Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Give Holmon Wiggins another raise!
I’m not sure why people think the almost-foreordained loss of Arch Manning to Texas signals some huge sea-change in Tuscaloosa. You know, rather than it being what it is:
Sarkisian’s 20-year track record of developing NFL-ready quarterbacks and an explosive offensive, vs. the certain track record of BoB.
A far smaller, less competitive quarterback room. At Alabama, Manning would be waiting his turn with Milroe and Ty Simpson; not arriving to take Ewers’ job almost immediately. And that’s just who will be in Tuscaloosa next A-Day with legitimate shots at starting time. There’s also the little matter of Elite 11 Eli Holstein, who not only committed to the Tide two weeks ago, but has spent the better part of this summer hustling for more talent to join him.
The circus. Alabama has never bought into the circus for any player, and as long as Saban’s imprint is on the program, it won’t. It certainly wouldn’t have the entire athletic department clowning themselves. This isn’t Ohio State, and it certainly isn’t Austin.
But there is the reality that we must face. Kids choose different schools for different reasons, and Tuscaloosa simply is not a place like Austin — one of the most booming, new-money metros for young people. Austin always had a well-earned reputation as a party town and as a city of live music and delightful weirdness. But now it is Red State Palo Alto; a place flush with cash, about another million people, a tech hub, and a destination city for the young and hip…if you can afford it. It’s not my scene, but you can see how it would appeal to a wealthy, conventional 18-year-old who wants to play celebrity for a few years.
Look, we wish Arch the best, but the editorial consensus around here for at least six months is that Manning was pretty much a Longhorn lock. We are all very happy with Milroe’s development and Ty Simpson’s potential (I still think Simpson will have the better career BTW). Arch doesn’t need to be promised the NIL money; that would arrive at just about any school, as if he even needed it. No, it’s about getting on the field, be feted, having fun, and having as much of a sure-fire shot at being NFL-ready as you’re going to get at that position.
Texas checks at lot of very obvious boxes. Pat Forde is usually is smarter than this.
Now, that said, there are quite a few kids signing up to schools on the front-end of “NIL” deals that are just straight up P4P. Texas A&M is getting the grief for it, but what is going on in Miami is about as sleazy as you’re going to find. And, oh look, the usual suspects are popping up again, in this tale of a High School senior allegedly offered between $9.5 and 11 million dollars.
Rashada is poised to earn $9.5 million for his name, image and likeness in an agreement with billionaire Miami booster John Ruiz, sources told On3.com. If that figure is correct, it’s the largest known NIL deal to date for a recruit.
But Rashada, a rising senior from Pittsburg, Calif., passed up an even more lucrative offer from University of Florida supporters, according to On3. That deal would’ve been worth $11 million, multiple sources told On3. In addition to Miami and Florida, Rashada was being recruited by LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
If you recall, about a month ago we discussed the unsavory Ruiz and Miami’s equally unsavory P4P sham unfolding in plain sight. No shock here to see him right back in the mix. Florida didn’t take the loss of Rashada well. In fact, their own collective refuted claims of their vast dysfunction.
As Bill Clark said yesterday, this is obscene and is exactly the kind of stuff the NCAA (or whatever comes next) will have to get its arms wrapped around. Yet, as we have lamented here for a while, there is leadership vacuum to fill at the NCAA, and very few contenders seem up to the task. CBS agrees.
Speaking of old ground, over the weekend, rumors of Alabama’s SEC basketball schedule broke and we covered that highly speculative material. To be honest, it wasn’t just speculative, we were downright hopeful because this could be one of the gentler landing Tide Hoops has had in a while.
Yesterday, Alabama confirmed those opponents via social media.
And we are happy as a clam here. If you want to know why, read up on our schedule analysis of ‘Bama’s soft landing.
This is awesome: a lovely homage to Miss Terry, the First Lady of Alabama football, and likely the most powerful woman in all of college athletics.
Yesterday, Oklahoma’s 4-star WR Cole Adams spurned in-state Sooners, deciding to opt for Coach Holmon Wiggins’ loving embrace (and a very good chance at early playing time).
His coach positively raved about Adams’ game after the commitment:
“I’ll sound like I’m a fan club guy, but I’ve been doing this a long time and I think he’s really, really special,” Owasso head coach Bill Blankenship told BamaOnLine. “I think he’s one of the best I’ve ever coached. He’s incredibly explosive. As a competitor, that’s probably the best thing he does, is he competes at a high, high level no matter where and when. He has elite speed and leaping ability. And so because of that it gives him the skillset to go. And he’s got a great work ethic. He’s not satisfied. And he loves to be coached.”
And if you’re not, check out his highlights!
Welp, that’s about it for today. It’s a snoozy one as we enter the doggiest of dog days. Recruiting is red-hot, players seem to be keeping out of trouble, and all-in-all this has been one of those offseasons you like to see (…so far, that is.)