Four star cornerback Kenneth Crawley of Washington, DC publicly chose the University of Tennessee today. Crawley had twenty-five offers on the table. Among them: Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Crawley is a big corner, and we all know Derek Dooley’s continued goal of getting bigger across the field. It’s also nice to see a few more stars by a kid who could’ve gone pretty much wherever he wanted.
Welcome to Big Orange Country Kenneth!

The newest member of UT's 2012 signing class

Saving college football's seedy soul

As I listened to Nashville talk radio station 104.5 The Zone today on the commute home from work, I heard the best prediction of what is to come in the world of college football. Former Tennessee  assistant coach Doug Matthews is on The Sports Zone with George Plaster and Willy Daunic for a little over an hour every Friday afternoon during college football season.

Many callers were bringing up the same regurgitated info when Matthews said something that many have said many times except this time it made sense.  He mentioned super conferences that paid players.  Wow! Ground breaking.  But then he continued to outline the following:

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As ugly as it was, may the Music City Bowl have been a blessing in disguise? Think about where UT may have been had it won the Music City Bowl. Tyler Bray would be 5-0 as a starter, and the throat slashing gestures, and brashness may have gotten worse.

If losing the Music City Bowl gets rid of this, it was worth it.

Janzen Jackson may have stayed in school all spring, and not gotten his personal issues addressed. It’s fun to be with your teammates after a win. Tauren Poole may not have the 2,000 yard goal. (Kinda insane, but it does gives im a clear goal, nothing wrong with being focused.) Losing should have made the competitive fires burn all spring.

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Tennessee senior defensive tackle and without a doubt the most important player on the defense Malik Jackson has a sprained knee and is expected to miss a couple of weeks of practice. Hopefully, he’ll be ready by the season opener against Montana or at least the Cincinnati game. According to multiple practice reports, Derek Dooley said Jackson shouldn’t miss anymore time than two weeks, so if that’s the case, maybe this will be a blessing in disguise and give a bunch of other players reps. We know what Jackson can do. It’s Mo Couch, Trevarris Saulsberry, Daniel Hood, Alan Carson, etc., that we’re unsure about.

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“Coaches tell me that they like my aggressive nature. I’ve always been that way. I’ve had good instincts. I’ve been catching the football ever since I could walk. To me it’s not about what’s going on around me. It’s my love and passion for the game. I live to knock the piss out of someone and de-cleat them. I love to look up in the stands and see 100,000 going crazy. It’s what I live for. It’s what I’ve always done. I’m never going to give up. I’m relentless. It’s do-or-die time every play.”

DALTON SANTOS

At first, it appeared to be an Alabama and Texas A&M battle. Then, even though he had a terrific visit to Knoxville a couple of weeks ago, it still appeared distance would win in the end and he’d stay in the Lonestar State. Somewhere along the way, the University of Tennessee just stuck with Van, Texas, middle linebacker Dalton Santos.

And on Friday, the middle linebacker who is thought by many to be the top inside LB prospect in the nation, spurned his homestate Aggies and committed to Tennessee and new linebackers coach Peter Sirmon. It’s easily the most important commitment of a UT class that is vital from a need standpoint — and there’s perhaps no bigger need than linebacker.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder is a dominant run-stopper and keen instincts, and his attributes led to him being ranked as ESPN’s top overall MLB prospect in the nation and No. 92-ranked player overall. He is 247 Sports’ 90th-ranked player overall and a four-star player. Scout also has him as a four-star player and the fourth-ranked MLB in the country. Rivals laughably has him as just a three-star, despite offers from some of the top teams in the country.

Santos — who first committed to Oklahoma State — chose the Vols over Texas A&M and Alabama, but he also had offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Mizzou, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and others.

A couple of weeks ago before Santos visited Knoxville, he expected to make his decision between Alabama and A&M. But he had a blast in Knoxville and really fell in love with the philosophy of Sirmon and UT defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. The potential to be coached by somebody who had just been in the NFL was a big lure — but he could also get that in College Station with Dat Nguyen.

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I can catch pretty well.

Chris Black, the third-ranked wide receiver in the 2012 class according to ESPU ratings, selected Alabama over Florida State.

