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FIRST WORD LETTER FROM THE CEO BY BENNIE BICE

Dear Subscribers, in the recent months

Touchdown Alabama Magazine has expanded our operations due to the influx of new subscribers. We have done a complete overhaul on our website and magazine. Because of our delay you the fans have suffered, and for this we apologize because it is your continued support of Alabama Football and our magazine that makes all of this possible. In an attempt to get Alabama Football Fans the latest and best news this first issue was pushed back by a month so we could complete all of our changes. You will still receive all of your issues and they will be better than ever. Without further delay, welcome to the 2012 College Football Season. As the staff of Touchdown Alabama, our mission is to give you the best coverage of Alabama Football in the South. Our writers will cover the important games, personalities and traditions that make the Crimson Tide and its fan base, the best in the country. We hope you enjoy our first issue of the season and will continue on this journey with us as your leading source of Crimson Tide Football news. We hope you enjoy the new layout and as always Roll Tide!

Publisher and Ceo, Bennie Bice and the Staff of Touchdown Alabama

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

Going into his sixth year as Alabama's head coach, Nick Saban is still hungry for more championships and doesn't plan to step down anytime soon. Saban's main challenge this season is to keep his team hungry and focus. So far, the Tide has managed to do just that, jumping USC in the football polls to become the No. 1 team in the nation.

MISSION STATMENT First and Foremost, we at Touchdown Alabama Magazine thank our Father in Heaven for the opportunity to put out a magazine covering Alabama Football. Greater than any magazine we could ever put out is our Lord Jesus Christ. We strive to put out the best possible product we can and hope that you enjoy our publication. Every issue we will work hard to get you the best magazine possible.

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ON THE COVER NICK SABAN


CONTENTS INJURIES AROUND THE SEC 14 How concusions are affecting the SEC. FEATURES

Catching Up With 8 John Parker Wilson

18 10

Game of the Month Preview Alabama vs Missouri

Practice for Performance 15 A look at the best tailgaters in the Nation.

Gene Jelks 16 Still seeking Redemption

SEC News ∙ Florida

∙ Alabama

∙ Georgia

∙ Arkansas

∙ Kentucky

∙ Auburn

∙ Mizzou

∙ LSU

∙ South Carolina

∙ MSU

∙ Tennessee

∙ Ole Miss

∙ Vanderbilt

∙ Texas A&M

Recruit of the Month 24 Bo Scarborough

The Process 20 Take a look at the TE OJ Howard

26

Pro-Connections Trent Richardson


Closer

Look Stable of Runners

Lacy slices through the WKU defense for big gains. P h o to g ra p hy by

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CATCHING UP WITH Joh Parker Wilson

BY STEPHEN M. SMITH ohn Parker Wilson is now the third string quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars after August 26, 2012, when the Atlanta Falcons waived him in order to maintain the mandatory 75 man roster. Before Wilson entered into the NFL, he emerged as one of the most prolific passers for the Alabama Crimson Tide. In 2005 after leading Hoover High School to two state titles, Wilson took his talents to play for the Crimson Tide. During this time, he also received scholarships offers from other Southeastern Conference Schools, but he decided to take his talents to the University of Alabama. Although he saw limited time his freshman season backing up quarterback Brodie Croyle, Wilson threw his first collegiate touchdown pass to Keith Brown in a 37-14 rout of South Carolina. As a sophomore, Wilson started 12 games for the Tide. He ended the season with a passing efficiency of 128.92, passing for 2,707 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Wilson had nine 200-yard passing games, which set a new school record. Like many sophomore quarterbacks, Wilson had to go through a learning curve. His best games were against Arkansas, 8

