2012 Clemson football signees

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(Clemson’s press release on its 2012 recruiting class.)

Martin Aiken
DE • 6-3 • 245 • Fr. • HS
Bamberg, SC
Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School
Ranked as the #24 defensive end in the nation by Scout.com, where he is a four-star player…#25 defensive end in the nation and #2 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, also a four-star player by that service…#43 defensive end in the nation by ESPN.com, which lists him as a three-star player…#10 player in South Carolina and #23 defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…#11 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 73 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a senior…recorded 106 tackles, 36 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a junior…comes to Clemson from same school that sent Da’Quan Bowers and Rick Sapp to Clemson, they are both current in the NFL…Coached by Kevin Crosby at Bamberg-Ehrhardt…recruited to Clemson by Marion Hobby…born Oct. 17, 1993.

Isaiah Battle
OT • 6-7 • 285 • Fr. • HS
Brooklyn, NY
Blue Ridge (VA) School
Rated as the #5 prep school prospect in the nation by Rivals.com out of Fork Union Military Academy…#36 offensive lineman in the nation and #11 player in Virginia by Rivals.com at Blue Ridge School…#59 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…two-time, first-team all-state selection…had 67 tackles and seven sacks as a senior…had 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior…first-team All-Virginia Independent Conference as a senior…all-conference as an offensive and defensive lineman…attended Blue Ridge School to play basketball…coached by John Shuman at Fork Union Military Academy and Del Smith at Blue Ridge School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012 and will go through spring practice…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Feb. 10, 1993.

Travis Blanks
DB • 6-1 • 195 • Fr. • HS
Tallahassee, FL
North Florida Christian School
Rated as the #15 overall player and the #2 safety in the nation by ESPN.com…Clemson’s top incoming player according to ESPN.com…#25 overall player and #2 defensive back in the nation by Tom Lemming…#60 player and #4 defensive back in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 safety in the nation by Scout.com…#12 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…#1 player in the Orlando area by Orlando Sentinel…played in the U.S. Army All-American game…his North Florida Christian School team won the state title his freshman and senior year…third-team All-American by ESPN.com…honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated as a senior despite missing five games due to injury…earned all-state honors as a junior and senior…named FACA 1A Player of the Year as a junior…named First Team All-Big Bend as a junior and senior…had 104 tackles, four interceptions, 35 receptions, and eight touchdowns as a junior…comes to Clemson from the same area as recent Clemson All-American DeAndre McDaniel (2007-10)…coached by Robert Craft at North Florida Christian School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Dec. 3, 1993.

Zac Brooks
RB • 6-2 • 180 • Fr. • HS
Jonesboro, AR
Jonesboro Senior High School
Rated as the #129 player in the nation by Tom Lemming…#15 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com…#35 wide receiver in the nation and #3 player in Arkansas by ESPN.com…#15 running back in the nation and top player in state of Arkansas by Rivals.com…#3 player in Arkansas and #22 athlete in the nation by 247Sports.com…#42 wide receiver in nation by Scout.com…ranked as #1 overall player in Arkansas by SuperPrep…played at Jonesboro Senior High School, where he was a running back and wide receiver…had an injury-plagued senior season, but still had 650 rushing yards and nine touchdowns along with five receiving touchdowns…had 28 receptions as a senior…had 1,358 yards on 180 carries and 15 touchdowns along with 33 receptions for 211 yards as a junior…had 38 receptions for 769 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore…first Tiger signee from the state of Arkansas since 1976 (Steve Carr); Carr did not play in a game, therefore if Brooks plays in a game, he would become the first Tiger from Arkansas on record to play in a game for the Tigers…coached by Jim DeVazier at Jonesboro Senior High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012, he will go through spring practice…recruited by Chad Morris…born Feb. 1, 1993.

Josh Brown
DT • 6-5 • 288 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
South Aiken High School
Ranked as the #76 defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com… #19 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#38 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#26 player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by all four services…ranked as the #28 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named SCFCA 4A Lower State Lineman of the Year, and Region 5 4A Defensive MVP…named to the ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Aiken Standard All-Area team and the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the North-South High School All-Star Game in Myrtle Beach…recorded 90 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a senior…coached by Jeremy West at South Aiken High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born May 26, 1993.

