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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Alabama
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  11/29/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  As the temperatures cooled this fall, so did Mac Jones' statistical production - until the Iron Bowl. After a few weeks of slipping slightly from the sky-high figures he posted earlier this season, the Alabama quarterback on Saturday sliced through Auburn's defense, which entered ranked third in the SEC. Jones threw for a career-high five touchdowns in a 42-13 win while completing 18-of-26 passes for 302 yards. In the process, he re-established himself as a true threat to win the Heisman Trophy. "I thought Mac played really, really well," coach Nick Saban said after the game. "I'm sure that when we look at the film, everybody will see some things they could have done better, and that's what we want to focus on moving forward - what we have to do to improve. He certainly made the plays he needed to make today."

The redshirt junior was not honored as part of senior day at Bryant-Denny Stadium but will likely enter the NFL draft this winter. That would make Saturday the seventh and final start for Jones in Tuscaloosa. Jones' numbers over those seven games, six of which came against SEC opponents: 130-for-174 passing (74.7 percent), 2,185 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 224.16 rating. - Birmingham News


(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/29/20 - DeVonta SmithSr/2021, Alabama, 6-1, 175 (DS#2 WR) + More +

  Once the Iron Bowl kicked off, Nick Saban was just another passionate, heavily invested fan who was powerless to help his team win. His team still won — big. Mac Jones passed for 302 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, highlighted by two long ones to DeVonta Smith, and No. 1 Alabama rolled over rival No. 22 Auburn 42-13 without Saban. The Crimson Tide continued a dominating march through a schedule of all-Southeastern Conference games even minus its six-time national champion coach on the sideline. Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and watched the game feed from home, witnessing the usual array of big plays with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian running the show. - AP College Football

(DS#2 WR) Sr/2021 WR DeVonta SmithAlabama
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/28/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Mac Jones passed for 302 yards and five touchdowns, highlighted by two long ones to DeVonta Smith, and No. 1 Alabama rolled over rival No. 22 Auburn 42-13 on Saturday without coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide (8-0, No. 1 playoff rankings) continued a dominating march through a schedule of all-Southeastern Conference games even minus its six-time national champion coach on the sideline. Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and watched the game feed from home, witnessing the usual array of big plays with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian running the show.

The result was much of the same against the Tigers (5-3), who suffered the second-most lopsided loss of Gus Malzahn's coaching tenure. The only bigger margin was Alabama's 52-21 win in the 2018 Iron Bowl. Alabama started a string of three straight touchdowns with Jones's 66-yard touchdown to Smith, who was streaking by himself downfield after Auburn defenders bit on a pump fake. He later added a 58-yard catch and run on a quick slant, sprinting away from the Tigers. Smith had seven catches for 171 yards. Najee Smith ran for 96 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown, and John Metchie III caught a pair of scoring passes. Bo Nix passed for 227 yards and ran for a late touchdown for the Tigers, but also threw two interceptions. - Alabama/AP College Football


(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Alabama/AP College Football
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  11/27/20 - Landon DickersonrSr/2021, Alabama, 6-5, 325 (DS#1 C) + More +

  Landon Dickerson on Tuesday became the second Alabama offensive lineman to accept an invitation to the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. Dickerson joins teammate Deonte Brown as confirmed for the Senior Bowl, the annual NFL draft showcase that takes place Jan. 30 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Game officials made the announcement via Twitter. Dickerson (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) has started 20 games the last two seasons for the Crimson Tide, 16 at center and four at guard. The Hickory, N.C., native began his career at Florida State before joining the Alabama program in 2019 as a graduate transfer. - Birmingham News

(DS#1 C) rSr/2021 C Landon DickersonAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/27/20 - Deonte BrownrSr/2021, Alabama, 6-3, 350 (DS#21 OG) + More +

  Growing up in Decatur, Alabama, a five-hour drive up Interstate 65 from Mobile, Deonte Brown was well aware of the Senior Bowl. Some of the top NFL Draft prospects converging on Mobile for a week of practice and a game is quite the attraction for many in the state. This winter, Brown will participate in the practices and play in the game. Brown is the first Alabama football player invited to this season's Senior Bowl, and he has accepted the invite. He plays his final game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday against Auburn. "I was very, very grateful for it, and I was excited to get it," Brown said. "I really didn't expect for me to get it but when I did I was very humble about it."

