Reuben Foster

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Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

VIDEO: Another questionable missed targeting on Alabama knocks Mike Williams out (briefly)

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Clemson had a bit of an injury scare in the firsts quarter when wide receiver Mike Williams was knocked out of the game following a helmet-to-helmet hit, but a sideline report from ESPN’s broadcast says he has been cleared to return to the game.

Williams was on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit with Alabama’s Tony Brown, who came in late on a tackle effort. There was no foul called on the play for the hit, which was arguably a missed targeting call.

The hit occurred in the first quarter of the game, and was the second questionable targeting incident of the quarter by Alabama. Reuben Foster was flagged for a late hit on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson on an earlier Tigers possession, but was not called for targeting. No review was called from the booth for targeting either.

VIDEO: Should Reuben Foster have been flagged for targeting on Deshaun Watson?

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The College Football Playoff national championship game is just underway, and already there may have been a slightly controversial non-call on the field.

Alabama’s Reuben Foster was flagged for a personal foul for his late hit on Clemson quarterback on Deshaun Watson, allowing the Tigers to pick up an easy and automatic first down as a result of the 15-yard penalty on a 2nd and 14 (that should drive Nick Saban nuts), but should he have been called (and ejected) for targeting?

You make the call.

The replays make that look like a pretty good deliberate shot to the head of Watson. No targeting foul was called on the field and no call came in for a review from the replay booth. For reference, tonight’s officials come from the Big 12.

Clemson was unable to capitalize on the penalty and free first down putting the ball at midfield, as the Tigers turned the ball over on a fourth and short from the Alabama 41-yard line. Three plays later, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell was called for a roughing the passer penalty on Jalen Hurts with hands to the face.

Alabama set to return Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster and O.J. Howard in 2016

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There are just a couple of more days left for underclassmen to make their decisions on whether or not they will enter the NFL Draft with a year of college eligibility left on the table. On Saturday, three Alabama players had reportedly made up their minds to stay with the Crimson Tide for another year.

Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster and College Football Playoff championship game breakout star tight end O.J. Howard are all set to return to Alabama in 2016 to provide quality depth at three different positions.

Foster was Alabama’s second-leading tackler in 2015 with 73 tackles in all 15 games Alabama played en route to a national championship. Foster had 48 solo tackles and a sack along with eight tackles for loss. Allen led the Crimson Tide in tackles for loss with 14.5 and 12.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. The returns of Foster and Allen will help make one of 2015’s top front sevens in the nation one of the best once again in 2016.

Howard was Alabama’s third-leading receiver in 2015 with 602 yards and two touchdowns, but he seemed to fly well under the radar in Lane Kiffin‘s game plan for much of the season. After recording no more than 70 yards in any one game during the regular season and having 10 games with 40 or fewer receiving yards, Howard had a huge impact on Alabama’s national championship victory by breaking out for 208 receiving yards and both of his touchdown catches of the year against Clemson. Given his impact on the championship game and with the early departure of Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry, perhaps Howard is going to see a bigger role designed for him in 2016.

Underclassmen have until Monday at 5 p.m. eastern to declare themselves eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Alabama’s offense doesn’t pass Saban’s mid-term exam

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This spring Alabama’s offense, more specifically the quarterbacks, have been focusing on avoiding turnovers. If the spring game is to serve as a litmus test for the progress being made, Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin have some work to do if the Crimson Tide are going to be SEC and College Football Playoff contenders in 2015.

Alabama’s offense had six turnovers in the spring game Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Jake Coker, who some pumped up as Alabama’s likely starter a season ago, went just 14 for 28 with one touchdown (a long pass to ArDarius Stewart) and an interception. Redshirt freshman David Cornwell was not all tat much better, going 12 for 24 with 110 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. So it looks as though Alabama is heading into the summer with a quarterback situation to sort through. This is not totally unexpected, although it would have been nice if either Coker or Cornwell could have elevated themselves and created some separation in the spring game.

It was not all bad of course. Receivers Stewart (6 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD) and Robert Foster (8 receptions, 118 yards, 2 TDs) had solid outings even if the quarterbacks were not particularly sharp. Alabama’s defense seemed to be in good form, and more than capable of taking advantage of an unsteady quarterback situation on the other side of the ball. Reuben Foster was playing nickel, which Saban has said he’s been doing all spring. Foster also played with some more maturity, according to Saban. Five different players in Alabama’s secondary recorded an interception.

Fortunately, the season does not start tomorrow, or next week. Saban referred to the spring game as a mid-term exam, which leaves plenty of time for the Alabama offense to bring its grade up before opening the new season of what will surely be high with expectations after a second straight season ending in a postseason loss.

Alabama saw a crowd of 65,175 fans come to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Weather may have kept some away from the game. Regardless, the Crimson Tide will likely lock in with the fourth-highest spring attendance this year. Ohio State smashed the competition with a new spring game record, Nebraska is holding firm with the second highest crowd and Penn State edged Alabama’s crowd on Saturday.

Alabama opens the 2015 season against Wisconsin in the Cowboy Classic in Arlington, Texas on September 5.