T.J. Burrell
LB • 5-11 • 205 • Fr. • HS
Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek High School
Ranked as the #57 outside linebacker in the nation and #20 overall player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#58 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com…#26 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com #21 in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…listed as a three-star prospect by all three services…#18 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the Shrine Bowl for the South Carolina team and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 105 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior…Coached by former Clemson assistant coach Chuck Reedy at Goose Creek High School…recruited by Tony Elliott…born Jan. 26, 1994.

Patrick DeStefano
OL • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Spartanburg, SC
Dorman High School
Rated as the #115 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com…ranked as #13 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com as well…#19 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl…played in the Under Armour All-America game along with classmate Jay Guillermo…#18 overall player in South Carolina according to 247Sports.com…South Carolina Coaches Association Lineman-of-the-Year at Dorman High School…Big 16 Upper State Lineman-of-the-Year…first-team all-area each of the last two years from an academic standpoint…graded 82 percent as a senior by his coaches…his father played at Duke and lettered in 1976 and 1977… high school teammate of current Clemson wide receivers Adam Humphries and Charone Peake…coached by Dave Gutshall at Dorman High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Jeff Scott….born Nov. 26, 1993.

Kevin Dodd
DL • 6-5 • 280 • Fr. • HS
Taylors, SC
Riverside High School
Spent the 2011 season at Hargrave Military Academy…had an outstanding career in two sports at Riverside High School…#14 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…#27 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…played in the North-South High School All-Star game in Myrtle Beach; he had five tackles, two sacks, a caused fumble, and recovered fumble in that game…all-region and all-county selection…had 78 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three caused fumbles, one recovered fumble, and four pass breakups as a senior…outstanding track athlete; he joined that team in the spring of 2010…county champion in the shot put, runner-up in the discus, and named Greenville County Field Athlete-of-the-Year…region champion in the shot and discus and was a state qualifier in the shot put…Riverside High School Field Athlete-of-the-Year and was voted as a team captain as a senior…set school records in the shot (49’ 1”) and discus (128’ 6.5”)…coached by Steve Eoute in football and Eric Cummings in track at Riverside High School…recruited by Jeff Scott and Dan Brooks…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012….born July 14, 1992.

Ronald Geohaghan
DB • 6-0 • 185 • Fr. • HS
Fairfax, SC
Allendale-Fairfax High School
Ranked as the #10 safety in the nation and the #3 overall player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which lists him as a four-star prospect…#23 safety in the country by Scout.com, which also rates him as a four-star prospect…#21 safety in the country and #10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, which list him as a three-star prospect…ranked as 13th best player in South Carolina and #30 safety in the nation by 247Sports.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense- Defense All-American game…coached by Eddie Ford at Allendale-Fairfax High School…comes to Clemson from the same school that sent Clemson all-time leading rusher Raymond Priester…recruited by Marion Hobby…born Aug. 9, 1994.

Jay Guillermo
C • 6-2 • 287 • Fr. • HS
Maryville, TN
Maryville High School
Rated as the #89 player in the nation, #1 center in the nation, and #1 player in Tennessee by ESPN.com…first-team All-American by ESPN.com, MaxPreps.com, and Sports Illustrated…#13 center in the nation by Rivals.com…#15 player in state of Tennessee and #9 center in the nation by 247Sports.com…helped Maryville High School to the state title each of the last two seasons…Mr. Football Lineman-of-the-Year in Tennessee…played in the Under Armour All- America game with Clemson classmates Patrick DeStefano and Chad Kelly…County player-of- the-year…led his team to a 15-0 record as a senior, as his team was ranked #11 in the nation by MaxPreps.com….played in East/West Tennessee All-Star Game…first commitment to Clemson’s 2012 class…coached by George Quarles at Maryville High School…enrolled at Clemson in January of 2012…recruited by Dan Brooks…born Aug. 26, 1994.

Germone Hopper
WR • 6-0 • 170 • Fr. • HS
Charlotte, NC
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
As a consensus four-star prospect, he is ranked as #11 wide receiver in the country and #75 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com…#13 wide receiver in the nation and #81 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#20 wide receiver prospect in the nation by Scout.com…#4 prospect in North Carolina by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com…#6 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #113 overall player, #6 player in North Carolina and #15 wide receiver by 247Sports.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Shrine Bowl…rushed for over 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his four years in high school…returned five kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns as a senior…finished his high school career as school’s career leader in rushing yards, punt and kickoff return yardage…coached by Andrew Howard at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology…recruited by Danny Pearman…born Oct. 22, 1993.