Brown has the potential to be a valuable prospect in that setting for his ability to play left and right guard. Many offensive linemen who switch sides of the line are bogged down by the technique involved: leading your drop-backs for pass protection and your forward steps for run blocking with different feet, based on the stance required for the left and right sides of the ball. Brown didn't see that as a hurdle, giving him more time to focus on the challenge of mentally flipping responsibilities dependent on being left or right of the center. Brown is part of a unit that has drawn the attention of the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line in the nation. The unit has paved the way for running back Najee Harris to rank fifth in the SEC in yards per carry and first in the SEC in runs of 10 yards or more. "What sticks out most about Deonte Brown for me is when he pulls and he's one-on-one with whoever's coming that he's pulling against," Harris said. "It's not a good sight for that (defender). So me just seeing him making those plays, that's really what sticks out." - Montgomery Advertiser


(DS#21 OG) rSr/2021 OG Deonte BrownAlabama
News Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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  11/26/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Jones on Monday said he's noticed teams playing more conservatively against him in recent games. "A lot of teams have kind of been backing up more and more," Jones said, "so we have to find ways to squirt the ball out, get into the flat or even with my decision-making, just find a way to check the ball down and get the yards that we can get." Saban after beating Mississippi State mentioned the Bulldogs used a similar strategy in an attempt to curtail Jones' accuracy throwing 30-plus yards down the field. MSU played a soft zone that took away some of those passing lanes, but Jones still connected with Smith for deep touchdown throws of 53, 35, 34 and 31 yards.

Jones' longest passing play of the day against Kentucky was an intermediate route thrown to tight end Jahleel Billingsley on the first offensive snap of the day. The big shot plays weren't there on a night they clearly weren't necessary but shows how teams have learned from Alabama's early-season success. Jones also got away with a second-quarter deep throw that should have been intercepted if not for a collision between Kentucky defenders that dislodged the would-be-turnover. The pass intercepted later was something Saban calls a "hope play where the quarterback throws it up and hopes his receiver comes down with it. "That's kind of on me," Jones said Monday. "When you have the people we have on our team and it's 1-on-1, I'm going to take the shot. Nine times it'll work and one time it won't, but I'll take those percentages." - Birmingham News


(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/25/20 - Trey SandersrFr/2024, Alabama, 5-11, 214 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Saban gave an update on second-year running back Trey Sanders, who is out for the season after being injured in a recent car accident. "Trey had surgery to repair his hip," Saban said. "We're very thankful that he is going to be OK. The surgery was very successful. It'll probably be a couple months, trying to get back to where he can start working out again and doing things. It wasn't the same kind of hip injury that Tua had. But nonetheless needed surgery. I think he thinks he's blessed and very fortunate that this could have been worse. We're thankful that he's going to be able to come back and be able to play again sometime in the future." - Birmingham News

(DS#999 RB) rFr/2024 RB Trey SandersAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/25/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Asked about how Mac Jones has changed since last year's Iron Bowl, when he threw two pick-sixes, Saban said, "I think he's got a lot more experience, he's got a lot more knowledge, he's a lot more confident. I think the improvement is pretty obvious to everybody that watches the games. He's been very efficient in the way his decision-making, in terms of the things that he does. We've been very pleased with the progress that he's made. He's been able to play within himself, which I think is really, really important. I couldn't be more pleased with the progress that he's made." - Birmingham News

(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/25/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Alabama was No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season Tuesday night, followed by Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State. Texas A&M was fifth and Florida was sixth, giving the Southeastern Conference three of the top six teams along with Alabama. Unbeaten Cincinnati from the American Athletic Conference at seventh has the best ranking for a non-Power Five team in the seven-year history of the selection committee's top 25. No. 8 Northwestern, Georgia and Miami round out the top-10. This is the first of four rankings leading up to the only ones that really count, scheduled to be released on Dec. 20. - AP College Football

(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/24/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  For the 13th straight year, Alabama opened as a favorite to win the Iron Bowl. And the spread for this Saturday's game is one of the widest of the Nick Saban era as the unbeaten Crimson Tide welcomes Auburn to Tuscaloosa. Alabama is a 25-point favorite over Kentucky, according to the opening line released by Circa Sports in Las Vegas. The average spread in the 13 years Alabama's been a favorite is 13.3 points. Alabama was favored by 25.5 points two years ago when Tua Tagovailoa and Co., won 52-21. The biggest spread of the Saban era was 34 points in 2012 when Alabama finished the Gene Chizik era with a 49-0 pounding. - Birmingham News

(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/24/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  In case the sting of Mac Jones flipping his commitment from Kentucky to Alabama as a four-star recruit was not enough, he made sure Kentucky fans could feel that pain again with his performance Saturday. Jones, one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, completed 16 of 24 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. There were plenty of completions to wide-open receivers, but Jones also made a handful of the type of throws into tight coverage that have been missing from the Kentucky passing game for most of the last decade. We will never know if Jones would have developed into the same caliber of quarterback had he stuck with his Kentucky commitment, but the performance offered a telling example of the type of talent still lacking in Kentucky's quarterback room. For all of Terry Wilson's success at UK, he has not been able to elevate the Wildcat passing game. - Courier Journal

