Izzy Gould - Tuscaloosa Bureau
Nick Saban begins what he calls “the process” by selling recruits on an opportunity to grow in Alabama’s pro-style program, everything from the way they are coached to the way they are treated. Those that blossom could compete for national championships using a blueprint he offers, which also happens to detail the path for the elite to reach the NFL.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The Senior Bowl officially announced the names of the Alabama players Saturday that have accepted invitations to the annual NFL showcase game in Mobile. The Crimson Tide contingent includes linebacker Courtney Upshaw, center William Vlachos, wide receiver Marquis Maze, cornerback DeQuan Menzie, safety Mark Barron and nose guard Josh Chapman.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – What kind of impact will Sal Sunseri’s move to become Tennessee’s defensive coordinator have on recruiting? Long term, it’s hard to say. But when it comes to the 2012 signing class, Scout.com recruiting analyst Andrew Bone says it’s not a concern. “I don’t think it will have any impact on this current recruiting class,” Bone said. “A lot of these guys have great relationships with Sal Sunseri. But they chose Alabama because of Nick Saban, and the championships.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a press release “Sal is an outstanding coach and really did an excellent job with each and every responsibility he had while he was here at the University of Alabama. Although we hate to see Sal go, we understand this is an opportunity for him to grow in this profession and take on the role of defensive coordinator. We appreciate all that he did in terms of his time and his dedication in contributing to the success we’ve had at Alabama.” WNML’s Jimmy Hyams reports via Twitter that Sunseri’s deal is worth $700,000 to $800,000 annually for 2 to 3 years. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the deal is worth $2.4 million over the course of three years.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Safety Robert Lester will return to Alabama for his senior season, the school announced in as part of a press release. Lester had been wavering between Alabama and the NFL. He quickly becomes the veteran of the secondary after Thursday’s announcement that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, running back Trent Richardson and linebacker Dont’a Hightower will enter the NFL draft.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – AJ McCarron is about to get some much welcomed support at Alabama. McCarron’s younger brother, Corey McCarron, said Thursday he will transfer to Alabama in January and walk-on to the football team. Corey (6-0, 240 pounds) was a freshman tight end at South Alabama last season. He said the reason for the move is a desire to play football with his older brother.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Nick Saban met with reporters Wednesday to talk about Alabama, LSU and the BCS Championship Game. The Crimson Tide returned to practice after a four-day break for Christmas.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Nico Johnson was one of several Alabama players to speak with reporters Wednesday about the Crimson Tide, LSU and the BCS Championship Game. Practice resumes Wednesday afternoon for the Jan. 9 rematch with the Tigers in New Orleans.
McElwain, who is not expected to address reporters until Jan. 5 during a coordinator press conference in New Orleans, spent the past week recruiting for Colorado State before the recruiting dead period began Monday. Now his focus is on helping Alabama prepare for its rematch with LSU on Jan. 9 in the BCS championship game. “It doesn’t affect preparation at all,” Saban said. “Mac’s going to be here. I did this when I was the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and got the head coaching job at Michigan State and coached the last three or four games in the regular season and two playoff games. The organization was good in supporting me in what I wanted to do, and we’ll do the same thing for Jim.”
Nick Saban met with reporters for the first time in three weeks to talk Alabama, LSU and the BCS Championship Game. The Crimson Tide will meet the Tigers in a rematch on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. Alabama hopes to avenge its 9-6 overtime loss to LSU on Nov. 5. So what did Saban say. Click here for a brief synopsis filed moments after Saban finished speaking. Or watch the video in its entirety.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Alabama has reached the midway point of its preparation for the BCS national championship game and its rematch with top-ranked LSU. No, the Crimson Tide has not practiced since preparation for its 42-14 win at Auburn on Nov. 26, but that hardly means no work has been done. Alabama went through a three-week version of its offseason-conditioning program, known widely as the Fourth Quarter Program.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Jim McElwain wore a suit with a green tie, and sat beside his family on a stage ready to sell his brand of football to Colorado State. Alabama’s offensive coordinator for four seasons was introduced as the Rams’ new head coach Tuesday at a press conference in Fort Collins, Colorado. McElwain is currently recruiting players for Colorado State, and will continue to do so until the recruiting dead period begins Monday. Then he will return to Alabama to begin preparations for the Crimson Tide’s Jan. 9 BCS Championship Game in New Orleans against LSU.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Crimson Tide had eight representatives on the 2011 Pro Football Weekly All-America Team. Of the five first-team honorees, four were on defense, including senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw, junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower, senior safety Mark Barron and junior cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, while junior running back Trent Richardson was Alabama’s representative on offense. The Tide also placed a trio on the honorable mention list including junior offensive linemen Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack and senior defensive lineman Josh Chapman.
Fluker, a sophomore, would be eligible for the NFL draft because he would be three years removed from high school. That would make him a fourth-year junior in 2012. An Alabama spokesman issued the statement via email. Here is the statement in its entirety. “I know there have been a few stories and different things out on the message boards lately about me possibly leaving school early,” Fluker said in a written statement. “I want to go ahead and put all of that to rest and make it clear that my intentions are to stay in school. At my position, I still have a lot to learn in order to mold myself into the best offensive tackle I can be.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Jim McElwain will be named the head coach at Colorado State, multiple sources have confirmed to al.com newspapers. One source said Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban met Monday with Alabama staff members to work on replacing the offensive coordinator after four seasons. ESPN, citing a source, reported McElwain would coach Alabama in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 9 against top-ranked LSU. The website also reported McElwain received a five-year contract for $1.5 million per season.