Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 1/4


Get your day started with the Morning Kickoff. All your Crimson Tide news in one place.

Why won’t Alabama go away? Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting

"During Friday’s Under-Armour high school showcase game, six players made commitments. Two of them announced — just hours after the Crimson Tide suffered their season-ending defeat — they’ll be suiting up for Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa.The two players: 5-star CB Kendall Sheffield (the No. 18 overall player according to and 4-star DT Daron Payne (No. 41 overall, just missing 5-star status). The rest of the Tide’s 5-star haul for 2015 includes QB Blake Barnett, WR Calvin Ridley, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick and S Delonte Thompson.With National Signing Day one month away, Saban again has the No. 1 rated recruiting class (which Alabama has held since the 2011 signing class) that includes five 5-star players.Like Jack Nicholson’s Joker questioned after Batman swept in to save Vicki Vale right under his nose in Tim Burton’s Batman: “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”The answer: wherever he wants."

Saban: Tide exceeds expectations in rebuilding year

"Although Alabama ranked first in the recruiting rankings in 2008-09 and 2011-14, all those losses led Saban to believe the 2014 Crimson Tide didn’t start with the same solid base that his three Alabama national championship squads might have.So when the Crimson Tide’s season ended Thursday night with a 42-35 loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, which served as a College Football Playoff semifinal, Saban prefered to point out what he saw as an “underdog” status as Alabama went 12-2 and won the Southeastern Conference.“What I said to the players (afterward was) about exceeding expectations this year and doing a great job keeping Alabama in the forefront, and I was very proud of what they were able to accomplish,” Saban said. “And I was also apologetic to them as a coach and a coaching staff that didn’t do a better job of helping them be able to play their best in this game.”"

I actually saw one writer say he considered this season a failure. If seven ten-win season in a row plus three national title is failure, sign me up for that every day and twice on Sundays. Alabama plus the word failure equals clicks. It is shame writers turn to click bait but it’s the world we are in now.

Five areas of interest heading into the offseason

"Moving pieces at both cornerback and safety have been the story for Alabama’s defensive backfield the past two seasons. As a result, the Crimson Tide’s effectiveness against the pass declined for a second-straight year.In 2014, opponents averaged 226 passing yards per game, the most surrendered by a UA defense in Nick Saban’s eight seasons with the Crimson Tide. The 19 touchdown passes opponents completed this season were the most allowed by an Alabama defense since Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa.Has the game changed a good bit since 2007? You bet it has. Has Alabama felt the effects of some early departures to the NFL? Between Dee Milliner, HaHa Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri making the jump since 2013, that’s definitely been the case."

Travis Reier from BamaOnline takes a look at five things the Tide needs to work on for next season. The above preview is about the secondary. Click the link to check out what else Reier thinks.

Saban: ‘A lot of winners on this team’

"Alabama coach Nick Saban already was proud of his latest team, even before the bowl season began.Saban said he enjoyed the players camaraderie on and off the field. The Crimson Tide showed steady improvement throughout the season and played at a high level when early on that didn’t seem possible.That improvement gave Saban cause for optimism when Alabama began the College Football Playoff.His feelings didn’t change after losing the Sugar Bowl 42-35 to Ohio State on Thursday night.“There’s a lot of winners on this team,” Saban said. “And I don’t think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner. And I do think that there’s a lot of guys on this team that have been winners all year and did a fantastic job for our team.”"

He is exactly right and it’s for reason on and off the field. They never stopped fighting in the Sugar Bowl.

Crimson Tide Heads to No. 19/19 Georgia for First SEC Road Test of 2015

"The women’s basketball team (11-5, 0-1 SEC) will take on No. 19/19 Georgia (12-2, 0-1 SEC) in the Crimson Tide’s first Southeastern Conference road contest of the 2015 season on Sunday. The game is slated to tip off at Noon CT and will air live on Fox Sports Network.BROADCASTSunday’s game will air on Fox Sports Network with Jenn Hildreth (play-by-play) and Brittany Jackson (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Roger Hoover announcing the action."

Men’s Tennis Underclassmen Collect a Couple of Big Wins over Winter Break

"Although the spring season does not officially begin for the Crimson Tide men’s tennis team for two weeks, members of the squad were in action over the break competing on their own which resulted in big victories for sophomore Nikko Madregallejo and freshman Korey Lovett."