Morning Kickoff: Crimson Tide News 1/15


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

Auburn hires Lance Thompson away from Alabama to be linebackers coach

"Auburn has completed its coaching staff by hiring Alabama linebackers coach Lance Thompson away from the Crimson Tide, the school announced Wednesday morning.Thompson, a linebackers coach with a great reputation as a recruiter, will handle the linebackers for Will Muschamp, allowing the defensive coordinator to work with Travaris Robinson and coach the safeties.Thompson, who has coached at Alabama the past three seasons, has spent three separate stints in Tuscaloosa.“I’m really excited and very appreciative to be joining the Auburn football family and work with Coach Malzahn, Coach Muschamp and the entire staff,” Thompson said in a release. “I have a great amount of respect for Coach Malzahn and what he represents and what he has accomplished in a short period of time.”"

It’s the business of college football. Word from a few folks is Thompson was encouraged to look around for other jobs. It sounds like Saban is doing an overhaul on the defensive side of the ball. The changes may not be finished yet.

Coming for the Cats: Alabama basketball returns home to host unbeaten No. 1 Kentucky

"Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant came to the Capstone just under six years ago, a former assistant to one of the top college basketball coaches in the country – Florida’s Billy Donovan – and fresh off an impressive record with mid-major 
Virginia Commonwealth.Since then, he’s built a team based on veteran athletes culled from impressive, if not five-star laden, recruiting classes, augmented by transfer athletes. His philosophy is one of hard work, of basketball played “94 feet, both ways,” which has had Alabama on the verge of breaking through as an 
SEC contender.Grant has lacked a signature win for his tenure at Alabama. Under the Miami native’s direction, Alabama has defeated just three ranked opponents, and never one ranked in the top 10. His team’s best win came at home against a Kentucky team then ranked No. 12 in the nation."

Big game coming up this weekend and a win would be awesome but the Tide will have their work cut out for them.

UPDATE: Alabama DT Jarran Reed’s NFL decision uncertain

"Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed was apparently set to attend IMG Academy’s NFL Combine Training, IMG Academy announced Wednesday afternoon via its Twitter account (@IMGAcademy). But a tweet that read “We are excited to welcome @1j_reed to IMG Academy for #IMGDraftPrep” was deleted.An Alabama spokesperson said “Think they made a mistake” in reference to the IMG Academy tweet. Crimson Tide junior linebacker Reggie Ragland also shared via Twitter that Reed was not leaving school a year early, saying “he not leaving.”"

There was a little panic on Twitter over this one but it seems settled for now unless something changes. Getting Reed and Ragland back will be huge for the Tide defense next season.

Alabama among 3 schools to put 2 on freshman All-American team

"Alabama had two unanimous All-Americans and put two more on the futures team.Crimson Tide rookies JK Scott and Cam Robinson landed on the freshman All-American team selected by the Football Writers Association of America. Alabama was among three schools who had two representatives along with Michigan State and USC."

Congratulations to the young guys. We still have a few years to enjoy their talents on the football as well.

Updating progress on Sewell-Thomas Stadium renovation as Alabama baseball project hits milestone

"The $42.6 million renovation and expansion of Sewell-Thomas Stadium hit its first milestone Wednesday.The indoor hitting/pitching facility was dedicated in a ceremony attended by more than 100 program supporters, current and former Alabama baseball players.Athletics director Bill Battle and coach Mitch Gaspard said the massive project was on schedule for the 2016 re-opening of the ballpark.As the progress was celebrated inside, construction work continued outside. Since demolition began last summer, the stadium has been almost completely gutted. The press box, clubhouse and several seating sections are gone and the rebuilding process is underway."

It’s great to see the process on Sewell-Thomas Stadium. They are still a year away from completion but will it will help in recruiting so much as soon as it’s completed. Looking good.

SEC Releases 2015 Softball TV Schedule

"The Southeastern Conference has announced its televised slate of 2015 softball games and defending SEC Champion Alabama is set to appear 12 times during the regular season on the ESPN family of networks.Five home games and seven road contests will air on the ESPN family of networks, which include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network. Additionally, every Alabama home game and every SEC game, home or away, will be streamed live on the SEC Network +, which is available online at or on mobile devices via the WatchESPN app."