Oliver Jones
OL • 6-6 • 320 • Fr. • HS
Ninety Six, SC
Ninety Six High School
Rated as the #14 offensive guard/center in the nation by MaxPreps.com…#58 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com…#65 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com…#66 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com…top-15 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…ranked #21 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…ranked as #22 player in South Carolina by 247Sports.com…named SCFCA 1A Upper State Lineman of the Year…an SCFCA First-Team All-State player…played in the Shrine Bowl…from the same school that produced former Clemson All-ACC running back Ronald Williams (1990-92)…he will now be a teammate with Williams’ son, who is now a sophomore defensive lineman on the Clemson team…coached by Chris Liner at Ninety Six High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Sept. 26, 1993.

Chad Kelly
QB • 6-3 • 209 • Fr. • HS
Buffalo, NY
Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
Ranked as #1 overall player in the state of New York and #4 quarterback in the country by ESPN.com, where he is listed as a four-star prospect…that site also lists him as the 84th best overall player in the nation…#4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and #2 player in New York by Rivals.com, which also rated him as a four-star player…247Sports.com ranks him as fourth best dual quarterback and 101st best overall player in the nation…named SuperPrep All-American…played in the Under Armour All-American Game…threw for 3,050 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 991 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior…threw for 2159 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1059 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior…led his team to the state championship game as a junior and senior, winning the state title as a junior…a four- time National Punt, Pass & Kick winner, and the current record holder…played at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute…recruited by Chad Morris…born March 26, 1994.

Shaq Lawson
DE • 6-3 • 240 • Fr. • HS
Central, SC
D.W. Daniel High School
Ranked as #18 defensive end in the nation and #3 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com, listed by that service as a four-star recruit…#19 defensive end in nation and #5 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com, which also him as a four-star prospect…ranked as fifth best overall player in South Carolina and 24th best defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com…played in the North-South High School All-Star game and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 99 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, nine sacks and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 100 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior…coached by Randy Robinson at D.W. Daniel High School…recruited by Chad Morris and Marion Hobby…born June 17, 1994.

Jay Jay McCullough
TE • 6-5 • 232 • Fr. • HS
Fort Mill, SC
Nation Ford High School
Ranked as #45 athlete in the country by ESPN.com…a consensus three-star prospect, he is a top-20 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…ranked as 16th best player in South Carolina and 59th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#26 tight end in the nation by Scout.com…played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offense-Defense All-American game…recorded 37 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 112 yards as a senior…coached by Michael Allen at Nation Ford High School…recruited by Jeff Scott…born Jan. 18, 1994.

Bradley Pinion
P • 6-5 • 220 • Fr. • HS
Concord, NC
Northwest Cabarrus High School
Ranked as the top punter in the nation by 247Sports.com…rated as the #3 kicker in the nation by ESPN.com…#4 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com…#6 kicker in the nation by Scout.com…averaged 46.1 yards per punt as a senior at Northwest Cabarrus High School…first- team All-American by ESPN.com…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…second-team All-American by USA Today, the first Clemson kicker signee to earn USA Today All-America honors since Chris Gardocki in 1988…averaged 40 yards per punt and had 17 punts inside the 20 as a junior…had 37 touchbacks in 50 kickoffs as a junior…helped his high school team to the state playoffs…also played soccer (goal tender) and basketball in high school…coached by Rich Williams at Northwest Cabarrus High School…enrolled at Clemson in January 2012…recruited by Danny Pearman….born June 1, 1994.

D.J. Reader
OG • 6-3 • 306 • Fr. • HS
Greensboro, NC
Grimsley High School
Ranked as the #19 offensive guard in nation and #20 player in North Carolina…#20 offensive guard in the nation by Scout.com…#58 offensive guard in nation and #27 player in North Carolina by ESPN.com…#41 defensive lineman in the country and #8 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…named SuperPrep All-American…recorded 50 tackles, seven tackles for loss and five sacks from the defensive tackle position as a senior…plans to play both football and baseball at the collegiate level…batted .435 as junior on the diamond…coached by Damon Coiro at Grimsley High School…recruited by Robbie Caldwell…born July 1, 1994.

