Saturday, February 9, 2008

Building for the Future

If you are an Alabama fan, you have to find the results of Signing Day a bit exciting. True, a good percentage of the signees will not qualify for various reasons but given the strength of the numbers, the percentage of the new meat that actually participates will make a difference.

I never knew who Lance Thompson was until he joined this coaching staff. I was familiar with Nick Saban and was aware of his recruiting reputation. However, it looks like Thompson is getting credit for closing the deal on some of Bama's top recruits. One of my hometown's very own made it official this week when he said, "I am going to play for the Nick Saban."

Courtney Upshaw wore #41 for the Eufaula Tigers and was a joy to watch. I cannot wait to watch him in his crimson jersey. He can run; he can catch; he hits hard, and has the best tackling skills of any high school player I have ever seen. He plays down the line, can close the gaps, and is quick off the ball. He is a man among boys when he is on the field. In high school, he played defensive end and tightend. At 6'-2, 240, with 4.6 speed, I think Bama fans may see him playing linebacker. One things for sure no matter what the position, you will find him in somebody's backfield when he becomes a starter.

Many defensive players - from high school to the NFL - try to knock a player down instead of wrapping him up and tackling him. You will also see alot of defensive players at these levels grab someone around their upper bodies try to ride them down. Play after play I have watched Courtney's techique: he grabs their lower body or jersey, and then basically sits down. They HAVE to come down with him because he does not let go. It's textbook and he only started playing football a couple of years ago.

Alabama recruiting class was #10 a year ago with Saban and the gang only having about a month to recruit. What a difference a year makes. It will take a few years to see the results of the recruiting and coaching efforts. If they can consistently build the depth charts by landing good recruits, and maintain some stability in the coaching staff, the University of Alabama will eventually rise out of the shadows of mediocracy and return the playing style that was once its tradition.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I kind of ticked my wife off this morning.....

I was lying in the bed, wide awake, this morning when it hit me. "IT IS ONLY SEVEN MONTHS 'TIL FOOTBALL SEASON!" I said, right after I nudged my wife with my elbow.

It kind of gets on her nerves when I start counting down the months before the NCAA kicks off. I guess it was a little more disturbing to her this morning because it was only 5:30 and she was still sleeping.

But it is like this: I have to share in her excitement about a big sale that she learns about. I always say, "Yes, baby, I bet that would be a good movie." I will give her an honest opinion when she asks me which shoe looks the best. We still have our Friday night dates, and I tell her dinner was good even if it really was not. (Hey, I am nice like that.)

So, I think it is time that she got into the spirit of football. What do you think?