Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bama players at the Combine talk the “Crimson Grind”

By: @LivingCrimson

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)Nick Saban expects his players to not just win, but win with intensity. This year the fierceness cranked up another notch with a friendly competition among the defensive squad. Individual game performance was tracked by the position coaches, with points awarded for sacks, big hits, tackles for loss, interceptions, fumbles forced and recovered, and other measurables. Points were taken away for missed tackles and mental errors.

Of course the big man himself, Zeus Hightower, won the battle of the brutes.

Courtney Upshaw was just happy to finish near the top with Dont’a. He described the ultra competitiveness of Hightower as the foundation for a successful pro career: “[W]hoever gets him is going to be proud to get him. He makes plays. He was the leader of our defense. I’m sure he can go in and lead a team in the NFL.”

"We all compete, and that's another reason why we came to Alabama and the SEC — to compete against some of the best athletes in the country," Hightower said.

Pro Football Weekly compiled a video with Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower, DeQuan Menzie and Dre Kirkpatrick describing just another facet in The Process of winning.

The Alabama Crimson Tide defense made a living by punishing opposing offenses en route to a National Championship, but it was their competition against each other that may have propelled them there.

More Bama updates on Twitter at LivingCrimson.

LSU's Jordan Jefferson comes in last at NFL combine

LSU's Jordan Jefferson comes in last at NFL combine 
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The Kramer Rule on a four-team playoff should be DOA

image No, Stewart Mandel. You are not on an island full of Alabama fans. You are squarely in the neighborhood of common sense and good reason. The requirement that all of the participants in a four-team FBS playoff be conference champions—which shall henceforth be referred to derogatorily as the “Kramer Rule”—is a bad idea.

It’s bad on many different levels, too.

To start with, such a requirement is an arbitrary standard because all conferences are not the same size or have equal levels of competition. The Big East Champion is not the same as the Southeastern Conference Champion, who is not the same as the Big 12 Champion. Rewarding a 9-3 Big East Champion while excluding an 11-1 SEC West runner-up is arbitrary.

The current BCS faces imminent antitrust litigation from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who will challenge the BCS under the Sherman Antitrust Act for arbitrarily limiting competition. Do you really want to make Shurtleff’s case easier by adding even more arbitrariness to the selection process?

Of course not.

Secondly, what to do about Notre Dame? The school holds a chair at the same table as the conference commissioners of the SEC, PAC-12, ACC, Big 12 and Big East. Imposing a conference champions only rule arbitrarily excludes Notre Dame because as an independent, they cannot be a conference champion.

So with a wink and a nod, do you make an exception for the Fighting Irish? Should the four teams in the playoff be conference champions plus Notre Dame if they otherwise meet BCS Bowl eligibility standards? That gives college football’s perennial media darling an advantage not afforded to any other school in any other conference (including mid-majors in the WAC, Mountain West and Conference USA).

I guarantee you that if Notre Dame is 9-3 or 10-2, the old school media will bang the drum loudly and make sure that they’re ranked highly enough to get in the playoff.

Good luck selling that, Mr. Kramer.

Third, the fans won’t stand for it as soon as they realize what would have happened in 2011 had there been a conference champions only, four-team playoff. It would have pitted No. 3 Oklahoma State against No. 5 Oregon and No. 1 LSU vs. No. 10 Oregon. No Stanford, no Alabama, no Arkansas. Fans clamored for the two best teams to be paired against each other for the championship two decades ago. They weren’t asking for the two best conference champions.

By extension, fans won’t care to see the four highest ranked conference champions in a four-team playoff. If they demanded that the two highest ranked teams be paired in 1992, they’ll holler just as loudly for the four highest ranked teams in 2012.

Fourth, money talks. When the conference commissioners start cutting nuts and putting details of a new postseason plan together, CBS and ESPN will counsel their partners about installing a plan that puts good inventory on the schedule, not some high-brow notion of inclusiveness and “fairness.” The public and the media might think it’s “more fair” to include a 10th ranked conference champion in a playoff, but that doesn’t mean college football fans will buy tickets or watch the game.

Which playoff game would you rather watch: Alabama vs Oklahoma State, or LSU vs. Oregon in a rematch? If you’re a TV executive, you already know the answer to that question and you’re already showing the commissioners how much damage could be done by pursuing such folly.

Fifth, there is a big difference between “winning the case” and “not getting sued,” which takes us back to  Shurtleff’s pending lawsuit against the BCS. The BCS is vulnerable on antitrust grounds, but that doesn’t mean Shurtleff will win (or lose) his case. Deciding to reduce the arbitrary nature of BCS selection by instituting a four-team playoff reduces that vulnerability. It’s a lot easier to argue having four teams with access to the championship is an improvement over only two. Why give Shurtleff his bullets back by substituting one arbitrary standard for another?

If you institute a four-team playoff and you make sure that the four highest ranked teams are chosen regardless of conference affiliation or conference championship status, you’ve probably eliminated the entire basis for Shurtleff’s complaint. Not getting sued is the right course of action. That’s doubly true if the only requirement for gaining access is winning enough to be ranked in the top four.

Even Notre Dame and Utah should be happy with that.

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Hot Potato! UGA Soccer player tries stealing hash browns by stuffing them in her britches

image We all know the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is good for a laugh or three every day. But this is worthy of Leap Day Story of the Internet.

Carli Shultis, a women’s soccer player, was arrested on February 21 at the Bulldog Cafe on campus for attempting to steal an order of hash browns by stuffing them in her pants.

The Red & Black student newspaper obtained a copy of the police report. According to the paper, one of the food services worker saw Shultis try to steal the taters and detained her on the spot.

She was arrested and taken to jail.

Shultis admitted to a police officer that she had stuffed the hashbrowns in her pants to avoid paying for them, the Red & Black reported.

