Alabama Spring Football

Alabama lands another ’13 QB commit


Cooper Bateman, a highly-touted four-star quarterback in the Class of 2013, announced back in mid-May that he had verbally committed to Alabama.

As it turns out, Bateman will have some three-star competition at the position when A.J. McCarron gives up the reins to the Tide’s offense.

Or, as I would prefer to frame it, a way-too-premature McCarron vs Sims v2.0 anyone?

According to by way of the Birmingham News, Marietta, Georgia, high school QB prospect Parker McLeod has decided to give Alabama a non-binding verbal commitment to be a member of its ’13 class.  In addition to UA, McLeod held scholarship offers from, among others, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Maryland and Boston College.

The high school senior-to-be told the website that the Tide’s pro-style attack is what seemingly clinched the decision.

“I think it’s the ideal offense for me,” McLeod, who plans to be an early enrollee next January, told 247Sports. “It’s very similar to what we do at Walton (High School).”

McLeod also added that he doesn’t have any additional visits planned to other schools, which I believe in recruiting parlance means he’s a solid verbal or something like that.

For comparison’s sake, McLeod is rated as the No. 29 pro-style QB in 2013 by, while Bateman is the No. 6 pro-style QB.

Incidentally, McLeod is the 16th verbal in an Alabama 2013 class that’s currently ranked No. 3 in the country behind only Michigan (No. 1) and Georgia (No. 2).

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian
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Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.