Black made his decision live on College Football Blitz on ESPU. Black is rated the number-29 overall player in the ESPU 150 rankings.

Black is a much-needed piece of good news for the Tide in recruiting after they have seen Florida State steal QB Jameis Winston from Hueytown and Indiana keep QB Gunner Kiel in the state.

Chris Black is only engaged to the Tide. He can change his mind 45 times between now and signing day in February.

This commitment won’t give ‘Bama fans reason to forget Julio Jones if Black does indeed walk down the aisle with the Tide in February, but he’s a great start to the second-generation of wide receivers in the Saban era.

"Coach... What are your thoughts on punching puppies in the throat?"

The dog days of summer are almost over and all the talk will finally subside to make way for actual football. What better way to kick off fall practice than to take a game-by-game look at Alabama’s 2011 schedule? We won’t be splitting the atom or analyzing the depth chart by any means. It’s just another opportunity for many ‘Bama fans to see a light at the end of a tunnel that’s been void of light since April 27.

Go ahead Tide fans. Put on your crimson colored glasses and look into the future to see what it’s going to take for Nick Saban to hoist the crystal football and be number one once again.

**The crystal football trophy will not be for sale on this site if won by Alabama**

2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Schedule

09/03/11 Kent State – The healing can officially begin for Tide fans devastated by the April tornadoes. Bama wins 52-0

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Can the Tide do this in New Orleans this season?

Alabama fans are excited at the potential for another national championship this season.  Make no mistake, the potential is absolutely there.  No team in the country has recruited quite as well as Alabama over the past four seasons. Few teams are as experienced.  Alabama has the benefit of being the best three loss team of the past five years, and faces a significantly improved schedule — half as many teams coming off a bye, LSU and Arkansas both come to Tuscaloosa, South Carolina is traded for Vanderbilt, and Auburn goes from one of the most veteran teams in the league  to the least experienced in the country.

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Raise your hand if you think your team will be staring at this in Atlanta - Not you, Cowbell fan.

We are only 33 days away from kickoff of the 2011 SEC football season. By only, I mean it’s still two eternities until the Thursday night Kentucky versus Western Kentucky game that will officially signal the beginning of the season at LP Field in Nashville. While we await September’s arrival like a child counting down to Christmas, let’s take a look at what may happen and what games will matter in 2011.

Biggest Upset – October 29 – Vanderbilt over Arkansas in Nashville
In a game overshadowed by the annual “No Longer Allowed to be Referred to as the World’s Largest Cocktail Party” in Jacksonville, Vandy gives Arkansas a crushing defeat and all but kills any chance the Hogs have at winning the West. Tim Brando stays busy for the first quarter of the Georgia-Florida clash with updates from the CBS Studios in New York. The ‘Dores do just enough to hang around and the Arkansas offense can never quite catch on fire as James Franklin gets an early signature win as Vanderbilt head coach. VU 21 ARK 19

Best Game – September 24 – Alabama over Arkansas in Tuscaloosa
Don’t be surprised if this game goes to overtime. These two teams played post-fourth quarter football in 2003 and 2006. Arkansas won both. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Wilson gets hot on a great Alabama defense. Alabama’s offense softens up Arkansas with the run and attacks through the air. Alabama uses three quarterbacks to pull out this CBS classic. BAMA 51 ARK 41

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Before fall practice even starts, Volquest.com reported this afternoon that UT true freshman Devrin Young has suffered a collarbone injury in workouts and could miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks.

Young is a 5-foot-9, 175-pound jitterbug from Knoxville Bearden High School who was expected to return kicks and punts for the Vols this season. Early indications were that he also would be utilized on offense, trying to get his speed and quickness into space. Instead, he’ll be rehabbing an injury for the next few weeks. That may not sound too bad — that a player who **may** be in line to be a special teams weapon **may** miss a month — but when the Vols were epically bad … historically bad … returning punts last season, this is disastrous news.

By the way, this happens to the Vols every year. Though this isn’t quite catastrophic-level injury news, practice hasn’t even begun. Just watch in the next few weeks as UT loses several key players to season-ending or long-term injuries. It never fails. Go Vols!