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Jumbo Package: Alabama looks to take another 5-star recruit, this time from Notre Dame

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Is edge rusher Keon Keeley on flip alert?

Alabama football is set to host Notre Dame commitment Keon Keeley — a five-star recruit and the Class of 2023’s No. 1 edge rusher — on a visit this weekend for the Crimson Tide’s Champions Cookout, according to BamaOnLine’s Hank South and Irish Illustrated’s Tom Loy. For more details on where Keeley stands, 247Sports VIP subscribers can read further at the respective message boards — BamaOnLine’s BOL Round Table and Irish Illustrated’s The Four Horsemen Lounge.

Keeley previously visited Alabama for the Tide’s Junior Day Jan. 29.

The 6-foot-6, 242-pound Keeley committed June 28, 2021, to Notre Dame.

So a supremely talented edge rusher committed to a school waaay too early and is now looking for real at other programs? It’s still early, but if you follow his visits, you have to like Alabama’s chances here. You can never have too many edge rushers, especially 5-star ones.

The Paul Hornung Award and Wuerffel Trophy announced their preseason watch lists on Thursday, continuing two weeks of reveals, and Alabama had one player on each watch list.

Safety Jordan Battle was named to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which recognizes the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs was named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, which is annually given to the most versatile player in college football.

More and more, we learn how outstanding of a person Jordan Battle is. He’s quietly been a phenomenal, consistent player for the Tide for years now (including saving the Iron Bowl last year), came back for a senior season to win a Natty, and is also apparently a top-notch academic and leader in the community. Roll Tide, Jordan!

Latu is back for a fifth season and should once again be the top tight end. If he doesn’t win one of the starting offensive tackle spots, Randolph could also continue to fill the pseudo-tight end role he has played the last two years. But other players will need to step up, as well, with the top candidate being Ouzts. The sophomore has a real chance of being the No. 2 tight end this fall. Another name to watch will be Kitselman, who was a late add to the roster via JUCO. Of the freshmen, Niblack could be a receiving threat and see the field if he blocks well.

RBR will be doing our own position previews soon, but here’s an early look at tight end, which is shaping up to be a fascinating position over the next few years. While Cam Latu and Robbie Ouzts should be the primary and secondary TEs this year, the quartet of newcomers all offer different skillsets, and it’s not like Latu or Ouzts were such outstanding players that they have their spots guaranteed.

Niblack brings the speed, and Kitselman is the potential hidden JUCO diamond. And then there’s Danny Lewis, the massive Louisiana product who’s a terror on endzone fades.

“Coach Saban would always say, ‘As long as you give a hundred percent, you can always live with the result,’” Allen said. “The times you can’t live with it is when you don’t give 100 percent because you’ll always be questioning what if. But every time I go out on the field – now, I’m not perfect, and I understand that – I try to give a hundred percent, and as long as I do that, I might not be happy with the results, but I can live with them.”

That had been a follow-up question after Allen was asked: How do you know when good habits are being built or bad habits are being formed in the preparation for a season?

“The eye in the sky doesn’t lie,” Allen responded to that question. “When you turn on the film and see the little things not being done right, well, bad things are being formed as opposed to when you see good little things happening we know that we’re doing the right thing, and we got to continue to do that – running off the field, running to the ball, playing well, practicing well – just some of the stuff that goes into having a successful season.”

Allen said he remains in contact with Saban.

“I don’t like to bother him,” Allen said. “I know he has a lot going on. But I did go down there and visit Alabama for the spring game and spend some time talking to him. I wouldn’t say we talk regularly, but anytime I’m in Alabama I do make a conscious effort to go and see him and just talk to him.

“I was in more contact with him my first two years. I would call him up, ask him advice, and he would always answer.”

So one of the best defensive linemen in the entire world is still out here quoting Saban and calling him up for help. Take note, recruits.

Ric Flair says his favorite NFL player is Derrick Henry: pic.twitter.com/5TSxpC7l4g

— Ben Arthur (@benyarthur) July 28, 2022

Despite his Alabama hate, Flair has been made to fall for King Henry. It only took a couple of years, and Henry went from “he’s going to bust in the NFL” to being the undisputed best running back in the world, and nobody even questions it.

I’d really like to see a good round-up of all the bad Twitter takes on Henry from the pre-draft process, and how many of those same people are now all on-board.

That’s all for now. Have a great Friday, and Roll Tide!

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