Shultis also told police that she had enough money to pay for the hashbrowns, which were valued at $1.06, the paper said.

The police report also stated that Shultis removed the hashbrowns from her pants and tried to put them back on the food counter when she realized she'd been spotted.


Exit question: What the hell is so good about Bulldog Cafe hashbrowns that would make such a charming and talented young lady go rogue?

Helmet tap to @BSBHVR2
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Scouts split on Alabama players’ draft prospects

image There is an outstanding analysis by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, in which five different scouts discuss pros and cons regarding this year's prospects. It covers 50 of the top prospects and provides quotes from talent scouts who don't always have the same point of view.

It really is a thorough piece and has assessments of other SEC prospects as well, so it’s worth clicking and reading the whole thing.

Here’s what the scouts had to say about the top Alabama prospects—five guys who could all go on the first night.. Some of this you will agree with. Some of it will leave you scratching your head. All of it should spark discussion.

Trent Richardson*, RB, Alabama: 5-11, 225. Backed up Mark Ingram for two seasons before exploding for 1,679 yards (5.9) and 21 TDs in 2011. "Two years ago when Ingram won the Heisman, people at Alabama laughed behind the scenes saying, 'Ingram isn't even the best player in his own backfield,' " one scout said. "And Ingram is a nice player. But Richardson is big-time. He is probably the most complete player in this draft. Every superlative that you could put on him he's got." Regarded as a mature person and a tremendous worker. "He immediately changes your team," another scout said. "From whatever it is to a tough team. Because he's a tough guy. He's the total package. Pass protects. Everything."

Dre Kirkpatrick*, CB, Alabama: 6-2½, 190. Another two-year starter with three interceptions. "He's the toughest of all the corners coming out this year," one scout said. "Looks like he can run." Was arrested for marijuana possession in January, but the charge was dropped. "He's going to (expletive) you off because he's such a freelancer," another scout said. "That's kind of his persona. To do that you'd better be Deion Sanders. Claiborne's upside isn't as big as Kirkpatrick's. Claiborne is more well-rounded."

[note: Both of these guys are slam dunk first rounders and could be gone in the first 10-15 picks]

Dont'a Hightower*, ILB-OLB, Alabama: 6-2, 265. Played ILB in the Crimson Tide's base 3-4 but often put his hand down and rushed on passing downs. "Does he flash big-time plays?" one scout said. "Yeah, he does. Does he dominate like a guy 6-3, 265 should? Not on a consistent basis." Blew out his knee in Game 4 of 2009 and, according to some scouts, has yet to play back to his old form. "He's got the ability of the guy the Raiders took (Rolando McClain)," another scout said. "Some people don't know how tough he is. The knock on him is if he really inserts. But he is strong. I've seen him take his hand and just stand up guards." He tried to power rush tackles and ended up with five sacks. "He's capable of playing outside (linebacker)," a third scout said. "He can do anything you ask him to do."

Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: 6-1½, 272. Projects as an OLB in a 3-4 or a strong-side LB in a 4-3. "The only reason Upshaw could go ahead of Ingram is because Upshaw actually played up and down and Ingram played all over the place," one scout said. "I don't think Upshaw was really outstanding in the Senior Bowl. I thought he was just ordinary. He's very physical, but he gets cut a lot. That's because he's stiff." Two-year starter with 16½ sacks. "(People) think he's Cornelius Bennett and he's not," another scout said. "He's a good, tough, nasty college football player that I think will get blocked a lot in the NFL." Scored just 9 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. "He's just a tough (expletive)," a third scout said. "He's really not a burn the edge guy. He is not fast. He's built like a fire hydrant. Maybe a 3-4 team will take him in the first."

Mark Barron, S, Alabama: 6-1½, 223. Three-year starter. "He's a plug-in and play starting safety from Day One," one scout said. "Of all the Alabama guys, Trent Richardson and Mark Barron are the two most dependable guys. You know what you're getting. There is no question about it. He can play deep safety and down in the box as a dime cover guy on the tight end or back out of the backfield. He's a good blitzer and good in run support." Finished with 12 interceptions. "For a big, tall guy he can break down," another scout said. "He's not Troy Polamalu. There's 25 guys in this draft better than Barron."

Again, go read the whole thing. There are interesting analyses of Morris Claiborne, Fletcher Cox, Melvin Ingram and other top SEC prospects.

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Uh oh: Someone is selling a Kentucky – Anthony Davis T-Shirt on EBay

There’s not much a school can do to prevent stuff like this from showing up, but it is an NCAA violation to use a current student-athlete’s likeness or name to sell a commercial product or service.

The school will have to issue a cease and desist order and as long as Davis doesn’t know about this enterprise, he’s in the clear.


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Kirkpatrick stands out in final day at combine news: Claiborne, Kirkpatrick stand out in final day at combine
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Kirkpatrick sufficiently addressed concerns about his speed and quickness by blazing times in the high 4.4-range in the 40-yard dash on stopwatches in the stands. He also exhibited smooth turns and transitions in position drills, allowing coaches to assess his ability to fit into schemes built primarily around zone concepts. In addition, Kirkpatrick caught the ball well in drills and quieted some of the criticism regarding his hands after he finished his career with only three interceptions. If he performed as well in the interview room as he demonstrated on the field, Kirkpatrick should re-enter the discussion as a likely top-15 pick.

Non-sports: Coast Guard chopper down in Mobile Bay. One dead, three missing

1 dead in U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crash in Mobile Bay
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The U.S. Coast Guard says one crewmember is dead and three others remain missing following a helicopter crash in Mobile Bay during a training mission.
Spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Bordelon says an MH-65C helicopter crashed Tuesday evening near Point Clear. 
 The Coast Guard initially said one person had been rescued but a news release issued early Wednesday said a crewmember was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead.

