Absolutely nothing has slowed down for the Alabama Football staff. Recruit, recruit and close, close, close drives the Alabama Crimson Tide brain trust for the next few days. After the Dec. 15 Signing Day, the coaches get no breather. The next day, Alabama Football will begin practice for the CFB Playoff semi-final against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Recruiting will not be finished, even for the ’22 class. Some top targets will delay a decision until after January visits. Plus there is the Portal that presents a huge inventory of potential future Crimson Tide players.
There is some confusion about the Portal and numbers this year. A new rule this recruiting cycle is teams may replace certain exiting transfers. The NCAA approved a new plus-seven category. Subject to a specified window of when players transfer out, a school may add up to seven more scholarship players to compensate for the roster reductions.
Does this mean Alabama Football and other FBS programs can sign 32 players in the ’22 class? Not exactly; only the number of players who transfer out in a certain window can be replaced. More importantly, the total scholarship limit of 85 players was not increased.
The already difficult task of roster management became more complicated with the one-year rule. The easiest way for Alabama football fans to keep count is to not even try. The 85-scholarship limit deadline is many months away. Not even Nick Saban can yet know, what roster changes will occur.
Crimson Tide players are getting a much-needed and earned break. All the players needed the rest and too many needed the time for more healing. The loss of Josh Jobe for the Playoffs was a blow to him and his teammates. Other previously injured players are expected to return, including Jaylin Armour-Davis.
Alabama Football and Awards Season
Awards season races by during the respite interval. Individual awards are great and to be celebrated, though they do not equal in importance to team goals. As expected Bryce Young was a big award winner with the Davey O’Brien and Maxwell awards. Young also won AP Player of the Year. Earlier, Young and Will Anderson Jr. were named the SEC Players of the Year. Evan Neal and Will Anderson Jr. were named to the Walter Camp All-America First team. Bryce Young was not. Anderson also did not win the Bednarik Award and Jameson Williams missed out on the Biletnikoff Award.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday night. Bryce Young is expected to win, giving the Crimson Tide program an impressive back-to-back. DeVonta Smith, having accepted the award remotely last season, will also hoist his Heisman Trophy at the New York celebration.
A complete list of the award winners is available here.
Were Will and Jamo slighted Thursday night? Absolutely they were. The Tide’s Playoff opponents will pay the price.
This is also silly season time; when crazy things happen and rumors are rampant. One rumor is Alabama Football assistant coach, Holman Wiggins leaving to be OC at Virginia Tech. While it might happen, so far no credible source has backed it.