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Jumbo Package: Alabama flips elite TE recruit from Ohio State, takes over #1 recruiting class

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Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

What a great day to be an Alabama fan… As always

The big news from yesterday was Alabama securing the commitment of TE Ty Lockwood:

A four-star per 247Sports sports composite rankings, Lockwood verbally joined Ohio State last August and was last in Colombus on June 24. But after a stop in Tuscaloosa, and an offer from Alabama, Lockwood flipped to Nick Saban and co. His primary recruiter was Tide position coach Joe Cox.

“I take commitment and loyalty very seriously,” Lockwood wrote on Twitter, “but it’s the right choice I needed to make for my future and my family. … I look forward to what the future brings and how much I can develop as a player and person under coach Saban and coach Cox. Roll Tide!”

Anytime you can flip a recruit from one of your biggest national competitors in the recruiting race is a great time. And it’s even better when you can get a player in a position that will be sorely needed. Alabama signed a trio of tight ends in the 2022 class, but the overall depth on the team is very thin. Lockwood is the first TE commit for the Tide for 2023, and I think is likely to be the only one.

His commitment also boosted the Tide the last little bit to get their class up to #1 overall in the 247 Composite. It’s been a heck of a month for Saban and crew.

Guess who’s back, back again? (Nick) Saban’s back. Tell a friend. After a little time off, Alabama reclaimed the recruiting thrown on Tuesday with its latest commitment in Ty Lockwood, taking back the No. 1 spot in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.

Saban and company are roughly just a month removed from residing outside the top 30 in the country, behind teams you don’t typically see the Tide trailing. That’s all in the past, though, as UA has been on a recruiting tear throughout the month of July (and now August) landing commitment after commitment, and now sitting with 18 verbal pledges.

While the development of younger players like Arnold and Little will be interesting to watch and especially important for the future of the Crimson Tide secondary, the three players to watch this preseason are McKinstry, Jackson and Ricks. Alabama needs them all to step up their games in advance of the 2022 season to round out what will be an experienced defense that should be among the best in the entire country. All three guys have dealt with injuries of late, which could make things even more interesting, but their progress will be important.

“I do think that those three guys’ development is going to be critical to the success of our team,” Saban said at SEC Media Days. “I’m not disappointed in where they are right now, but I do think we need to continue to make progress at that position if we’re gonna get the kind of consistency in performance that we need to do the things that we’d like to do defensively.”

The three-way battle for two starting corner spots is possibly the most fascinating position battle for the Tide going into the 2022 season. It’s pretty clear at this point that McKinstry, Jackson, and Ricks are the contenders for the spots, but Saban’s comments at Media Days definitely gave me a little pause that he hasn’t been blown away by someone stepping up and taking the job just yet.

In hoops news, we now have a date for the Alabama-Houston rematch:

One of Alabama’s biggest non-conference games of the season reportedly has a date.

The Crimson Tide men’s basketball team will travel to play Houston at Fertitta Center, the home court of the Cougars, on Saturday, Dec. 10, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

This is the second game of a home-and-home series, which began in 2021 when Houston made the trip to Tuscaloosa on Dec. 12. Alabama defeated the Cougars, 83-82, in what head coach Nate Oats called an “alley fight.” It marked the Crimson Tide’s second win in a row over a top-15 team, as Alabama upset then-No. 3 Gonzaga in Seattle, 92-81, just one week earlier.

I actually went to this game in Tuscaloosa last year, and it was an absolute blast of a basketball game. If you’re a Bama fan in the Houston area (or just working on your travel plans), you now have a date.

According to Broward County Clerk of Courts Office records, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got married on July 18.

The former Alabama All-American’s martial status buzzed social media on Tuesday afternoon after Andy Slater of WMEN-AM in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, tweeted that “a clergy source” told him Tagovailoa got married two weeks ago.

A records search showed that a marriage license was issued to Tagovailoa and Annah Concetta Gore on July 15 with a marriage date of July 18 in Davie, Florida.

Sorry ladies, he’s off the market. Congrats to Tua for his new marriage, and may it also coincide with him setting the NFL on fire in 2022.

“I think Tennessee fans are quickly gone right back to where they were many, many years ago,” Finebaum explained. “They remind me a little bit of Alabama fans about 15 or 20 years ago, that no matter how bad things were, they are still among the most optimistic fans in the country. Because they feel like they belong at the cool kids table in spite of their record, in spite of everything.

I think that they really believe, even if that (eight or less wins) happens, they still have faith in this program right now. Nobody has a honeymoon forever, but I think Josh Heupel probably has another year built into the cake here.”

That settles it… This year is finally Tennessee’s year. For real this time. For real. I promise.

5,765 days, by the way

Roll Tide!

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