Alright, back again with some quick hitters to keep the docket clear for the beginning of fall camp (just days away!) and the continuing Marcell Dareus Saga, hopefully coming to an end not too long after that.
--Of course, I'll lead off with Marcell and say there really isn't much to say right now. There are 1,004 different "insider" stories regarding this situation out there, but the overwhelming majority are rubbish and you should be aware of that. Now that the main points of Dareus' story are out there, all that's left for news is the investigation and the ruling. Developments in both matters are being kept amongst an ultra-select few, and the ONLY reliable source from this point forward will be the University and the NCAA. I mean, I guess its not out of the question that a newspaper might break something. But no matter what he says, that dude on the message board or on the blog has no idea what's going on right now. I guess that includes me...
I will say that I feel better and better about Dareus maintaining his eligibility every day. My over/under still stands at a 3 game suspension, and I'd bet the under right now.
--Elsewhere, Bama recruiting continues to heat up again after I called for an early Fall hibernation. But at least I'm on top of this one beforehand, unlike Ryan Kelly. In fact, in the last edition of Bric-A-Brac, I mentioned that Ohio LB Trey DePriest might be making his commitment some time before the season starts. Well, after a weekend visit to Tuscaloosa with his family, DePriest has informed media outlets that he'll be announcing his commitment this Friday afternoon.
So you do the math on that.
DePriest is currently rated as a 4* prospect and the #6 player at his position in the country by Rivals.com, while Scout.com has him as a 5* guy and #3 at his position. His recruitment is being characterized as a Bama/Ohio State battle, but he's been considered a HEAVY Bama lean for a while now by most "in the know," with some even invoking the always popular "silent commitment" tag. To put it bluntly, it will be a major upset if DePriest doesn't announce that he's rolling with the Tide this Friday.
--Also in last week's edition, I took a look at the Coaches' Pre-season All-SEC team, which featured 6 Bama players on the First-Team, all of whom were juniors and redshirt sophomores from the 2008 recruiting class.
At the conclusion of SEC Media Days, the media released their own Pre-season All-SEC team, and the number of Bama players on the First-Team grew by 2, senior left tackle James Carpenter and sophomore running back Trent Richardson. The latter wasn't much of a surprise coming from the media but does create a heck of an expectation for Ingram and Richardson to live up to this season. I get the feeling it's going to be impossible for them to live up to the hype, especially if the passing game continues to develop as expected, or at least hoped.
Greg McElroy matched his Second Team coaches' pick on the media's team, and redshirt junior center William Vlachos and junior linebacker Courtney Upshaw picked up their first recognition of the year with Second Team selections. Upshaw is another, lesser known, 08er who is primed to explode this season, especially if Dareus plays.
--And more Class of 08 news! Forgive the pun, but this totally came out of left field yesterday:
I'm curious to see how this plays out. Ray was an exciting wide receiver prospect coming out of high school, and if 6'4", 205, is right, he's still pretty intriguing, but I wonder if Saban's offer to return still stands. The Bama program has come a long way in the past 2 years. The wide receiver depth chart is loaded right now, and the Tide already has 4 receiver commitments in the '11 class (Marvin Shinn, Danny Woodson, Bradley Sylve, and Daryl Collins), as well as a few more high profile, very interested targets at the position. Is there really room for a guy who's been away from the game for 2 years? Even if he is 6'4", 205?
You'd assume the family already consulted with the Alabama coaching staff before going public with this in order to prevent any possible embarrassment, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
And, lest we forget, Ray wasn't the only member of the 08 class to go the pro baseball route. Fellow wide receiver prospect Destin Hood was drafted in the 2nd round by the Nationals that same year. He's finally worked his way up to Single A ball where he currently bats .283 and is considered one of the top prospects in the organization. So don't count on him coming back any time soon.
--There's definitely a story on the Class of 08 coming some time before the season starts. Despite the fact that those guys already have championships to their credit, this is really their year. More so than even last season, their play is going to define 2010's place in Bama history.
--Finally, I found this awesome Youtube highlight package for the Top 100 Plays of the 2009 Season, created by this person or persons called YellowHammerPro. It's really well produced. As of now, only plays 100 to 81 are up, but I'll try to keep you guys up to date as new additions are released.
With this being the bottom end of the list, there are a lot more good hustle and "effort" plays than spectacular ones here, like the first two Richardson plays, and there are exactly 2 more Cory Reamer highlights than you'd expect, but it's all cool stuff. Marcell Dareus is well represented in the early going with 2 clips of him destroying people, which is either really exciting or really depressing, depending on your level of optimism. My favorite is probably #91. Not only does it feature a phenomenal two-for-one block by the underrated Marquis Maze to spring Ingram for a touchdown, it also has a classic Verne Lundquist blunder where he credits said block to defensive end "Lionel Washington," who was neither on the field nor named "Lionel."
#98 is specially dedicated to John Harbaugh.