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

Louisiana State University, Ole Miss, and Auburn. In his junior year, Wilson started 13 games for the Tide. He threw 18 touchdown pass, which was a school record but his passer rating (114.6) dropped from his sophomore year. His best performance was against Tennessee, in which he threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns. As a senior, Wilson by far had his best season. He led the Crimson Tide to a remarkable 12-2 season with wins against top 25 teams- the Clemson Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, and LSU. He led the Tide to 36-0 dominating victory over rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl; this ended a six game losing streak against Auburn. After a successful 12-0 season, No. 1 Alabama lost against Tim Tebow and the No. 2 Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game. In the Sugar Bowl, Alabama was defeated by the Utah Utes 31-17. Wilson entered the NFL Draft in 2009, and although he went undrafted, he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons. He remained on the team as their third string quarterback for three years. During that time, he beat out hometown favorite and former Georiga quarterback DJ Shockley. Although he did not play in any regular season games, he was a steady back-up behind starting quarterback Matt Ryan and former Falcons back-up qb Chris Redman. On the road to success sometimes there are some setbacks. On Wilson was released by the Falcons earlier in training camp and later signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 1,2012., Wilson was released from the team. Wilson was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 1, 2012; he is now on the practice squad for the Jags.


The Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central Alabama was founded in 2007 to make music instruction and ensemble playing available to all, thereby developing character and sense of community. The Scrollworks Youth Music School began in 2008 because so many children in the Birmingham area do not have access to music instruction. Scrollworks currently teaches about 200 students. 70% of our students are African-American. Our median family income is right at the state median. Scrollworks strives for three levels of impact: the child, the family and the community. For the child, learning an instrument develops discipline and cognitive skills that carry over into academics. Playing in an ensemble teaches leadership and social skills. Families network across socio-economic divides and become engaged in the arts. The community gains better educated citizens and a diverse and committed audience for the arts.

Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Central Alabama PO Box 811, Birmingham, Alabama 35201 | 205-908-8843 | MYORCH.org

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Game of the Month Alabama vs Missouri

BY TARA BAIRD oming off some success in a non-conference game against Central Florida, the Missouri Tigers have the potential to gain some momentum going into what may be the biggest game of the year against No. 1 Alabama on October the

13th. The Tigers have played well against non-conference foes, out scoring them 117-46, but have had little success against their SEC counterparts. They’ve even struggled a bit in their last two non-conference matches they’ve had, squeaking by UCF and Arizona State. Having fallen to No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina, the Tigers are ready to test their chops against No. 1 Alabama in Columbia, Missouri. The Tigers are averaging about 348 total yards of offense per game, a statistic clearly bolstered by competitors like their non-conference opponents. The Tide, on the other hand, has out scored all of its competition 201-35, and that’s including SEC opponents. They average over 400 yards of offense and 40 points per game. They’re 22-22 in red-zone scores, 16 of those being touchdowns. The Tide’s defense leads the nation in just about every defensive category.

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

They have 16 sacks for over 100 yards in losses , 34 tackles for a loss of a 148 yards, and their nine interceptions for 145 yards - tied for second in the NCAA. The Tide scores an inordinate amount of points against teams that, at one point, were highly ranked – Michigan and Arkansas. However, some feel that Bama has yet to be challenged by an SEC opponent despite Ole Miss giving one of their best efforts of the season. This game may be a better game than most people anticipate. While it’s doubtful that Mizzou will be able to pull out the W, they could give Bama a challenge if they play well as they did against Georgia, but if they play like they did against South Carolina, they’re doomed. Alabama should be an overwhelming favorite, but they need to be on the lookout for the Tigers James Franklin, Kendial Lawrence, and Marcus Lucas who could give them trouble if the Tide does not play their A game. As it was shown against Ole Miss, if the Tide doesn’t play their A game, they could struggle to a victory in Columbia.