Cordrea Tankersley
DB • 6-1 • 190 • Fr. • HS
Aiken, SC
Silver Bluff High School
Ranked as the #37 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com, a four-star player by that service…#39 safety in the country by Rivals.com, lists him as a three-star player…#6 player in South Carolina and 25th best athlete by 247Sports.com…#41 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com, lists him as a three-star player…top-10 player in South Carolina by ESPN.com…#3 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named to ESPN RISE Channel 6 All-Area team…a member of the Augusta Chronicle All-Area team…played in the Shrine Bowl…selected for the Offense/ Defense All-American game in Dallas, TX…on the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 40 tackles as a senior…on offense, rushed for 650 yards and five touchdowns and threw for 708 yards and six touchdowns…coached by Al Lown at Silver Bluff High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born July 1, 1994.

Carlos Watkins
DT • 6-4 • 275 • Fr. • HS
Forest City, NC
Chase High School
Clemson’s top signee in this class according to 247Sports.com, he is ranked as 55th best overall player in the nation…also ranked as fourth best player in North Carolina and seventh best defensive lineman…ranked as #8 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com, list him as a four-star player…#12 defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com, a four-star player by that service…#5 player in North Carolina by both ESPN.com and Rivals.com…#104 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com and #134 overall player in the country by ESPN.com…#13 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep…recorded 15 sacks, an interception and forced five fumbles as a senior…recorded 50 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14 sacks as a junior…played in the U.S. Army All-American game and the Shrine Bowl…coached by Daniel Bailey at Chase High School…attends same high school that sent the McSwain brothers (Rod and Chuck) to Clemson in the early 1980s, they were both on Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981…Chuck is current track coach at Chase High School…recruited by Dan Brooks….born Dec. 5, 1993.

Marty Williams
DB • 6-1 • 200 • Fr. • HS
North Augusta, SC
Fox Creek High School
Ranked as ninth best player in South Carolina and a 24th best safety in the nation by 247Sports.com… #31 safety in the country by Scout.com…#42 athlete in the nation by ESPN.com…#47 athlete in the country by Rivals.com…top-10 player in South Carolina by Rivals.com…a three-star prospect by all three services…#13 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep…named All-Region High School Sports Report Offensive Player of the Year for Class A as a sophomore, junior and senior…named WJBF/ESPN RISE Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior…a first-team all-area selection by the Augusta Chronicle as a junior and senior…named Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior…selected to play in the Shrine Bowl but was not able to play due to injury…accounted for 3,000 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns as a senior…coached by Russ Schneider at Fox Creek High School…recruited by Charlie Harbison…born Aug. 21, 1993.

NC State board approves new deal for Dave Doeren

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In late November, after rejecting overtures from Tennessee in order to remain at North Carolina State, Dave Doeren agreed to a new contract with the university, pending the board rubber-stamping the agreement. This past week, that rubber met the stamp.

NC State confirmed that, on Thursday, the system’s Board of Trustees formally approved the new five-year deal for Doeren. The head coach’s new contract will now keep him with the Wolfpack through Dec. 31, 2022.

“We are on an exciting upward trajectory in football under the leadership of Coach Doeren,” said NC State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement. “He has assembled a terrifically talented coaching staff, as well, and that continuity and stability has been important to our current student-athletes and recruits.

“We are pleased that Dave will continue to lead NC State football, playing in one of the most challenging divisions in college football, the Atlantic Division of the ACC.”

In five seasons with the Wolfpack, the 46-year-old Doeren has compiled a 34-30 record, including a 15-25 mark in ACC play. The 2017 season was his best of the five, with a 9-4 overall mark that saw NC State finish in second place in the Atlantic after divisional finishes of seventh, fifth, fourth and tied-fourth the first four.

Under Doeren, the Wolfpack has played in a bowl game each of the last four seasons, posting a 3-1 mark in the postseason.

Nebraska clinches spring game attendance crown, Georgia pushes past Alabama

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Georgia got its revenge on Alabama on Saturday, I guess. Months after letting a lead slip away in the national championship game, Georgia wiggled past Alabama in the spring game attendance standings on Saturday but the Dawgs still had to settle for second place overall. A record crowd at Nebraska led to the Cornhusker faithful having the highest attendance for a spring game this season.

