Rashaan Gaulden’s explanation for giving Alabama fans the bird during a game last season?
“I hate Alabama. That’s just the way it is…”
I have to admit I’m sorta cool with that.
If you’re among those worried about whom Jake Fromm will be throwing to with his favorite receiver from last season off to the NFL, maybe you should keep calm, as these two options should carry on.
That’s not just SEC, but all FBS programs. In other words, Jake’s got something to work with.
Worried about who will be stepping into Davin Bellamy’s and Lorenzo Carter’s shoes? They’re not.
That’s why they know the 2018 season will offer the chance for more Bulldogs to get their starting turns on the defense. Bellamy’s first pick in the “next Wolfpack up” category would be senior D’Andre Walker.
Bellamy felt Walker also could have started for a lot of SEC teams last year, too.
“He finished last year with like 15.5 tackles for a loss and something like six sacks,” Bellamy said. “He really made some game-changing plays for us in only a short amount of playing time. I’m really looking for him to take the next step.”
But he also had a couple more names in mind. That was sophomore Walter Grant. Grant saw extended action last year for the program as a true freshman member of Georgia’s “Wolfpack” core at OLB.
Walker roomed with Carter last year. Grant roomed with Bellamy. That certainly sounds like those two were being groomed to take over those starting spots in 2018. They were able to learn from a veteran and see what it took to hold down a starting spot.
Grant stood out.
“He has the length and size to be in that Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter category and has a nose for the football,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy also felt that Grant picked up the playbook faster than any freshman he’s been around. That might have been because he had a pretty good tutor.
“He’s a young bull and I taught him everything I knew and he picked it up pretty fast,” Carter said of Grant. “Playbook. Work habits. He really understands football.”
There was also one more name to add to list of names to watch from spring practice.
“There’s another guy that a lot of people are sleeping on is Robert Beal,” Bellamy said. “He started coming along really well toward the end of the season last year. We started throwing him in there late with some good-on-good reps against the 1s and 2s from the offensive line. He really started to hold his own.”
All Walker seemed to do when he was in was make plays. And Grant showed phenomenal football sense for a true freshman. Add Beal and a couple of studs from the ’18 class to them, and I have to say I’m not too worried about the OLBs stepping up just fine. If only somebody could reassure me in the same way about the ILBs…
Welp, tomorrow is the first day of the defending SEC champs’ 2018 season, and while I expect the quarterback “battle” to suck most of the media oxygen out of the room, my biggest question about the spring is nicely summarized in yesterday’s Bill King column:
As my buddy Joel put it: “My biggest concern can be summed up in four words: Roquan Smith is gone.”
There’s no question that Kirby’s done a great job of building roster depth, but you don’t lose All-American type talent without having to regroup. If Natrez Patrick can make it back to being a reliable contributor, that would be a huge help, but it’s also something we can’t count on at this early stage.
What’s the area you’re most focused on this spring?
Man, of all the folks you’d think you’d never have to advise to act like you’ve been there before… take it away, Alabama AD:
Which immediately allowed for this retort:
It still blows me away how so many people thought the Pac-12’s hire of Scott as its conference commissioner was something of sheer brilliance. The reality is that he’s a putz.
The result of the major missteps with the Pac-12 Network is awful payouts to the conference members. While Big Ten and SEC teams are hauling in around $8 million a year from their TV deal, the Pac-12 dished out a paltry $2.5 million to its members in 2017. When the network launched, the schools were expecting between $5 million and $6 million per year. Now that looks like a pipe dream.
Meanwhile, in overall revenue distribution, the conference Scott oversees lags far behind. The Big Ten paid out nearly $35 million per school in 2016 and the SEC dished out $40.5 million per member. The Pac-12 sent out $28.7 million, a number far below expectations. In 2017, the SEC paid out $40.9 million per school, while the Pac-12 is expected to sit right near $29 million.
Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Scott is the highest-paid conference commissioner, taking home more than $4 million a year. He’s making more yearly than the universities he oversees make off the conference’s television deal.
Though if he’s a putz, I hate to think what that makes the people who hired him.
Just a couple of quick Urnge tidbits to share with you:
Sounds like Phil Fulmer’s master plan is right on track.