Tide Players Have Many Skills

Posted by | Oct 21, 2011 | -

Below are some of the top Tide football stories for today published by various organizations:

Hanks Utilizes His Baseball Skills

By Michael Casagrande, Montgomery Advertiser
If this whole football thing doesn’t work out, Alabama receiver Darius Hanks has an athletic backup plan. The NFL is his goal, but his first love was baseball. It could be the career path if his time at Alabama doesn’t land a spot in the pros. “I was pretty good,” Hanks said. “I could have got drafted coming out of high school but coach Saban convinced me to come to Alabama for football.” His baseball skills still have a use on the football field. With Ole Miss using the rugby-style punter Saturday, he was brought in a short returner in front of deep man Marquis Maze. “I sort of favor baseball players and their judgment of how to play shortstop and all that kind of thing,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “(We thought) he would make good judgments and decisions about being able to play the hops, play the ball, and all that kind of stuff, and he did that. So, we saved a lot of field position by being able to get the ball fielded, even though we only had 12, 13 yards in positive returns.” [More]

An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse

By Corey Long, ESPN Recruiting Nation
Sometimes ESPNU 150 athlete Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla./Arnold) still can’t believe it. The tall, athletic prospect from Northwest Florida is the top-rated player in the state and will be one of the crown jewels in Alabama’s 2012 recruiting class. There’s little doubt of the talent the 6-foot-4, 200-pound recruit possesses. Williams plays quarterback and safety for Arnold. He has accounted for over 500 total yards and six touchdowns on offense and two interceptions, a fumble recovery and two more touchdowns on defense. After a strong junior season, Williams caught the eye of Alabama coach Nick Saban. Saban, who also coaches defensive backs for the Crimson Tide, made Williams a priority and received an early commitment from the player. “I was blown away by the fact that the man himself, Nick Saban, reached out to me to play football for him,” Williams said. “You really can’t say no to that, can you? [More]

Tennessee vs. Alabama Preview

By Brendan F. Quinn,
Like a woozy boxer wandering out for the later rounds, Tennessee faces the hulking Crimson Tide on the heels of back-to-back losses to Georgia and No. 1 LSU. Though no game should be deemed “un-winnable,” a victory in Tuscaloosa will take a minor miracle. Alabama ranks first in the country in points against (7.0 per game) and 14th in points scored (39.7 pg), which comes to an average margin of victory 32.7 — just a hair more than Vegas bookmakers expect the Vols to lose by on Saturday. While Tennessee was dealt a 31-point loss by LSU, there were some positives. The running game showed signs of life against one of the best run defenses in the country and the Vols kept the Tigers’ offense in check in the first half. That’s all that can be asked for on Saturday — positive signs to build upon. The Vols will lose if … Alabama doesn’t forfeit. [More]

Gentry Finds Niche In Tide Pass Rush

By Michael Casagrande,
Buried deep on Alabama’s leading tackler list is a name easily dismissed. His 12 stops rank 15th on a Crimson Tide roster stocked with NFL talent, but backup lineman Nick Gentry’s influence transcends stat sheets. Like an ace reliever, the fifth-year senior is called from the bullpen only when needed. And his impact to snap ratio is among the most efficient anywhere. Gentry’s 2.5 sacks ranks second behind Courtney Upshaw’s 3.5 as does his three quarterback hurries to Upshaw’s seven. Playing all 13 games last season, the nose guard had 17 total stops and one sack. At 6-foot-1, 284 pounds, the Prattville product is hardly the prototype SEC defensive lineman, but he uses his relatively lean frame to an advantage. Alabama coach Nick Saban estimates Gentry sees about 18-20 snaps a game, mostly when passing situations leave the opposing quarterback in the crosshairs. “The things he does well, some of our other guys don’t do quite as well,” Saban said. [More]

It’s ‘critically important’ Alabama-Tennessee rivalry maintained

By Andrew Gribble, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
According to various national reports, Missouri is on the cusp of leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, joining Texas A&M as a new member of a 14-team conference. From a geography standpoint, it would make sense for Missouri and Texas A&M to settle in the West Division while Auburn, which is already farther east than Vanderbilt, would switch to the East. Unless the SEC adopted a nine-game conference schedule — which is common throughout college football, but a tough sell nonetheless — or places Missouri in the East, that scenario would make it virtually impossible for UT (3-3, 0-3 SEC) and Alabama (7-0, 4-0) to play every year. With six divisional games, teams would only have room for one permanent cross-divisional opponent and one that rotates. Because Alabama’s in-state rivalry with Auburn would likely take precedence over its series with UT, the Vols would be forced to find another permanent partner from the West. From UT’s standpoint, that won’t happen until every possible option is exercised. [More]

Roll Tide!

More Headlines:

SEC Realignment And Schedule Options
The league’s goal will no doubt be to protect as many traditional rivalries as possible

Mizzou curators sneak out back door without comment
Missouri is not believed to have an objection to its divisional placement in either the SEC East or West

Douglas’ death still pains parents, Alabama
Five months after Aaron Douglas died, his parents still weep often for their son.

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