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Injuries Around The SEC Concussions

BY Stephen M. Smith njuries are an inevitable part of college football, and the Southeastern Conference is no exception. In the past two weeks, injuries have ranged from ankle sprains and Achilles tendon tears to shoulder contusions and groin problems. However, concussions have managed to lead the SEC injury list. According to the PubMed Health website, “a concussion is a minor traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may occur when the head hits an object or a moving objects strikes the head. It can really affect how your brain works for a while. A concussion can lead to a bad headache, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness. Concussions occur very frequently in sports activities, a big movement of the brain in any direction can cause you to lose alertness. Most individuals who have a concussion may not realize it, but they describe seeing all white, black, or stars. Concussion symptoms include persistent confusion, unequal pupils, walking problems, etc.” Concussions can have minor (headaches, drowsiness, seeing flashing lights) to major effects (memory loss, seizures, possible suicides) on athletes. It is dangerous to play sports if you are coming off a concussion

14

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

because the next brain jarring hit that you take can cost you your life.  This intriguing information brings us to the latest concussion injury in college football, which comes at the expense of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Senior quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered a concussion in the shocking 34-31 loss against Louisiana–Monroe in Fayetteville.   Wilson was only sacked one time in the game,the Razorbacks offensive line did not protect him and he was constantly hit and knocked down. The prognosis of his injury is a mild concussion and his recovery time is dayto-day. Wilson did not play against the Tide. His inability to play in the game against Alabama significantly hurt the Razorbacks because he is a leader on the field, he understands the offensive plan, and he has played in big games before. Last year, Wilson was also knocked out of the Bama too. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen got the start, and his inexperience showed against the Alabama defense. Sitting Wilson was not the ideal situation for the Razorbacks, but they could not only be saving his season, but his life as well.


Practice for Performance BY CHRIS SLOAN phrase "getting in shape" can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Most of us relate to these words by shedding some pounds and burning body fat, but it can also apply to any fitness goal you set for yourself. Reaching peak physical performance of course is going to be different for a 50 year-old overweight housewife than it is for an SEC college linebacker. To a professional bodybuilder, fitness may bring to mind things like egg whites, training splits and nitric oxide, while a Zumba class member will have thoughts of workout shoes, hip hop music and salads. The health craze world is a vast domain that can easily confuse a newcomer.  But I would like to add a simple little word into the fitness universe that normally gets overlooked, but could be the difference between people finally getting in shape or not. That word is "notebook". Yes, a modest college ruled five star notebook or similar can be utilized with all your other gym bag tools to attain the body you've always wanted. Now before I go into detail on how this will help, let me explain the problem with the average Joe who wants to earn a six pack at the local gym. Unless this person is under the direction of a competent personal trainer, they usually walk into their health club with only a vague clue on what their going to do once inside. Sure, they may have an idea that today is "back and bicep" day or "cardio only" day, but beyond that-nothing. So the workout ends up being pretty much the same routine with the same exercises on the same equipment, with the same weight, the same sets and the same reps as always. Six weeks later, average Joe is wondering why his beer gut has not shrunk any since his membership card came in the mail. Why he has not gotten "in shape" is due to a concept I try to instill in every trainee I work with. That is- the body will NOT progress unless your workouts progress. And unless you were born with a photographic memory, you must write down your workout routine as to not repeat the same routine twice. Every time you perform an exercise, some variable about that exercise must be changed to ensure your muscles are pushing themselves a little further. When your muscles are pushed harder, they have to get stronger to compensate. The result of getting stronger is a leaner and more toned body. A very elementary example of this would be taking an exercise like the bench press and come up with an easy starting routine like 3 x 10 x 100 lbs and write it down in

your notebook. The first number being the sets, second the reps, and the last number being the weight used. Once you have conquered this small goal, make a check mark beside it and never repeat this same workout again. Now the next time you bench can be changed up at least three different ways to progress like: 4 x 10 x 100 lbs or 3 x 11 x 100 lbs or 3 x 10 x 105 lbs. Even if it's relatively easy, change only one variable at a time and not all three to gradually challenge your body in a safe way. Even a treadmill routine can be manipulated every workout session because either the distance, speed, or incline can be bumped up every time. The ancient Greek wrestler Milo of Croton can give us a testimony into how effective this simple method can be used. Legend has it that after each Olympic games were over, he would lift a baby calf onto his shoulders once per day and walk around the stadium. I don't have to tell you that in the four years leading up to the next games the same cow would grow into quite a heavy animal for him to lift. Well, he supposedly never lost a match and the changes to his unorthodox workouts were so minor that he didn't notice much. Without even writing his exercise routine down, Milo was able to get in the best shape possible without injury by progressively increasing his load. Now unless you just happen to live on a farm, I suggest forget using livestock as exercise equipment and just use a simple pen and paper to maximize your fitness results.

