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Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon takes home third straight A-Day MVP

TJ Yeldon, Landon Collins

Back in the day, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner derisively referred to his high-priced slugger, Dave Winfield, as “Mr. May.”  With no Steinbrenner-like derisiveness intended, T.J. Yeldon has taken the “Mr. April” mantle and literally run away with it.

As Alabama concluded Spring Practice 2014 Saturday with its annual A-Day spring game, Yeldon was named as the game’s MVP despite his Crimson team falling to the White squad 17-13.  Remarkably, it’s the third time in the running back’s three years with the Tide that he’s claimed those spring honors.

The true junior led all Tide backs with 95 yards on just 11 carries.  Yeldon had one of the three touchdowns the Tide offense was able to muster on the day as well, the other being touchdown passes from Blake Sims, the frontrunner (for now) to replace AJ McCarron, and Cooper Bateman.

Speaking of the quarterback situation, nothing was decided on that front — that battle will continue in earnest when Florida State transfer Jacob Coker gets to town — although there could’ve been a bit of concern this afternoon for a coach as averse to turnovers as Nick Saban.  All told, five Tide quarterbacks combined to toss four interceptions on the day.

Despite the turnovers and all-around lack of scoring in what was the first real public debut of new coordinator Lane Kiffin‘s offense, Saban, as expected, didn’t seem the least bit concerned.  Well, kind of.

After beginning his postgame remarks by stating that, from a coach’s perspective, “[n]obody ever has a bad spring game,” Saban did allow that the offense wasn’t quite where he thought it should be.

“I didn’t think the consistency on offense was what I would’ve liked for it to have been today,” Saban said in quotes distributed by the team. “We did make some plays, but there wasn’t the consistency that you would like to see in the offense.”

Seeing as the Tide is transitioning not only from a three-year starter at the quarterback position to a new coordinator, it’s not surprising that the consistency isn’t where Saban would like it.  Getting that consistency will be tested even further when Coker, who some or even most observers expect to be under center when the Tide opens the 2014 season, enters the fray when summer camp opens in early August and further dilutes the reps.

Regardless of how it ultimately turns out, it’s going to be absolutely fascinating to watch how the Tide gets to Saban’s optimum level of consistency at the position and moves on post-McCarron.

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6 Responses to “Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon takes home third straight A-Day MVP”
  1. sportsguy3434 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:11 PM

    Saban, the offense inconsistencies and lag under Kiffie are only beginning. Don’t get me wrong- they will win games and maybe it will work out. However, Saban won’t be afraid to “Kiffin” Lane again at the airport.

  2. imaduffer says: Apr 19, 2014 10:14 PM

    Spring practices are “A” joke.

  3. bralinshan says: Apr 19, 2014 10:34 PM

    Actually, Spring games are pretty useful in evaluating young players that are competing for jobs.
    I promise you that Nick Saban wouldn’t hesitate to eliminate the game if he thought it was a joke.
    He doesn’t joke around about football.

  4. bigdinla says: Apr 19, 2014 11:28 PM

    Blake Sims was god awful today. Don’t forget that he gift wrapped
    The first touch down with a terrible interception and was lucky to only have mine more.

  5. normtide says: Apr 20, 2014 1:01 AM

    A day games are only good for evaluating young players. Usually the outcome is pretty much determined by rules the coach puts in or the game plan. In this state, it’s really more of a pep really for fans. It’s no surprise Bama had a defensive game and Auburn had an offensive one.

  6. dhardy8207 says: Apr 20, 2014 10:46 AM

    A Day games are not only good for fans and to access the tweaks that are needed for the upcoming season, but also for recruiting. According to, Bama landed 4 major recruits this past Saturday.

    Yes I’m well aware that NSD (Nick Saban Signing Day) is a long way off and therefore recruits can change their minds, but the experience of A Day gives them just a glimpse into actual game day festivities during the season.

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