Jumbo Package: Gump Day! – Roll ‘Bama Roll

Alabama inside linebacker Demouy Kennedy entered the NCAA transfer portal on Tuesday, On3 Sports reported.

Kennedy, a junior who played at Theodore High School, was the No. 39 overall-rated player in 247 Sports’ composite ranking of the 2020 recruiting class.

Kennedy tore his ACL during an Oct. 1 game at Arkansas and missed the remainder of the season.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Kennedy worked primarily on special teams in three seasons for Alabama. He appeared in 23 games, all as a reserve. Some of his playing time in 2021 came as a running back after injuries at that position thinned Alabama’s depth.

This was an expected transfer, really. The red flag that he was looking for a place to fit was already raised a season ago when Kennedy shifted from defense to play emergency running back for a game. Then he wound up getting passed up by Deontae Lawson (a year younger) this season, and he likely has fallen behind other younger players like Shawn Murphy at this point. Best of luck to Demouy as he moves on and looks to carve out a starting role for the final couple of years of his career.

Notably, each service had Florida edge rusher Keon Keeley as the best high school defender among his peers, placing him second overall. Keeley was originally a Notre Dame commit but was part of a late wave of blue-chip editions from Alabama. He totaled 17 sacks as a senior.

Keeley and Georgia Safety Caleb Downs gave Alabama two players in the SI top 10. Eufaula outside linebacker Yhonzae Pierre continued gaining recognition after a strong camp circuit, coming in at No. 60 after previously being left off the board.

In On3′s ratings, the Tide landed 14 players in the top 100. Downs, Pierre and Texas defensive lineman Jordan Renaud earned higher ratings within the top 100. Offensively, five-star Iowa tackle Kadyn Proctor and Texas receiver Jalen Hale rose within the top 60. The biggest risers were offensive lineman Olaus Alinen (up 73 slots to No. 203 overall) and Mississippi quarterback-turned-safety Brayson Hubbard (who cracked the list for the first time.)

On3 and Sports Illustrated have confirmed their recruiting rankings for the end of the 2023 cycle. I believe we’re still waiting on final updates from Rivals and 247, but, in any case, the Tide continues to have an easy lead for the #1 class.

With all of the outside noise, questions swirled around how this young Alabama team would be able to refocus in a hostile environment. Coming into Tuesday night, the Commodores owned a dominating 41-23 record at Memorial Gymnasium.

While it was a long three years since the Crimson Tide left Nashville with a victory, Tuesday was far from Alabama’s prettiest performance. Instead, Alabama had to survive Vanderbilt’s scoring runs which kept the game closer than expected with the Commodores shooting less than 30% from the floor.

After opening up a 23-point lead in the second, Vanderbilt mounted a 27-13 scoring run to trim the lead down to just eight points. Once again, Alabama had to rely on Miller who knocked down two clutch free throws which stopped a 13-2 run over the last 2:36 in the second half.

We’ve talked enough about Darius Miles the last couple of days, so here’s some really nice news: Alabama handled Vanderbilt in the house of horrors that is Memorial Gymnasium. Check out Roger’s full game recap from last night right here on RBR if you missed it.

Last year, Philadelphia was in New York’s playoff cleats – a wild-card qualifier playing on the road. Tampa Bay ended the Eagles’ season by beating Philadelphia 31-15.

“Immediately after last year’s playoff wild-card game, there was a ton that I learned from and took away from that going into the offseason,” Hurts said, “so I think it’s helpful for us to have all experienced that together as a team and to have a lot of guys back, to have a lot of guys like a Jason Kelce decides to stay because he sees something in what he’s played with and the potential of what that could be, so we have everything in front of us.

The Philadelphia Eagles, led by Jalen Hurts, have been arguably the best team in the NFL this year, and are likely gearing up for a showdown with the red-hot 49ers for the shot at a Super Bowl.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry finished as the runner-up for the NFL rushing crown during the 2022 season, but the former Alabama All-American said he’s “proud” that another ball-carrier from Running Back U led the league again.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs topped the NFL’s rushers in 2022 with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns on 340 rushing attempts.

Henry completed the 2022 campaign with 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns on 349 rushing attempts.

“Proud of Josh, man, and, you know, RBU, Bama built, Roll Tide. You know what it is. Najee Harris, Kenyan (Drake) doing his thing, Mark Ingram’s been holding it down for a while. Proud of them boys.”

Only the two best running backs in the NFL went to Alabama. Nothing special, huh? And don’t forget Brian Robinson adding nearly 800 yards as a rookie despite literally getting shot right before the season started.

Roll Tide!

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