Chris Sloan is a 1996 graduate of the University of Alabama and he has been a certified trainer for almost 20 years. He has obtained various personal training, sports nutrition, and even golf fitness certifications from such organizations as: NESTA, IFPA, AAAI/ ISMA, KB Health & Fitness, YMCA, and Fitness Together. Sloan is now the CEO of Bama Fitness LLC out of Birmingham, Alabama.

TOUCHDOWNALABAMA.NET 15


Gene Jelks Still Seeking Redemption

BY LARRY BURTON PHOTO BY ESPN.COM

16

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

has an almost biblical flair to it all, even Gene Jelks himself often refers to himself as the “Prodigal Son�. It is a road still being traveled on the way to redemption and Jelks and the Alabama Nation are edging closer to closure on this, one of the saddest chapters in both their years. Gene Jelks was a star running back and athlete from Emma Samson High School in Gadsden, Alabama, (now absorbed into Gadsden City High School). He was the true catch of his day back in 1984 and lots of schools wanted his service.

Recruited by Ray Perkins, Jelks decided to sign with Alabama. Perkins, who Jelks said won over he and his family, played there from 1985-1989. He was moved from running back to defense when Bill Curry took over the program after Perkins left- a move that Jelks said would later trigger all the resentment and hostility that made him turn on his team for money and landed Alabama on NCAA probation.


"Perkins left, a move that Jelks said would later trigger all the resentment and hostility that made him turn on his team for money and landed Alabama on NCAA probation." By 1992, Jelks football career had withered away. He was no longer in pro football. His NFL days were over and no team in Canadian Football League wanted him anymore and the bills were starting to pile up. There was anger, and lots of pain; anger because this wasn't the way things were supposed to be for a man with so much promise. Alabama and Bill Curry, now became fixated in his mind as the culprits for his predicament. If only Curry had left him at running back, he would have still been a star, still running to glory and not a substitute teacher barely scratching out more than minimum wage. In his mind, he was a “washout” now ashamed of his present status. It couldn't be his fault, it had to be somebody else's and they should be made to pay for it. That's when a person Jelks describes now as an Auburn booster, came to his house and lit the fire under him to show him a way to make “those people” pay for ruining his life. Though he insisted to Jelks at the time that he was neither an Alabama or Auburn person, just a fan of his who he hated to see his dream of being a star running back taken from him by Alabama. This Auburn booster had somehow managed to get canceled checks that were given to Jelks by a big Alabama booster, Harold Simmons, of Jimmy Dean Sausage, where Jelks had been paid to be a salesman for the sausage company. The checks came to about $20,000, a fee that seemed far to much for college student to earn for a few weeks worth of work helping to sell sausage.