 Get the rest here.

The downed helicopter is an MH-65 Dolphin from the Aviation Training Center, located in Mobile. The ATC trains US Coast Guard helicopter pilots for deployment around the country (and the world).

Crashes are extraordinarily rare, despite the green nature of the pilots.

Prayers for the lost and their families.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alabama to offer four year scholarships - Hurt: Saban to offer four-year scholarships
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On Feb. 18, the member institutions that comprise NCAA Division I voted narrowly not to rescind legislation that allows schools to offer multiyear scholarships instead of strictly offering renewable one-year scholarships. It was by the slimmest of margins, but multiyear scholarships survived.

That, in turn, led to dire predictions of a Tower of Babel situation, with every school making different offers to recruits in an impossible-to-decipher jumble of various terms and limits.

Nick Saban doesn't see that happening.

"We're going to offer four-year scholarships," Saban said. "Our whole conference is going to do it, all the schools, I think.

"And we're happy to do it."
Read the rest of Cecil Hurt's story here.

Capsules of Bama players nominated to College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the 2012 class was released today, and includes three former Alabama Crimson Tide players. They are Paul Crane, Bobby Humphrey and Derrick Thomas. Here’s a short capsule for each.

image Paul Crane, Center/Linebacker. Two-way starter at center and linebacker from 1963 through 1965. Crane earned consensus First Team All-America honors under coach Paul W. Bryant and was a member of back-to-back national championship teams and consecutive Southeastern Conference championships. He was the 1965 SEC Lineman of the Year. He played seven seasons for the Jets between 1966 and 1972.  He also served as an assistant to Bryant from 1975 through 1978. Crane currently lives in Mobile and serves as a youth sports director and counselor for the Catholic Youth Organization, Archdiocese of Mobile.


image Bobby Humphrey, Running Back. Led Alabama to victories in the Aloha Bowl and two Sun Bowls and was UPI’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1987. He left Alabama with 4,958 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns. He played for three years in the NFL for the Broncos and Dolphins, reaching Super Bowl XXIV with Denver and playing against the San Francisco 49ers. He later coached the Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena Football League. He resides in Birmingham and handles special project sales for a large concrete distributor.



image Derrick Thomas, Linebacker. 1988 unanimous First Team All-America and Butkus Award Winner. He led Alabama to four consecutive bowls and won 1988 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He Set SEC record for sacks in a season (27) and finished career with 74 tackles for loss. Thomas was drafted by the Chiefs in 1989 and he spent his entire career in Kansas City. Thomas suffered paralyzing injuries in a 2007 car crash and later died from complications of his injuries.



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LSU wants Tiger Stadium to be even LOUDER

LSU moving forward with Tiger Stadium expansion plans |
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So, DJ Fluker and David Wilson go to breakfast one morning…

And this happens.

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Tommy Tuberville suit connected to Donnan Ponzi scheme?

Current Texas Tech and former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville was named Friday in a $1.7 million lawsuit, alleging that he and another defendant defrauded investors.

Filed in US District Court in Montgomery, the complaint alleges that Tuberville and a partner, John David Stroud, “by use of means or instrumentalities of interstate commerce and by use of the United States
mails: (a) employed devices, schemes, and artifices to defraud Plaintiffs, (b) made untrue statements of material facts and omitted to state other material facts necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, and (c) engaged in acts, practices or courses of business which operated as a fraud and deceit upon Plaintiffs.”

The plaintiffs have demanded their money back, but federal regulators’ review of company accounts shows less than $3,500.

Where’d all that money go?

View the full complaint below.

UPDATE: In July 2011, former Georgia coach Jim Donnan was accused of running a Ponzi scheme. Among those said to have invested with Donnan’s enterprise:

Formed in March 2004, GLC Enterprises, as it was known then, attracted investments from several high-profile figures from the world of sport. Among them are former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer; Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer; Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione; and Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville.

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Combine wrapping up today with defensive backs

image Former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive backs Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie will workout in front of NFL scouts today, the last day of the NFL Scouting Combine. Safety Mark Barron—recovering from surgery to repair a double hernia—will not participate in drills.

Kirkpatrick and Menzie will work with the second group of defensive backs during the afternoon session.

Kirkpatrick is either the No. 1 or No. 2 cornerback in the 2012 draft, depending on whose mock draft you read. Menzie grades out as a second to third rounder, but don’t expect him to last beyond the second day. Barron is the No. 1 safety in the draft, but very few projections had him going in the first round in pre-combine mock drafts.

A total of nine Alabama players were invited to the 2012 combine—most in the nation. The others invited were linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw; defensive lineman Josh Chapman; wideouts Darius Hanks and Marquis Maze and running back Trent Richardson.

Richardson and Chapman joined Barron as Tide players who did not workout during the combine. Upshaw participated only in the bench press exercise, opting to do other on-field workouts during Alabama’s Pro Day, set for March 7 on campus.

Richardson—whose minor knee surgery knocked him out of both the Combine and the Pro Day drills—has scheduled a private workout for NFL scouts on March 27.

The 2012 NFL Draft will be held April 26 – 28 in New York. Alabama could have as many as five players selected in the first round, with as many as 10 selected overall.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

South Carolina player Angelo Watley arrested on burglary charges

The website Cemetery Hill is reporting that South Carolina player Angelo Watley has been arrested on felony theft charges.

The website post includes the following screenshot, and IBCR has confirmed that the screenshot is authentic.

imageAt 3:40 EST, Watley was reportedly still in custody. Bond is set at $50,000.

Watley was arrested on three counts—Grand Larceny (theft greater than $2,000 but less than $10,000), credit card theft and second degree burglary.

All three crimes are felonies under South Carolina state law.