(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: Courier Journal
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  11/24/20 - Jahleel BillingsleySo/2023, Alabama, 6-4, 230 (DS#19 TE) + More +

  There've been a few talented tight ends to come through this Alabama program in the Nick Saban era. Some have been more involved in the passing game than others with first-round pick O.J. Howard representing the high-water mark to this point. Well, Najee Harris offered high praise for the next up-and-coming player at that position. Sophomore Jahleel Billingsley had a career-high three catches for 78 yards in his first start Saturday in the 63-3 win over Kentucky. "I feel like Jahleel could be one of the top players to come through here," Harris said after the game. "What he provides and what he brings to the game with his athleticism and his height and his ability to block, once he gets everything under control, he's going to be something crazy to deal with," Harris said, "especially at the next level."

Harris, known for his aerial work, certainly appreciated Billingsley work on the first offensive play of Alabama's night. Mac Jones hit the tight end for a 34-yard play punctuated by the kind of hurdle that became Harris' trademark. Billingsley got the start with senior Miller Forristall slowed by a sprained ankle and injured shoulder. Saban said he could have played but they didn't want to force it so Billingsley got the call. Listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he's a little smaller than the block-heavy Forristall (6-5, 244 pounds). Saban is impressed with Billingsley's athleticism as a receiver. "The big thing is consistency in performance with him," Saban said. "Every day he's got to go out there and do things you know a certain way that we can trust them and depend on." - Birmingham News


(DS#19 TE) So/2023 TE Jahleel BillingsleyAlabama
News Source: Birmingham News
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  11/23/20 - DeVonta SmithSr/2021, Alabama, 6-1, 175 (DS#2 WR) + More +

  NOV 23 SEC CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama,...The senior wide receiver etched his name atop the SEC record books for career touchdown receptions...Smith scored two touchdowns to give him a league-high 10 on the season and 33 for his career, passing Alabama's Amari Cooper and Florida Chris Doering...Finished with nine catches for 144 yards...His fourth 100-yard receiving game in his past five outings...Alabama had a passer rating of 197.7 on his 13 targets...Averaged 16.0 yards per catch with touchdowns of 10 and 18 yards...Registered five explosive plays of 18 yards or more, including a long of 35...Eight of his nine receptions converted Alabama first downs...Ranks second nationally in receiving touchdowns (10), fifth in yards per game (129.0) and third in receptions per game (9.3). - SEC Football

(DS#2 WR) Sr/2021 WR DeVonta SmithAlabama
News Source: SEC Football
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  11/23/20 - Mac JonesrJr/2022, Alabama, 6-2, 214 (DS#4 QB) + More +

  Alabama is now a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, and Northwestern moved up to No. 11 on Sunday for its best ranking in 24 years. For the second straight week, the top eight teams in the poll held their spots. The Crimson Tide received all 62 first-place votes after beating Kentucky 63-3, making Alabama the first unanimous No. 1 this season and the first team to do it in the regular season since 2018. Notre Dame was No. 2, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Texas A&M. Florida was No. 6, and No. 7 Cincinnati and No. 8 BYU also held their spots.

The rest of the top 10 was No. 9 Miami and Oregon. Northwestern moved up eight spots after beating Wisconsin 17-7 to improve to 5-0. The Badgers slipped eight spots to 18th. The Wildcats were last ranked this highly in 1996. The year after their surprising run to the Rose Bowl, coach Gary Barnett's team reached a high of No. 10. No. 12 Indiana dropped three spots after putting a scare into Ohio State in the Big Ten's other top-25 matchup Saturday. The Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers 42-35 after leading 35-7. - AP College Football


(DS#4 QB) rJr/2022 QB Mac JonesAlabama
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/23/20 - DeVonta SmithSr/2021, Alabama, 6-1, 175 (DS#2 WR) + More +

  This is the 80th time in the history of the AP poll, which dates back to 1936, there has been a unanimous No. 1. It was a rare occurrence in the early days of the poll, when college football was more regional. From 1936-66, only twice was there a unanimous No. 1. Southern California was a unanimous No. 1 twice during the 1967 season, but not until the 1990s did the unanimous No. 1 become a common occurrence. From 1992, when Alabama finished the season by getting all the first-place votes in the poll, to last season when LSU did the same, the AP Top 25 had a unanimous No. 1 on 67 occasions. The unanimous No. 1 for Alabama is its 22nd overall, most of any school, and its 21st since 2012. - AP College Football

(DS#2 WR) Sr/2021 WR DeVonta SmithAlabama
News Source: AP College Football
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