He offered Jelks everything he needed, a place to live, better than what he had now, money to pay the mounting bills and most of all, revenge on the people who took his dream away from him. Anything he wanted or needed would be taken care of, but at a price. He had to go to the NCAA and incriminate Alabama; sell out his school, his fan base and his teammates and try and destroy the Alabama football program with all types of accusations. In other words, he must become a Judas to his brothers. And that's just what he did, telling anyone and everyone who would listen the “crimes” Alabama had committed to him and others. And the NCAA did in fact rule that a booster, without knowledge of the coach or staff, had supplied an athlete with gifts or services beyond the imposed limits and for the first time, Alabama was on NCAA probation. Auburn boosters, using Jelks as a pawn, had finally succeeded in getting Alabama the way they felt Alabama had doing to them for years. And just like a pawn, used in battle, Jelks was discarded by Auburn people who had promised to “take care of him”. That money was gone and so too was the hope of any more. Auburn boosters could now not distance themselves from Jelks any faster than Alabama fans could. After seeing what he had done, Jelks became depressed. Drugs and alcohol became his best and seemingly his only friends. He spent time homeless in Atlanta, living in a cardboard box with a plastic sheet for a door. Jelks was a broken man who had turned his back on his upbringing, his family, his teammates and his school. While it's said that once you hit bottom, there's nowhere to go but up, that's not necessarily true. You either go up you simply let go of your life.. That's what Jelks chose. But the cocaine overdose did not kill him as planned; when he awoke in a hospital, Jelks decided to give life a chance and started his road to redemption. After spending time in rehab at a halfway house, Jelks left Atlanta and the South, moving to Southern California where he could start over, far from the accusing eyes of people who viewed him as a traitor and from the place where his pain was still deep inside. After six years, Jelks came back to the South, a stronger man wanting to rid himself of the pain and sins of the past. He first reached out to his best friend at Alabama, teammate, Kerry Goode. It was uplifting for Goode to not only reach back to him, but forgive him for any actions he had done and

urged him to forgive himself. At Goode's urging, he attended the reunion of the 1985 Iron Bowl Team, afraid of not only the fans reaction, but of his other teammates too. While not all fans and past teammates that day were ready to forgive, many did and the hugs and handshakes brought tears to Jelks eyes. The prodigal son had indeed return home and for the most part, at least most of his “family” of teammates were glad to have him home. But not all the fan base however, was still not as forgiving. After the devastating tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Jelks sneaked back into town to help with the clean up efforts. He stayed low key, wanting no publicity, not even telling people who he was. He was just someone who wanted to give back and help. But he was recognized by Charlie Dare, a former offensive lineman who used to block for Jelks, who in his own mind was still not ready to forgive Jelks for all he had done to hurt Alabama. But when he saw that Jelks was indeed there, not to be recognized or earn attention, he saw a man truly worthy of redemption. Not everyone is willing to forgive, but most are. His name still brings up bitterness to some Alabama message boards, but most are willing to forgive after getting to know the man. But there are some who will never let go. Jelks knows that acceptance back into all the players and fans hearts is something that may never happen. But he's content with life now and winning them over one at a time. TOUCHDOWNALABAMA.NET 17


NEWS A MONTHLY LOOK AT ALL 14 SEC TEAMS

AROUND THE BY THE NUMBERS

14

The number of teams in the SEC this year

9 of 15

The number of National Championships in the last 15 years

2012 BEGINS 10

The number of Heisman winners

6

The number of teams in the AP Top 25 Poll 18

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

HOW DOES YOUR TEAM RANK AMONG THE BEST IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ALABAMA

Alabama-The Crimson Tide find themselves in a familiar place; first place in the SEC West after a resounding victory over Arkansas. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has yet to throw an interception this season and so far has thrown 12 touchdown passes and continued his streak of throwing no interceptions in a victory over Ole Miss which broke a school record.

ARKANSAS

It’s been a rough time for the Razorbacks who have lost three straight games despite the return of Tyler Wilson from a concussion two weeks ago. The Razorbacks are still struggling on defense giving up 30 plus points to both


Rutgers and Louisiana Monroe in losses and 52 points in a loss to Alabama. The Hogs will try to get back on track when they play Auburn in two weeks.

AUBURN

Despite playing well against the LSU Tigers, the Auburn Tigers still find themselves struggling on offense. The 1-3 Tigers are currently dead last in the SEC in pass offense averaging 144 yards per game and only 53 percent in pass completions. However, the Tigers may be able to get well when they play Arkansas in two weeks. The Razorbacks defense is dead last in the SEC in total defense giving up almost 500 yards per game.