Watley is a redshirt freshman linebacker from Suwanee, Georgia and who signed with the Gamecocks in 2011.

With the earlier news of Kentucky’s Ridge Wilson’s arrest on felony drug trafficking charges, it looks like some updates will be forthcoming in the Fulmer Cup race!

UPDATE: This is apparently not Mr. Watley’s first run-in with law enforcement. A blog reader snarks via email that Watley has “Cam Newton Ears.”

UPDATE II: South Carolina has confirmed the arrest and says that Watley has been suspended.


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Alabama Crimson Tide Draft History, 1936-2011

image Since Riley Smith was taken in the 1936 draft, the University of Alabama seen a total of 221 players selected by American professional football programs organized under the auspices of what is today’s National Football League.

That’s an average of three players taken each year throughout history.

The 221 figure is lower than that recorded by some other sites. However, those sites appear to have “Quality Control” issues. For example, one shows 10 players taken by the Dodgers and three taken by the Yanks. For now, let’s stick to the “official” numbers as provided by the NFL.

Here is the complete list, from last year’s class of five draft picks all the way back to 1936. Data courtesy of’s Draft History database.

2011 1 Marcell Dareus DT Buffalo Bills
2011 1 Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons
2011 1 James Carpenter T Seattle Seahawks
2011 1 Mark Ingram RB New Orleans Saints
2011 7 Greg McElroy QB New York Jets
2010 1 Rolando McClain MLB Oakland Raiders
2010 1 Kareem Jackson CB Houston Texans
2010 2 Javier Arenas DB Kansas City Chiefs
2010 2 Terrence Cody DE Baltimore Ravens
2010 3 Mike Johnson G Atlanta Falcons
2010 7 Marquis Johnson DB St. Louis Rams
2010 7 Brandon Deaderick DE New England Patriots
2009 1 Andre Smith T Cincinnati Bengals
2009 3 Glen Coffee RB San Francisco 49ers
2009 3 Antoine Caldwell C Houston Texans
2009 3 Rashad Johnson DB Arizona Cardinals
2007 4 Le'Ron McClain FB Baltimore Ravens
2007 7 Kenneth Darby RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2007 7 Ramzee Robinson CB Detroit Lions
2006 2 DeMeco Ryans MLB Houston Texans
2006 2 Roman Harper SS New Orleans Saints
2006 3 Brodie Croyle QB Kansas City Chiefs
2006 5 Charlie Peprah DB New York Giants
2006 5 Mark Anderson DE Chicago Bears
2005 3 Evan Mathis G Carolina Panthers
2005 5 Wesley Britt T San Diego Chargers
2005 6 Anthony Bryant DT Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2005 7 Cornelius Wortham LB Seattle Seahawks
2004 2 Justin Smiley G San Francisco 49ers
2004 2 Antwan Odom DE Tennessee Titans
2004 6 Triandos Luke WR Denver Broncos
2004 7 Derrick Pope LB Miami Dolphins
2003 4 Jarret Johnson DE Baltimore Ravens
2003 5 Kenny King DT Arizona Cardinals
2003 5 Kindal Moorehead DT Carolina Panthers
2003 6 Waine Bacon DB Atlanta Falcons
2003 7 Ahmaad Galloway RB Denver Broncos
2002 3 Saleem Rasheed LB San Francisco 49ers
2002 5 Jason McAddley WR Arizona Cardinals
2002 5 Terry Jones TE Baltimore Ravens
2002 5 Freddie Milons WR Philadelphia Eagles
2001 2 Tony Dixon DB Dallas Cowboys
2001 3 Kenny Smith DT New Orleans Saints
2001 5 Shawn Draper T Miami Dolphins
2000 1 Chris Samuels T Washington Redskins
2000 1 Shaun Alexander RB Seattle Seahawks
2000 2 Cornelius Griffin DT New York Giants
1999 1 Fernando Bryant CB Jacksonville Jaguars
1998 2 Rod Rutledge TE New England Patriots
1998 4 Michael Myers DT Dallas Cowboys
1998 4 Deshea Townsend DB Pittsburgh Steelers
1998 4 Curtis Alexander -- Denver Broncos
1997 1 Dwayne Rudd LB Minnesota Vikings
1997 5 Patrick Hape TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1997 7 Ralph Staten DB Baltimore Ravens
1996 3 Shannon Brown DT Atlanta Falcons
1996 4 Kendrick Burton DE Houston Oilers
1996 4 Brad Ford DB Detroit Lions
1996 6 Tony Johnson TE Philadelphia Eagles
1996 6 Toderick Malone WR New Orleans Saints
1995 2 Sherman Williams RB Dallas Cowboys
1995 4 Sam Shade SAF Cincinnati Bengals
1995 4 Dameian Jeffries DE New Orleans Saints
1995 5 Jay Barker QB Green Bay Packers
1995 7 Bryne Diehl -- New York Giants
1994 1 Antonio Langham CB Cleveland Browns
1994 2 Kevin Lee WR New England Patriots
1994 2 David Palmer WR Minnesota Vikings
1994 2 Jeremy Nunley DE Houston Oilers
1994 5 Roosevelt Patterson -- Los Angeles Raiders
1994 7 Lemanski Hall LB Houston Oilers
1993 1 John Copeland DE Cincinnati Bengals
1993 1 Eric Curry DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1993 1 George Teague FS Green Bay Packers
1993 3 Antonio London LB Detroit Lions
1993 4 Derrick Lassic RB Dallas Cowboys
1993 6 Derrick Oden LB Philadelphia Eagles
1992 2 Siran Stacy RB Philadelphia Eagles
1992 3 Kevin Turner RB New England Patriots
1992 8 Robert Stewart -- New Orleans Saints
1992 10 Mark McMillian DB Philadelphia Eagles
1991 2 George Thornton DT San Diego Chargers
1991 10 Byron Holdbrooks -- San Francisco 49ers
1991 11 Efrum Thomas -- Pittsburgh Steelers
1990 1 Keith McCants DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1990 6 John Mangum DB Chicago Bears
1990 10 Thomas Rayam G Washington Redskins
1989 1 Derrick Thomas LB Kansas City Chiefs
1989 5 Greg Gilbert -- Chicago Bears
1989 6 Chris Mohr P Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1989 6 Howard Cross TE New York Giants
1989 7 George Bethune LB Los Angeles Rams
