Former Tide Defensive Tackle and Current Buffalo Bills standout in the NFL does a little performance in his time off. Its awesome!
By Stan J. Griffin: May 4, 2015
Let's face it, the months that have followed the University of Alabama football team's 42-35 loss to Ohio State in the inagural College Football Playoff back in January have not been the greatest of times for Nick Saban's Crimson Tide program.
Since that crushing loss to Urban Meyer's Buckeyes, the eventual 2014 national champions, Saban has had to deal with a rash of player arrests, injuries, players leaving early (which was certainly expected), players that were dismissed and coaching changes with the Alabama defense among other things.
Some of those items may have led some to question whether Saban, entering his ninth year as Alabama coach, is beginning to lose control over his program. A few observers may also be wondering if the Crimson Tide is about to begin a freefall from its status as one of the Top 5 programs in the nation.
But before panic and pandemonium begin to take hold of the Crimson Nation, I think it's safe to say that Alabama football, as long as Saban is navigating the ship, is not going away anytime soon, much to the chagrin of all those who despise anything crimson or anything to do with the Tide's highly-paid and highly-provocative head coach.
By Stan J. Griffin: May 3, 2015
Four more former members of Nick Saban's University of Alabama football program had their names called on the final day of the National Football League Draft Saturday at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago.
Fullback Jalston Fowler was taken with the ninth pick of the fourth round (No. 108 overall) by the Tennessee Titans. Offensive guard Arie Kouandjio came off the board four picks later at No. 112 overall to the Washington Redskins.
Offensive tackle Austin Shepherd and outside linebacker Xzavier Dickson were taken in the seventh round with Shepherd going to the Minnesota Vikings with the 11 pick of the round (No. 228 overall) and Dickson going to the New England Patriots with pick No. 36 (No. 253 overall).
By Stan J. Griffin: January 9, 2015
In news that was hardly surprising to anyone, and had in fact been reported already by several agencies over the past couple of days, University of Alabama Athletics Communications confirmed Friday that Crimson Tide junior football standouts Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon and Landon Collins will bypass their senior seasons at the Capstone to enter the National Football League draft.
A press conference was held Friday morning at the Mal Moore Athletic Facility, where UA football coach Nick Saban and the three juniors addressed the respective decisions.
During his opening remarks, Saban noted that he respected the decision by all three of his student-athletes, and also commented that Cooper, Yeldon and Collins have been true ambassadors for the University, both on and off the field.
"First of all, let me say how proud I am of the three young men who are here with us today and I think it speaks volumes of the program that we have here to be able to recruit the character and quality of guys that these guys are, and have been and have represented the University of Alabama in a first-class way," said Saban. "I think it also speaks well of the program that we've been able to develop players like these guys to be as good as anybody in the country in their positions, and at the same time do extremely well academically, like each one of these guys are within 30 credits or so, and in some cases a lot less than that, or less than a year from graduating."
He said the fact that 13 standouts prior to last year, and then another five last year, departed Alabama early and have been successful in their professional careers is something that he feels is very positive for the Crimson Tide program.
By Stan J. Griffin: May 1, 2015
After having only one player, former record-breaking receiver Amari Cooper, selected in the first round of the 2015 National Football League Draft Thursday, Nick Saban's University of Alabama football program saw a pair of its standouts taken in Friday's second round of the event.
And these picks included former leaders on both sides of the ball. With the very first pick of the second round, and the 33rd selection overall, the New York Giants took safety Landon Collins, whom many thought would be selected in the first round.
Three places later, the Jacksonville Jaguars took running back T.J. Yeldon, who compiled a pair of 1,000-yard seasons at the Capstone, with the fourth pick in the round and 36th selection overall.
Both players opted to leave Saban's program after their junior seasons, along with Cooper.
By Stan J. Griffin: April 30, 2015
During the prolific tenure of Nick Saban as head coach of the University of Alabama football program, first round selections of Crimson Tide players in the National Football League Draft have become an annual rite of spring.
The only question heading into Thursday night's first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at Chicago's Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University was how many members of Saban's 2014 Tide team would be taken the first night as it was assumed that record-breaking receiver Amari Cooper would go somewhere in the top five picks while it appeared that the draft stock of former safety Landon Collins was slipping somewhat.
At the end of the night, Cooper ultimately was the sole Alabama player taken in Round 1 as he was taken with the fourth pick by the Oakland Raiders. Cooper was behind only quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota (selected by Tampa Bay and Tennessee respectively) and defensive end Dante Fowler (selected by Jacksonville).
“I came to Alabama to win, but I also wanted a chance to play in the NFL and that dream was realized tonight,” Cooper said. “This is a special night and just the start of the next chapter of my football career. I want to thank all of my teammates and coaches at Alabama for an amazing experience. I also want to express my excitement to the Raiders’ organization and all of their fans, and let them know I’m ready to go to work.”
By Stan J. Griffin: March 11, 2015
During the past several years, University of Alabama football fans have become accustomed to seeing standouts such as Amari Cooper, Trey DePriest, Blake Sims and Landon Collins leading Nick Saban's Crimson Tide program to much success on the field.
Now many of those same former Alabama standouts are no doubt hoping that they will have a chance to contribute to similar success for a National Football League franchise in the not-so-distant future.
A host of those former Crimson Tiders took a big first step toward that dream Wednesday afternoon.
The University of Alabama hosted its annual pro day, with 17 draft-eligible UA athletes participating in front of attendees from all 32 NFL teams.
There were numerous general managers, assistant coaches and scouts in attendance at today’s event. The list was highlighted by New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese.
“We’re happy to have all 32 clubs represented here, and that’s because of the quality of players we have,” said Saban. “Obviously, the coaches did a really good job of recruiting and developing the guys here today. We’re hopeful that these guys will do a great job this morning so that they will have an opportunity to do something of significance to help their stock when it comes to draft day.”
Draft-eligible players that participated in the day’s events included: Leon Brown, Landon Collins, Amari Cooper, Trey DePriest, Xzavier Dickson, Jalston Fowler, Brandon Ivory, Christion Jones, Arie Kouandjio, Anthony Orr, Nick Perry, Austin Shepherd, Blake Sims, Brian Vogler, DeAndrew White, Jarrick Williams and T.J. Yeldon.
The day began at 11 a.m. with heights, weights and measurements in the weight room. The players then followed with vertical and broad jumps, along with bench press for those who chose to participate in the particular tests. The Crimson Tide athletes then moved to the indoor facility to test in the 40-yard dash, agility drills and position-specific drills for each respective player.
Bama had three former players get interceptions in the NFL this week...Rashad Johnson, Rolando McClain and Roman Harper all had INTs, with Johnson and McClain's both being game winners.
All in all it was another standout week for Tiders in the NFL with Bama guys playing big roles all over.