FLORIDA

In their shut out victory over Kentucky, 38-0, the Gators accomplished something they haven’t done in 11 years. As good as the Gators defense has been over the years, they haven’t shut out in opponent since 2001 when they shut out the Mississippi State Bulldogs 52-0. “Any time you get a shutout, man, those things are hard to come by in this day and age of football, regardless of who you're playing,” said Florida coach Will Muschamp. Tell that to Alabama coach.

GEORGIA

After their pouncing of the Vanderbilt Commodores 48-3, Georgia offensive lineman Chris Burnette decided to do something special for his girlfriend; Burnette decided to propose to his girlfriend in prerecorded message-her answer-yes. Burnette met his future wife Arielle Haynes, as a freshman through a teammate.

KENTUCKY

The good news for the Kentucky Wildcats is that although they lost to their rival Louisville to open the season, they bounced back to defeat Kent State; the bad news is they lost their opening SEC game against Florida and And the Wildcats had to face South Carolina (a game they lost) without starting qb Maxwell Smith who had to set out this game with an injury.

LSU

The LSU Tigers are a quiet 4-0. Unlike last year when the Tigers opened their 2011 campaign with victories over Oregon and West Virginia which jumped them to No. 1, this year the Tigers have already dropped a spot to No. 3 after barely defeating the Auburn Tigers 12-10, but don’t underestimate these Bengal Tigers, LSU has a reputation of getting stronger as the season moves along.

Mississippi

The Rebels entered their game against No. 1

Alabama with a 3-1 record. The talk of Oxford has been the play of junior college transfer quarterback Bo Wallace. Wallace and new Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze, are breathing new air into the Ole Miss offense which is averaging almost 40 points a game.

MSU

Dan Mullen and his Mississippi State Bulldogs are in a place they haven’t been in a long time; first place in the SEC West. Mullen’s first victory over an SEC West opponent other then Ole Miss, has them sitting pretty atop the West. Who would have said a month ago that State would be fighting with LSU and Alabama for the led in the SEC West?

Missouri

The Missouri Tigers have gotten a rude welcome to the SEC by losing first to Georgia, then getting blown out by South Carolina 31-10. The Missouri defense allowed South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw to complete 20 straight passes against them breaking a Gamecock school record. Mizzou did bounced back with a 21-16 victory over Central Florida. They play Alabama in two weeks.

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier seems to be on the warpath again against columnist Ron Morris this time over a story he had written questioning Spurrier about whether he should have started quarterback Connor Shaw in the UAB gameShaw had been suffering from a shoulder injury. For two days, Spurrier wouldn’t speak to the media and only gave opening statements. I guess Spurrier is over it at least for now.

TENNESSEE

After going into the Florida game ranked in the top 25 a few weeks ago, the Tennessee Vols fell hard to the Florida Gators, 3720 in their SEC opener. Quarterback Tyler Bray said this about the Florida loss: “I won’t say we got scared, but we just disappeared.  We weren’t ourselves.” Let’s see if the Vols will reappear against Georgia.

TEXAS A&M

The Aggies were only a few plays away from pulling off the upset against Florida a few weeks ago and earning their first SEC victory. But the Aggies shouldn’t be too upset. They showed they can hang with any SEC team which they will need when they get into the heart of their SEC West schedule.

VANDERBILT

James Franklin’s Commodores are struggling. After losing to South Carolina 17-13 on a controversial call to start the season, the Dores were hoping to get well with a victory over Northwestern, but that wasn’t the case as they lost to the Wildcats, 23-13. But the Dores did get well against Presbyterian, only to be blown out the following week to Georgia. Vandy now finds themselves dead last in the SEC East at 0-2 looking down the barrel of the rest of their tough schedule the rest of the way trying to fight their way to a bowl game.