1989   Bobby Humphrey RB Denver Broncos
1988 7 Kerry Goode RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1988 7 Bo Wright -- Buffalo Bills
1988 8 Phillip Brown -- Atlanta Falcons
1987 1 Cornelius Bennett LB Indianapolis Colts
1987 6 Freddie Robinson DB Indianapolis Colts
1987 6 Greg Richardson WR Minnesota Vikings
1987 7 Curt Jarvis NT Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987 9 Wayne Davis LB St. Louis Cardinals
1987 9 Wes Neighbors C Houston Oilers
1987 10 Chris Goode DB Indianapolis Colts
1987 12 Mike Shula QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1986 1 Jon Hand DE Indianapolis Colts
1986 2 Larry Roberts DE San Francisco 49ers
1986 6 Thornton Chandler TE Dallas Cowboys
1986 6 Brent Sowell -- Miami Dolphins
1985 1 Emanuel King LB Cincinnati Bengals
1985 3 Ricky Moore RB San Francisco 49ers
1984 4 Joe Carter RB Miami Dolphins
1984 7 Jesse Bendross WR San Diego Chargers
1984   Joey Jones WR Atlanta Falcons
1983 1 Mike Pitts DT Atlanta Falcons
1983 3 Jeremiah Castille DB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1983 5 Steve Mott C Detroit Lions
1983 12 Robbie Jones LB New York Giants
1982 3 Benny Perrin DB St. Louis Cardinals
1982 8 Tom Boyd LB Green Bay Packers
1982 9 Warren Lyles -- San Diego Chargers
1981 1 E.J. Junior LB St. Louis Cardinals
1981 5 Byron Braggs DE Green Bay Packers
1981 7 Billy Jackson RB Kansas City Chiefs
1981 10 James Mallard -- St. Louis Cardinals
1981 12 Major Ogilvie -- San Francisco 49ers
1980 1 Don McNeal DB Miami Dolphins
1980 2 Dwight Stephenson C Miami Dolphins
1980 6 Wayne Hamilton -- San Diego Chargers
1980 7 Buddy Aydelette T Green Bay Packers
1980 8 Ken Harris -- New York Giants
1980 9 Steve Whitman -- San Diego Chargers
1979 1 Barry Krauss LB Baltimore Colts
1979 1 Marty Lyons DT New York Jets
1979 3 Tony Nathan RB Miami Dolphins
1979 7 Rich Wingo LB Green Bay Packers
1979 9 Jeff Rutledge QB Los Angeles Rams
1978 1 Bob Cryder G New England Patriots
1978 1 Ozzie Newsome TE Cleveland Browns
1978 2 Johnny Davis RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1978 11 Terry Jones NT Green Bay Packers
1977 2 Bob Baumhower NT Miami Dolphins
1977 3 Charley Hannah G Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1977 6 Paul Harris LB Pittsburgh Steelers
1977 8 Calvin Culliver -- Denver Broncos
1976 1 Richard Todd QB New York Jets
1976 4 Wayne Rhodes -- Chicago Bears
1976 5 Woodrow Lowe LB San Diego Chargers
1976 5 Willie Shelby RB Cincinnati Bengals
1976 10 Leroy Cook -- Dallas Cowboys
1976 12 Joe Dale Harris -- Cincinnati Bengals
1975 3 Mike Washington DB Baltimore Colts
1975 8 Ricky Davis DB Cincinnati Bengals
1974 1 Wilbur Jackson RB San Francisco 49ers
1974 3 Wayne Wheeler WR Chicago Bears
1974 6 Mike Raines DT San Francisco 49ers
1974 8 Greg Gantt P New York Jets
1974 16 Buddy Brown -- New York Giants
1973 1 John Hannah G New England Patriots
1973 7 John Mitchell -- San Francisco 49ers
1973 12 Jim Krapf -- Oakland Raiders
1972 3 Johnny Musso RB Chicago Bears
1972 11 Dave Bailey -- Green Bay Packers
1972 15 Robin Parkhouse -- Baltimore Colts
1972 16 Steve Higginbotham -- Washington Redskins
1971 6 Scott Hunter QB Green Bay Packers
1969 10 Mike Hall -- New York Jets
1969 16 Bill Davis -- Oakland Raiders
1968 1 Dennis Homan WR Dallas Cowboys
1968 2 Ken Stabler QB Oakland Raiders
1968 12 Bobby Johns -- Kansas City Chiefs
1967 1 Les Kelley LB New Orleans Saints
1967 4 Louis Thompson -- New York Giants
1967 4 Wayne Trimble DB San Francisco 49ers
1967 9 Cecil Dowdy -- Cleveland Browns
1966 7 Ray Perkins WR Baltimore Colts
1966 11 Steve Sloan QB Atlanta Falcons
1966 15 Steve Bowman HB New York Giants
1966 15 Tommy Tolleson WR Atlanta Falcons
1966 16 David Ray K Cleveland Browns
1965 3 Ray Ogden TE St. Louis Cardinals
1965   Joe Namath QB New York Jets
1964 5 Steve Wright T Green Bay Packers
1964   Benny Nelson DB Houston Oilers
1963 1 Lee Roy Jordan LB Dallas Cowboys
1963 2 Butch Wilson TE Baltimore Colts
1962   Tommy Brooker OE Dallas Texans
1962   Billy Neighbors G Boston Patriots
1962   Ray Abruzzese DB Buffalo Bills
1959 7 Bobby Jackson DB Green Bay Packers
1956 17 Bart Starr QB Green Bay Packers
1955 6 Bobby Luna DB San Francisco 49ers
1955 6 Corky Tharp DB Los Angeles Rams
1955 9 Ed Culpepper DT Green Bay Packers
1954 7 Sid Youngelman DT San Francisco 49ers
1953 8 Jess Richardson DT Philadelphia Eagles
1953 8 Jerry Watford OE Chicago Cardinals
1952 8 Billy Shipp OT New York Giants
1951 1 Butch Avinger FB Pittsburgh Steelers
1951 2 Ed Salem QB Washington Redskins
1951 6 Herb Hannah OT New York Giants
1951 8 Larry Lauer C New York Yanks
1951 25 Tom Calvin HB Pittsburgh Steelers
1949 7 Jim Cain DE Chicago Cardinals
1948 1 Harry Gilmer QB Washington Redskins
1948 1 Vaughn Mancha C Boston Yanks
1948 23 Rebel Steiner DB Detroit Lions
1945 21 Norman Mosley TB Philadelphia Eagles
1945 29 Ken Reese HB Philadelphia Eagles
1944 9 Mitch Olenski T Brooklyn Tigers
1943 6 Tony Leon G Washington Redskins
1943 14 George Weeks DE Brooklyn Tigers
1943 15 Russ Craft DB Philadelphia Eagles
1943 23 Dave Brown HB New York Giants
1942 14 John Wyhonic G Philadelphia Eagles
1941 2 Fred Davis DT Washington Redskins
1940 4 Bobby Wood T Cleveland Rams
1940 5 Walt Merrill T Brooklyn Dodgers
1940 13 Sandy Sanford OE Washington Redskins
1939 9 Lew Bostick G Cleveland Rams
1937 2 Tarzan White G New York Giants
1936 1 Riley Smith BB Boston Redskins

