Nov 26, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) drops back to pass as offensive lineman Tyler Steen (54) blocls against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB Bryce Young, LB Will Anderson to play in Sugar Bowl

Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed to reporters Friday night that quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson will play in the Sugar Bowl on Dec. 31 rather than opt out to prepare for the NFL draft.

The Crimson Tide had no players opt out of the bowl game, according to Saban.

Young is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, and Anderson, considered among the best defensive prospects available, is expected to be a high selection as well.

More players in recent years have chosen to sit out bowl games to protect their bodies and, in turn, their draft stock. Saban framed Young’s and Anderson’s decisions as team-first moves.

“I think it sets a great example for guys that respect their teammates,” Saban said, “want to be a part of their team, know the impact that they can make, the value that they can make, that they can create for themselves by playing well against good competition. I’m extremely proud of these guys. We’re gonna support them in every way that we can.”

Alabama (10-2) missed the SEC championship game and finished No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the first team out of the playoff field. The Crimson Tide will face Big 12 champion Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.

Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, has followed up a breakout season by completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,007 yards, 27 touchdowns and five interceptions thus far. Anderson, at one point considered the likely No. 1 draft pick in 2023, has tallied 51 tackles, 10 sacks and a pick-6 this season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jermaine Burton (3) catches a pass against Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Christian Charles (14) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama studying video of WR Jermaine Burton allegedly striking woman

Alabama coach Nick Saban said the school is investigating after a video surfaced that apparently shows receiver Jermaine Burton striking a woman after Saturday’s 52-49 loss to Tennessee in Knoxville.

The video clip was posted to TikTok by Emily Isaacs and included the caption, “Jermaine Burton smacking me in the head while walking past him after their loss Saturday.”

Saban addressed the situation on Wednesday.

“We are aware of the situation with Jermaine Burton as he was exiting the field Saturday,” Saban said. “We are currently working to gather more information.”

Thousands of Tennessee fans stormed the field after the last-second victory and it wasn’t easy for Alabama players to navigate through the humanity and get off the field.

The video shows Burton, wearing his No. 3 jersey, moving toward a female, who appears to try to move out of his path. But Burton veers in the fan’s direction and appears to hit the woman in the head.

Isaacs used an #ouch emoji with her caption remark of the incident.

The victory was Tennessee’s first over Alabama since 2006. The school was fined $100,000 by the SEC for violating the conference’s field access policy.

Amid the hoopla, fans also took down the goalposts and chucked them into the nearby Tennessee River.

Burton transferred from Georgia to Alabama following last season. He has 18 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) walks off the field after a Crimson Tide victory over the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama still uncertain about Bryce Young’s availability

The status of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young remains uncertain for the third-ranked Crimson Tide’s visit to No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner did not play last week in Alabama’s 24-20 win over Texas A&M because of an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder. He got hurt during the previous game against Arkansas.

Coach Nick Saban said after practice on Wednesday, “Bryce continues to practice a little bit more. We’ve got him on a little bit of a pitch count just to kind of wean him back into it and see how it goes. So we expect him to do even a little more tomorrow. That’s all I really have to say about that.”

Jalen Milroe played in Young’s spot last week and completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. The Crimson Tide were held scoreless on their final four possessions and held on after the Aggies reached their 2-yard line in the final seconds.

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said of Young and Milroe, “I think you have to prepare for both of them. You have to have a plan even if you know who the starter is because you know there’s gonna be some things that are different depending on if the other guy goes into the football game.

“For us, starting with Coach (Tim) Banks and our defensive staff and our players, understanding who’s in and the types of things that you’re gonna see. Obviously, our calls may adjust in situations based on who the QB is, but you have to prepare for both of them anyways.”

Young has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,202 yards with 14 TDs and three interceptions. Milroe has a 60.9 percent completion rate for 262 yards with five scoring passes and two interceptions.

The Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) slipped out of the top spot in the rankings this week after the tight escape vs. Texas A&M. The Volunteers (5-0, 2-0) have their highest ranking of the season this week after routing then-No. 25 LSU 40-13 last week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) celebrates with quarterback Bryce Young (9) after scoring a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban hopeful for Bryce Young’s return vs. Vols

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Monday that starting quarterback Bryce Young'[s passing shoulder was re-evaluated and that “hopefully” the reigning Heisman winner can return for this week’s clash at No. 6 Tennessee.

Both teams are undefeated heading into Saturday’s showdown in Knoxville, Tenn. Alabama is ranked No. 3.

Young missed last Saturday’s narrow win over Texas A&M with shoulder soreness. He sustained a sprained AC joint in the Oct. 1 game against Arkansas. Young was a game-time decision against the Aggies. He was in uniform but never entered the game.

“Hopefully we’re going to try to get him ready to play this week,” Saban told reporters Monday. “But this is something nobody can predict how quickly he’ll get an opportunity to do what he needs to do.”

Jalen Milroe started against A&M and played “with a lot of anxiety,” Saban said. Milroe threw three touchdowns but also turned the ball over three times, including two fumbles.

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Young has passed for 1,202 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) rushes for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama to make gameday call on QB Bryce Young

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is a game-time decision for Saturday’s matchup with Texas A&M.

Head coach Nick Saban said on Friday that Young, whose right shoulder was sprained a week ago, continues to participate in portions of practice but his status for the No. 1 Crimson Tide remains a medical decision that won’t be made until Saturday during pregame warmups.

Under medical advice, Young did not throw in Thursday’s team workout.

“We’ll have to make a game-time decision before the game in pregame to see if he can throw the ball well enough to go out there and do his job,” Saban said.

Young was injured in the second quarter against Arkansas and was replaced by Jalen Milroe, who rushed for 91 yards and passed for 65 in the victory. He also supplied two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing).