TOUCHDOWNALABAMA.NET 19


THE PROCESS

BY Mike Parker // Co-Host, Crimson Cover Radio and TV Howard, who was recently ranked the 5th best player in the country, plays football at Autauga Academy in Prattville, Alabama. Though he is labeled the No.1 tight end in the country, that distinction does not even cover the talents of this exceptional player. Howard is a freakish athlete who can deliver just about anything a coach could ask for on the football field. One of the most distinguishing aspects of this young athlete is his never-say-quit work ethic. Though many highly touted prospects get away with being lazy because of their athletic abilities, O.J. Howard works diligently on every aspect of his game. As Alabama’s top prospect, Howard is also one of the Crimson Tide’s top recruiters, reaching out to other prospects to join him in a very talented 2013 class. At 6’6”, 230 lbs., and possessing an exceptional frame on which he can still add plenty of weight, Howard also boasts a 4.49 forty, a 4.31 shuttle, a 34” vertical, and a tremendous wing span. Even when balls are badly thrown, Howard manages to come down with the football every time. In my eight years of covering recruits, Howard stands as one of the most outstanding football players I have seen. At his high school games, Howard is often used as a receiver, as they love to use Howard to run deep posts and flag routes. Any time Autauga 20

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

PHOTO BY RIVALS.COM

Academy has the football near the 20 yard line, you can look for a fly ball to the corner of the end zone where Howard will definitely make the play. Though there seems to be no weakness in Howard’s game, the one skill he may need to work on is his blocking. It’s not that he can’t block, it’s just that Howard is not asked to block as much as other tight ends. You can be sure that when Howard steps onto the Capstone, he will be properly taught to block. One of Howard’s many talents that separates him from other tight ends, is his ability to get open. With great hands, he also has a keen sense of where the quarterback will throw the ball. Tight end, especially at Alabama, is not known as a play-making position. However, O.J. Howard will change that thinking his first year of play. He has as much big-play potential as any player on Alabama’s current roster. As a football player, O.J. Howard is battle-tested because he has camped all over the country; most scouts have seen him play. Howard has repeatedly competed with the best of the best, always coming out on top. Though Howard is 100 percent committed to the Crimson Tide, other schools will not shy away from trying to recruit him. O.J. Howard is sure to become a huge asset to Alabama football in the future.


Closer

Look The QB

McCarron leads the Tide to a victory over WKU P h o to g ra p hy by

Ce d r i c M a s o n


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RECRUIT OF THE MONTH Bo Scarborough

First on Board for Tide's Class of 2014 BY Mike Parker // Co-Host, Crimson Cover Radio and TV PHOTO BY RIVALS.COM September 7, 2012, leading his Northridge High School football team to victory over Hillcrest High School, Bo Scarborough sent shock waves throughout the country when he became the first commitment to the Crimson Tide’s Class of 2014. The fact that Scarborough had watched Alabama run all over a highly ranked Michigan team two weeks before probably did not hurt the Tide’s chances with him.   Though Scarborough is committed to the Crimson Tide, there can be no doubt that other college coaches from all over the country will attempt to recruit him all the way to Signing Day. Much credit should be given to the Tide’s offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, for securing Scarborough for Alabama. However, Scarborough surprisingly even Nussmeier when the highly ranked running back pulled the trigger by declaring his commitment to the Tide prior to contacting Nussmeier to state his intentions.   Another factor that surely influenced Scarborough’s early commitment was the recruiting efforts of the Tide players themselves. Since Nick Saban first became head football coach at Alabama, one of his trademarks that all prospects have noticed is the recruitment efforts by his current players. In true Crimson Tide old-school tradition, Crimson Tide players have never been known to sugar-coat playing ball for Alabama.  Although some recruiting services have not yet ranked the Class of 2014, it is highly probable that Bo Scarborough will be the No. 1 prospect in Alabama next year and one of the top over-all prospects in the entire country.   As he continues to grow, Bo Scarborough is currently listed at 6’2 1/2”, 225 lbs, runs a 4.4, has a 37’ vertical, and is as physically gifted an any running back around. When comparing Bo Scarborough to other exceptional running backs, super star names like Darren McFadden, Bo Jackson, and Adrian Peterson come to mind. When he begins to play on the next level, Bo Scarborough is sure to measure 24