Note: This post will eventually be promoted to a top level page.

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Kentucky Linebacker arrested for drug trafficking

UK linebacker suspended after drug arrest in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville - News, Weather, Sports Community
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A University of Kentucky football linebacker was arrested on a felony drug charge in Louisville over the weekend.Police say they were conducting a routine patrol on W. Oak Street, near 6th Street, early Sunday morning when they noticed a vehicle with an Indiana license plate on the side of the road.

"The area is known for drug trafficking and drug use," police say.

According to the arrest report, the officer saw a man leaning down in the driver seat with no lights on in the inside of the vehicle. The officer then pulled over to see what the man was doing. That man turned out to be 21-year-old Ridge A. Wilson.

Police say Wilson was "extremely nervous" and "kept mentioning [that] he played football for the University of Kentucky."

Wilson allowed officers to search his vehicle. That's when police say they found a pair of jeans in the back seat with a bag of Xanax pills. They also allegedly found $1,947 in the jeans he was wearing.
 Read the rest here.

Steelers eyeing Dont'a Hightower for inside linebacker

NFL Combine: Inside linebacker would fill Steelers need
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Vontaze Burfict, one of the top inside linebacker prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine, might already have something in common with James Harrison. At Arizona State, where he got into a fight with a teammate and was suspended for throwing punches in a game, Burfict was named the meanest man in college football.
Dont'a Hightower would like to have something in common with Harrison. Such as, play between him and LaMarr Woodley. The inside linebacker from national champion Alabama lists those two players among his favorite linebackers in the NFL.

Burfict and Hightower have questions to answer and something to prove at Lucas Oil Stadium, but for much different reasons. Burfict (6 feet 3, 248 pounds) wants to prove he is not the bad guy he is portrayed to be, especially after a senior season at Arizona State in which he battled teammates, coaches, officials and his weight. His test will come in interview sessions with coaches and general managers, not in physical drills.

Hightower (6-2, 265) will have his exam on the stadium floor today when linebackers run and work out at the combine. He has to show he is not bothered by a severe knee injury that ended his 2009 season.
Read the rest here.

The Steelers have an immediate need for help inside. Hightower has already interviewed with the team. The Steelers aren't yet sold on either player and both grade out similarly (mid-80's).

Bama Hockey defender brimming with confidence ahead of title tournament


Matthew Talton is an experienced and talented defenseman for Alabama Hockey and he doesn’t lack confidence in what lies ahead.

Late Sunday afternoon, the Alabama Frozen Tide hockey team defeated Florida 7-2, completing a three game sweep of the Southeastern College Hockey Conference Tournament and setting the stage for a run at the National Championship. Yes, you read that right—an Alabama sports team is poised for a run at yet another national title.

[RELATED: Exclusive interview with Head Coach Mike Quenneville]

BAMSRadio’s BlipAngel caught up with the senior defender to get his thoughts on the Tide’s season and the national championship tournament ahead.

How has the combination of experienced upper classmen and talented under classmen combined for the Frozen Tide this season?  Talk about the chemistry of the team, if you would.

“Each year at training camp, General Manager Buddy DamarĂ© tells each of the returning players that the freshmen at the camp are there to take a spot on the team away from the returners and that we must fight to keep our position.  That was definitely true this year as the group of freshmen we have brought in made a difference, beginning when we stepped onto the ice against Georgia Tech.  The talent of the freshmen combined with the experience of the veterans has made the Frozen Tide a force to be reckoned with in ACHA Division III. This team has come together like no other that I have been a part of.  We have weathered storms on and off the ice and come out on the other side stronger and unified.”

Looking ahead to the Nationals, what challenges do you see and what do you think the team’s chances are?