The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Young has passed for 1,202 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

“(Young) is a sharp guy, and I think he’ll know whether he can go out there and do it,” Saban said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama adds to top recruiting class with 4-star DL Edric Hill

Four-star defensive lineman Edric Hill committed to play his college football at Alabama on Monday evening.

Hill is rated the No. 183 overall prospect and the 27th-best defensive lineman by the 247Sports composite rankings. The Kansas City native chose Alabama over LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern California.

Nick Saban already had the top-ranked 2023 recruiting class, per 247Sports, before Hill’s commitment. Hill is the 21st recruit to commit to the Crimson Tide, a group that includes four five-stars, three alone who play in the secondary.

Hill, listed at 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, is entering his senior year at North Kansas City High School.

–Field Level Media

Apr 16, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Crimson wide receiver JoJo Earle (10) is driven out of bounds by White defensive back Khyree Jackson (6) during the A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama WR JoJo Earle out 6-8 weeks with foot fracture

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that wide receiver JoJo Earle suffered a fractured foot during a recent practice and would miss six to eight weeks.

“He was doing a really, really good job, having a really good camp,” Saban told reporters. “Probably the best he’s been on a consistent basis. Just saw a guy that grew up and was playing with a lot of confidence. We’ll miss him for a while.”

The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Earle was a Freshman All-SEC selection last season as a return specialist. He racked up 88 yards on 15 punt returns in 2021, with a long of 29. He also had 12 catches for 148 yards.

Now a sophomore, Earle was expected to compete for playing time on an offense that just lost receivers Jameson Williams, John Metchie III and Slade Bolden to the NFL.

Saban said Earle “hopefully” could return by Oct. 1, when Alabama hits the road to play Arkansas. The Crimson Tide’s season begins Sept. 3 against Utah State.

–Field Level Media

Jul 19, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks to the media during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star RB Richard Young commits to Alabama

Running back Richard Young became the latest five-star recruit in the Class of 2023 to commit to play at Alabama on Friday night.

Young, listed at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, is the No. 2 running back and No. 24 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings. Georgia and Oregon were Young’s other finalists.

“For the next 3 to 4 years I will be taking my talents and academics to the University of Alabama,” Young wrote in a social media post. “Roll Tide!!!”

Young is the fourth five-star to commit to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide this cycle, following cornerback Jahlil Hurley and safeties Caleb Downs and Tony Mitchell. Alabama’s class rose to No. 4 in the country per 247Sports’ rankings.

–Field Level Media

Jul 21, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher shown on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Jimbo Fisher moves on, has ‘great respect’ for Nick Saban

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Thursday that he has moved on from his public spat with Nick Saban and maintains “great respect for him.”

Fisher made the comments during his SEC Media Days appearance in Atlanta, perhaps putting to bed the fierce back-and-forth that began in May when Saban said Fisher had “bought every player” with NIL deals.

“Listen, we’re great. Two competitive guys that go at it. We all learn from things we do in our business. Two competitive guys on a topic that is very — everywhere, as they say,” Fisher said.

“I have great respect for Nick. Unfortunately, our thing went public. Sometimes that happens in this world. Nothing is private anymore, is it?” Fisher added.

It was a far cry from Fisher’s initial response to Saban’s remarks made in Birmingham, when he told a gathering that A&M “bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.”

Fisher went ballistic the next day in a hastily called press conference, calling Saban a narcissist who thinks he’s God, adding that somebody should have slapped him when he was little. Fisher said he was done with Saban and refused to take his calls.

Saban repeatedly apologized for singling out Texas A&M — and others — though he didn’t back down from his point about the wild west nature of NIL deals.

“We all learn from him. We all will learn, like I say, he will learn, hopefully I learn from things we do and say, and we move on from there. But I have great respect for him and their program like always,” Fisher said Thursday.

Texas A&M opens the season at home against Sam Houston State on Sept. 3. The Aggies visit Alabama on Oct. 8.

Fisher guided the team to an 8-4 record last season and is 34-14 through four seasons in College Station, including 3-0 in bowl games.

–Field Level Media

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, left, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban meet at midfield after their game in College Station, Texas, in 2019.

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Jimbo Fisher: Just 1 early signee at Texas A&M has NIL deal

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher continued to deny that his program’s incoming players were “bought” via name, image and likeness deals.

Fisher said in an interview with a San Antonio TV station that most of the Aggies’ 11 early enrollees do not have an NIL deal in place, pushing back on the notion initially espoused by Alabama coach Nick Saban that Fisher “bought every player” on his team.

“I just researched this,” Fisher said in the KSAT interview, which was recorded last Friday and aired Sunday night. “Of the 11 guys we have in place that came early? One guy has an NIL deal. So all these stories you’re hearing are complete lies.”

Saban set off a firestorm when he told business leaders at an event in Birmingham, Ala., that without regulations for NIL, coaches at competing programs would be able to “buy” any player, likening it to free agency without a salary cap.

“A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn’t buy one player, all right?” Saban said. He later apologized for singling out Texas A&M and other programs.

Fisher responded last Thursday, defending his program and calling Saban a “narcissist.”

“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said. “Go dig into how God did his deal, you may find out about a lot of things that you don’t want to know. We build (Saban) up to be the czar of college football. Go dig into his past.

“I just know that what we did was nothing wrong. Not done the wrong way. Nothing was promised. Nothing was a deal. And we didn’t buy any players,” Fisher added. “You can call me anything you want to call me, you don’t call me a cheat. I don’t cheat. I don’t lie.”

Fisher also told KSAT that he did not plan to talk with Saban about his remarks, which he initially made clear at his press conference Thursday.

–Field Level Media