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

up to any of those memorable RB’s.  The Crimson Tide’s coaching staff must be overjoyed to land a top prospect like Bo Scarborough to start off their 2014 Class. Now you can look for the Tide to recruit some big beef up front to complement Scarborough’s physical talents. Bo Scarborough is very fluid in his routs out of the back field and has a good set of hands. In addition, this phenomenal athlete returns kickoffs, runs the wildcat formation, plays receiver, and, of course, is exceptional in the back field. One of Scarborough’s most exciting attributes is the quickness with which he accelerates to full speed. Though Scarborough can be watched on film, it is not until he is seen live that one realizes how unusually fast, physical, and big he really is. To stand 6’2 1/2”, Scarborough runs extremely close to the ground, especially when he sees contact approaching. A trait uncommon to a bruising back like Scarborough is his keen vision.  When Scarborough actually arrives at Alabama to play for the Crimson Tide, some folks are not convinced he will remain a running back. Though only time will tell, many feel Scarborough will out-grow the running back position. What is clear is that Bo Scarborough is a true running back and should become an excellent and effective recruiter for the Crimson Tide in the future.


PRO CONNECTIONS

TRENT RICHARDSON NFL'S NEWEST TOP 10 TALENT

BY Thomas Watts PHOTO BY ffspin.com Richardson decided to forego his final year of eligibility at Alabama and enter the 2012 NFL draft this past April. The decision was rewarded with a No. 3 overall selection by the Cleveland Browns and the very large payday that comes with it. Alabama fans cheered heartily as the man who helped guide the Tide to its 14th national championship walked up on stage, shook hands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and held up a jersey with his name on it. Little did he know he was walking into one of the worst situations in the NFL. The Browns skill position players, aside from Richardson, are poor. Greg Little had some success as rookie last season, but questions surround the remainder of the wide receiver corps. Benjamin Watson, the starting tight end, is aging. He still has potential, but it continues to diminish. The one bright spot on the team is the offensive line. It is anchored by five-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas at left tackle and Pro Bowl center Alex 26

TDAL OCT. 10, 2012

Mack. The entire line has had time to gel since four of its five starters played in all 16 games during the 2011 season. Richardson’s entry into the NFL was further complicated by having to have surgery on an injured knee. Trent had to have a loose piece of cartilage removed by Dr. James Andrews. The healing process from surgery forced Trent to miss the entire preseason. He was able to start in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Richardson compiled 39 yards on 19 carries during that contest. The numbers were unspectacular, but he did have one bone-jarring hit on the Eagles Kurt Coleman. The hit sent Coleman’s helmet flying. When it landed, it was seven yards away. While Trent Richardson may be among the most talented players in the NFL, the complete lack of skill surrounding him may prove his undoing during his rookie year. The Browns are a complete mess, and it will take multiple drafts to fix the myriad problems that plague this squad, but at least they got at least one part of the puzzle right and that’s drafting Richardson.


TIDE TRIVIA 1 Who was the last Alabama quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a game?

2 Which game was it? 3 What Game did the Tide have their first bowl game?

4 Who was the Tide's first victory over? 5TideHow many All-American quarterbacks have the had since 1950? 1. Gary Hollingsworth 1989 / 2. Ole Miss / 3. 1925 Rose Bowl / 4. 1894 over Auburn the score was 18-0 / 5. Four: Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Steve Sloan, and Jay Barker

GRIDIRON GRUB Peach Salsa 1 Small can of fresh peaches 1 tsp of red pepper chopped 1 tsp of red onion, chopped 1 tsp of cilantro, chopped 1/4 jalapeno, chopped 1/4 tsp cinnamon Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for a few hours to let the ingredients blend together before using. This recipe is not only great to use with tortilla chips, but surprising with Blackened Salmon.

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