first two touchdowns went for 65 and 61 yards to cap three-play, 75-yard drives for Alabama (9-0, 9-0 SEC). Each score pulled LSU as close as two touchdowns, but the Tide answered each with the two deep connections between Jones and Smith. LSU: Visits sixth-ranked Florida in a game rescheduled from Oct. 17 because of a COVID-19 outbreak affecting the Gators.
No. 2 Alabama beats Ole Miss 63-48 in record SEC outburst
2 Alabama beat Ole Miss 63-48 on Saturday night in the highest-scoring Southeastern Conference regulation game ever. Matt Corral passed for 365 yards for Ole Miss (1-2) and the Rebels put up 647 yards on the Tide. Obviously, we didn’t play well on defense.”After another Ole Miss field goal, Alabama recovered an onside kick and Harris busted a 39-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it. Ole Miss: The offensive unit is impressive. Ole Miss: The Rebels visit Arkansas on Saturday.
Jones throws deep, No. 2 Alabama tops No. 13 Texas A&M 52-24
Briefly threatened early, Jones and the Crimson Tide (2-0) flexed their considerable big-play muscle in the passing game to put away the Aggies (1-1). “Our guys stayed the course and kept competing in the game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “We won, so it's a good game,” Jones said, when asked if it was his best performance. Smith, a converted receiver, emerged as another needed threat in the passing game. Alabama: Any questions about production of the Tide's passing game after Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III have been answered.
Roll redemption: No. 3 Alabama aims to restore dominance
3 Crimson Tide received that programs equivalent of a humbling last season, if an 11-2 record can qualify as such. Alabama failed to make the College Football Playoffs for the first time thanks largely to a 48-45, regular season-ending loss to rival Auburn. Making matters worse, that followed a 2018 season that ended with national championship game thrashing at the hands of Clemson. Speculation abounded that highly recruited freshman Bryce Young might push Jones for the starting job before COVID-19 canceled spring practice. Harris emerged as Alabamas latest star runner last season, gaining 1,224 yards and scoring 20 combined touchdowns rushing and receiving.
Parsons, Sewell among AP preseason All-Americans not playing
Parsons and Oregon tackle Penei Sewell are among 11 players selected who are not slated to play this fall. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger, File)Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Oregon tackle Penei Sewell are among 11 players selected to The Associated Press preseason All-America first team who are not slated to play this fall. Tackles x-Penei Sewell, junior, Oregon; Alex Leatherwood, senior, Alabama. Linebackers y-Micah Parsons, junior, Penn State; x-Hamilcar Rashed Jr., senior, Oregon State; Dylan Moses, senior, Alabama. Safeties x-Jevon Holland, junior, Oregon; Trevon Moehrig, junior, TCU.
Players unite in push to save college season, create union
College football players from across the country united Sunday in an attempt to save their season and ensure they will no longer be left out of the sport's biggest decisions. #BigTenUnited arrived on the scene a couple days later, a movement that claimed the backing off 1,000 Big Ten football players. Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association. Another person with direct knowledge of the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no votes were taken or decisions made about the college football season. ___Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25