Nebraska set a school record on Saturday with 86,818 fans attending the spring game in Lincoln, the first under new head coach Scott Frost. It was the first time Nebraska recorded a crowd over 80,000 during the past five years. Nebraska surged to the top of the Big Ten spring attendance standings as well, and stayed comfortably ahead after Penn State recorded an estimated 71,000 fans at its spring game on Saturday. Ohio State had led the Big Ten the previous three years but stadium renovations limited Ohio State to 79,000 available seats this year at Ohio Stadium, and weather and schedule adjustments to the spring game resulted in a crowd of 47,803 for Ohio State’s spring game.

The SEC once again dominated spring game attendance numbers this year. With LSU and Mississippi State numbers still pending, the SEC has five schools in the top 10 in spring game attendance as of today; Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas A&M. As a conference, the SEC eclipsed the 400,000-fan mark for the fourth time in the last five years. Although the Big Ten is typically the second best conference in cumulative spring game attendance, the conference’s number took a big dip this season thanks to weather issues across the conference. Still, the number pulled in by Nebraska, Penn State, and Ohio State helped keep the Big Ten in second place ahead of the ACC.

Keep in mind spring game attendance is treated differently by every school, and the numbers often include estimates so the accuracy can be questioned. Even though there are still a handful of spring games left, none will rival the numbers put up today.

The updated top 10 is listed below, and a full database of spring game attendance can be found here (complete with conference breakdowns and a five-year record of spring game attendance figures by school).

2018 Spring Game Attendance Top 10

  1. Nebraska – 86,818
  2. Georgia – 82,184
  3. Alabama – 74,732
  4. Penn State – 71,000
  5. Tennessee – 65,098
  6. Florida State – 60,934
  7. Clemson – 55,000
  8. Florida – 53,015
  9. Oklahoma – 52,102
  10. Texas A&M – 48,129

Jeremy Pruitt felt some Tennessee players ‘flat out quit’ in spring game

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New Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruit has a message to his players and Tennessee fans. If you are going to enter Neyland Stadium, you better be prepared to work.

Following Tennessee’s spring game in Knoxville, Pruitt reflected on his first spring game as head coach with the media and he was not about to let anyone off the hook for a mediocre performance in the spring game. One thing you never want to hear from a head coach is that some of his players seemingly quit. That was the case for Pruitt today, without naming any specific players.

Even fans received some gripes from the new head coach.

Tennessee estimated a total of 65,098 fans came out to watch the Tennessee spring game, which is an impressive total and right around the average Tennessee typically draws for the spring game. But the crowd buzz must not have impressed Pruitt, who could be setting the tone for the fans in the fall in hopes they turn things up a bit once the games actually matter.

The same message is now being sent to the entire team. Pruitt has a high standard in mind, which is to be expected after being an assistant at Alabama. Was Pruitt truly this displeased with his team’s effort in the spring game? Or was he simply trying to play things down in order to let his players know there will be no room for poor efforts?

Jalen Hurts speculation about to run wild after shaky spring game at Alabama

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If Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was looking to build a case for taking the starting job for the Crimson Tide in 2018, he may have to rely on more than his performance in the spring game. Hurts turned in a sub-par performance in Alabama’s spring game on Saturday afternoon, leaving the door wide open for some speculation about his future as Alabama’s spring comes to a close.

Hurts completed 19 of his 37 pass attempts for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He also was sacked seven times. With Tua Tagovailoa out of action due to injury, Hurts was outperformed by redshirt freshman Mac Jones, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jones was also intercepted once and was sacked six times. Of the two quarterbacks, Jones had the more inspiring performance.

Rumors speculating Hurts may end up looking to transfer will only continue to ignore following this spring, especially with Tagovailoa going into the offseason as the new hero in town after guiding Alabama back in the national championship game. It should be worth noting, however, a transfer for Hurts is not guaranteed to happen. That won’t stop fans and media from figuring out what will be next for Hurts.

Hurts’ dad recently suggested his son would be college football’s biggest free agent on the transfer market if he ended up losing the quarterback battle in Tuscaloosa. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there is no question Hurts would have plenty of potential and skill to offer any program he would potentially move to if he decides to leave Alabama. Alabama head coach Nick Saban tried to cool the tension by suggesting there is no reason to be concerned about the whole situation.

But this is Alabama we’re talking about. The Hurts watch is now in full force in Tuscaloosa, whether Saban likes it or not.