“When you look at the lineup of teams in the tournament and especially those in our grouping, you see a lot of history with former National Champions and Runners-up; however, you cannot count any team out when they are wearing a crimson "A" on their chest.  We have already played two of the teams in our grouping: a loss to Hope College (North #1) and a win over CSU-Northridge (Pacific #4).  Statistics only take you so far, though. We have outplayed and beaten the #1 seed out of our region, FGCU.  We have hung with and beaten the type of competition we will see in Vineland, so we definitely have a legitimate shot at bringing the University of Alabama its first National Championship in ice hockey.”

Talk about the SECHC Tournament and what it meant for the team to make history there.

“I remember showing up at training camp my freshman year and hearing the returning players talk about their loss to Richmond at the regional tournament the season before.  This organization has come a long way since that time and the tables were turned this year.  Assistant Coach Ian Hebert told us at practice last week to carry a bit of "swagger" to South Carolina and we did just that, going in there and taking care of business for the first time in Frozen Tide history.  

“The Blue Ridge Hockey Conference always puts competitive teams on the ice at Regionals so we knew that we would be up against tough competition.  One major highlight of the weekend was being able to put away Christopher Newport University on Friday night for our first win at the regional tournament in the team's history.  It was definitely nice to get that monkey off our back.  As for the game against Richmond, a high point for our team was the discipline and dedication to the process that we showed in Saturday's game.  One thing that hurt us at last year's regional tournament was that we lacked that discipline and seeing this team overcome that and reach our goal was priceless.”

How do you think the team will prepare mentally and physically for the Nationals?

I imagine that our preparation will be similar to the football team's preparation for their National Championship.  The break will give us some time to heal some injuries and get our bodies ready to play on the big stage, but the preparation will not change much from the rest of the year.  We have played every weekend of the season for a chance to play in this tournament so this is just another part of the process we have been completing step by step all season.  We have been playing National Championship caliber teams all year so our preparation will not change.  We know our systems, our plays, our plans; the season has been a collection of rehearsals leading up to New Jersey when we have an opportunity to showcase Bama Hockey with the whole nation watching.

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Exclusive: Interview with Frozen Tide Hockey Coach Mike Quenneville


In the two websites’ ongoing collaboration, and have the exclusive Q&A with yet another coach in position to take home some hardware.

Late Sunday afternoon, the Alabama Frozen Tide hockey team defeated Florida 7-2, completing a three game sweep of the Southeastern College Hockey Conference Tournament and setting the stage for a run at the National Championship. Yes, you read that right—an Alabama hockey team is poised for a run at yet another national title.

BAMSRadio’s BlipAngel caught up with head coach Mike Quenneville and queried him about the season  and the national championship tournament ahead.

Bama won the regular season SEC schedule and went into the conference tournament this weekend with a head full of steam.  Has Bama ever won the conference tournament? 

“This is the fourth year of the SECHC tourney and no, Bama had never won it.”

This team has skated several different combinations for your lines.  At one point you had one of your most experienced seniors, Mark Wysock, on a line with two Freshmen wingers who formed a very productive line for you.  How has the combination of experienced upper classmen and talented under classmen combined for the Frozen Tide this season?  Talk about the chemistry of the team, if you would.

“Chemistry is everything and that’s one of the hardest things to do as a coach: put a lineup on the board that will work. We had some injuries early on and we had to do some juggling. Somehow we ended up with Mark Wysock centering freshmen Clay Link and Kenny Jannsen. The second line is sophomore and leading scorer Zach Dailey with newcomer Matt Mayes at center and freshman Cody Colbert on wing. The third line is sophomore Alex Dubrinsky with junior Brandon Butler at center and senior Sean Keeler on wing. The fourth and fifth line are all freshmen. It takes a few games to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We have a young team.

“If you look at our player stats—we have many players with a lot of points—you don’t see this on many other teams. We try to mix it up so we can play four lines and hopefully have legs in the third period if we need to go with our ‘horses.’ On forward Sean Keeler and Wyscock are seniors and three defensemen are seniors: Christain Edge, Ryan Bartletta and Matthew Talton.

“So I must say that the new players have really come on strong and made a impact for the team. We have a second string goaltender in John Bierchen ( 1st year goalie) that has come in and played 10 or so games and has pushed the starting goalie Sean Vinson to play up to his ability.

“As you know we traveled early on to Michigan to play 4 games in 4 days then came home to a weekend off so the players could go watch a football game. The following weekend we went to South Florida to play 4 games in 4 days then the players on the next weekend off which was another home football game.

“These trips were two fold: First, to become a good hockey team you must play the best. Two, Team Chemistry, Team bonding is a huge aspect of being successful. We used these trips to get to know one another.

“Not everybody can wear a Bama Hockey Jersey. You must be able to put on that Jersey and play for the guy sitting next to you or across from you or down the wall from you. It’s a team sport and there is no I in TEAM.”

This is the first time Bama hockey has had a chance to compete for the national championship.  One of the first questions non hockey fans ask when this gets discussed is "what are our chances?"

“Our chances are one in 16. There will be four divisions of four teams that will play one game Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday night, the team in each division that has the best record will move on to play in the semifinals on Saturday morning. In our division we have already played two of the three teams. Hope College out of Michigan beat us 7-1 but we just got off the bus from a 14 hour bus ride. They were also National Championship runners-up in 2010 and 2011. In Huntsville this year, we played Cal-State at Northridge and we beat them 5-4. The other team—California University of Pennsylvania is good too. They won the 2008 National Championship. It will be a very, very challenging tournament.

“There are 140+ teams across the country and we are in the top 16 – we are really excited about going to nationals.

“It’s a long road to Saturday’s Championship game, so the only thing we can do is take each period as it comes and play our best. I think if we can be pretty healthy on nutrition and be hydrated, that will go a long way.”

Talk about the game that secured the team’s spot in the Nationals. Richmond is a team with a good reputation and a solid team all around team. You beat them 5-3 and never trailed. What were the highlights of that win at regionals? 

“We had to start fast and play a very disciplined game. We scored early and we were up 3-0 after the first period and I think we had a couple penalties.

“I think the players in the second period got a little cocky and didn’t think Richmond could come back so they let there guard down a bit. After they made it 3-1, I called a timeout to get the players reeled back in to playing our game plan. Right after that we scored a powerplay goal to go up 4-1. Sean Vinson made some key saves for us going down the stretch, then we got in a penalty situation in the third.

“It was great to see our Seniors on the bench telling the younger guys to settle down and play the game, it will be alright if we keep to our plan. It worked out when Mark Wysock scored a short handed goal late in the third period. That was key.”

The team has a month to prepare for nationals.  Will you do anything differently as you practice and condition for the tournament?

“The tournament starts on Wednesday, March 14 In Vineland, New Jersey. We will probably leave Tuscaloosa on Monday morning. Monday night we will stop up in Virginia to practice and spend the night. Then on Tuesday we will get up, drive the remaining hours and hopefully practice on the ice where the tourney is being held.

“We start play against California Wednesday.

“When we started the year, the players and coaches came up with five things:

  1. Be in a position to go to the Regional Tournament. We must be ranked in the top 10 out of fifty teams.
  3. Win two games at Regional’s so we can make history and play for a National Championship.
  4. Win the SECHC Conference Tournament.
  5. Win a National Championship.

“Our motto for this season is “FINISH STRONG.”

[RELATED: Interview with Senior Defenseman Michael Talton on the Tide’s season and title run.]

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dont’a Hightower sacked Jordan Jefferson in the BCS National Championship because Trent Richardson wanted the ball

By: @LivingCrimson

Bill Haber/APFormer Alabama All-American linebacker Dont’a Hightower almost chose Vanderbilt for his college career, but Nick Saban swayed him to the Tide. As part of Bama’s legendary 2008 recruiting class, Dont’a was one of only two true freshmen to be a regular starter for Saban that year. His teammates promptly nicknamed him “Zeus” because he was “the most powerful man … on and off the field." The other starting freshman in 2008? Julio Jones.

Now preparing for the NFL draft at Athlete's Performance, Hightower talks about how pleased he is with his accomplishments at Alabama and gives details about his training regimen in a video interview with Fox Sports Next's Annabel Stephan.

Dont’a says his most meaningful moments at Alabama were winning his second National Championship in three years and his fourth quarter sack and forced fumble of LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. A couple of plays before Hightower forced the Jefferson fumble, Trent Richardson asked him to just get the ball back and he would finish the game for the team. Dont’a obliged, the Bama offense took the field, and Richardson added his last ever Tide touchdown as promised to seal the victory.

Hightower is projected to go in the first round of the Draft.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Road to NFL Draft - Dont&#39;a Hightower' >Video: Road to NFL Draft - Dont&#39;a Hightower</a>


More Bama updates on Twitter at LivingCrimson.

Trent Richardson interviews with Cleveland Browns

NFL scouting combine notes: Trent Richardson interviews with Browns -
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If the Browns do not trade up for Robert Griffin III, they might have another star in mind with the fourth pick — running back Trent Richardson from Alabama.

Asked at the NFL scouting combine about teams that have interviewed him, Richardson mentioned the Browns first. He said all but about five teams have either talked to him already or plan to talk to him.

“I talked to Cleveland, Tampa, the Redskins and talked to the Colts,” Richardson said. “I talked to so many I can’t even tell you how they feel. Everybody is just excited to talk to you and tell you that you’re an awesome football player and they want you on their squad, but you never know how stuff goes.

Read the rest here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Confident Trent Richardson speaks to media

image You want to see how fast he can run? Watch the tape.

Because you won’t see the Alabama running back timed in the 40-yard dash — or any on-field drills for that matter — at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine. A minor knee scope eliminated that possibility, but Richardson scoffed at the notion that his injury was a “minor setback.”

“I don’t even call it a setback, for real,” Richardson said Friday. “I just missed a little opportunity to run the 40 in front of everybody, show everybody what I can do. If you call it a setback, that’s for you to say.”

Richardson said you can go back as far as you want, but you’ll never find video of him being caught from behind, a testament to his speed. One more thing Richardson said you won’t find on tape is him coughing up the ball.

“The first thing that will get you on the bench is fumbling the ball, and that’s one thing I do not do,” Richardson said.

Read the rest here, from the NFL Network. The link has some video that’s not embed friendly.

 UPDATE: has video that is embed friendly.

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Former Vol player reportedly used scholarship funds as seed money for his drug business

Middle Tennessee OL Preston Bailey used scholarship money to fund his drug business
Published on Dr. Saturday - NCAAF - Yahoo! Sports | shared via feedly

While the NCAA continues to tweak its proposal to give some student-athletes an extra $2,000 for bills, some players are already finding ways to use their scholarship money to pay for those excess necessities - like scales, baggies and a vaporizer.

Middle Tennessee offensive lineman Preston Bailey did just that as he used his medical scholarship as startup for his budding drug business (pun intended).

Bailey was arrested Feb. 16 and charged with possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers found nearly a pound of marijuana - 27.9 grams in a plastic bag in his dirty clothes hamper, five glass jars weighing 322.5 grams and another 6.2 grams of hash - and $3,000 in cash. Police also found scales, a grinder and a vaporizer.

Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans told the Daily News Journal that Bailey told police he, "used his scholarship money as startup money for his illegal drug sales business."

Bailey joined the Blue Raiders in 2009 after transferring from Tennessee, where he originally signed with Phillip Fulmer’s last recruiting class.