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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Might Alabama have a candidate at QB in the transfer portal?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 22 Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game

Ok, we’ll start with the hot news from yesterday.

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner is expected to visit Alabama on Wednesday, likely arriving on Tuesday evening, sources confirm to 247Sports’ Tom Loy. FootballScoop first reported the visit.

Buchner, a rising redshirt sophomore for the Fighting Irish, entered the Transfer Portal on Tuesday.

As soon as Tyler Buchner entered the portal, rumors immediately began swirling about his connection with Tommy Rees and coming to Alabama. Combine that with Nick Saban’s very non-answer about the potential for taking in a transfer QB, and fires have been stoked.

Buchner was pretty awful in the opening games of last season under Tommy Rees before getting injured and replaced by Drew Pyne. When Pyne transferred before the bowl game, though, Buchner came in and hung 45 points on South Carolina, with 274 passing yards and 61 rushing yards.

He’s an athletic guy who can be a feature in the run game, but has an erratic arm. I’m not sure he’s any upgrade over Jalen Milroe.

Personally, I’d prefer this is not a portal marriage that happens.

Quarterback Ty Simpson suffered a thumb injury during Alabama’s A-Day Game on Saturday, BamaOnLine has learned. The sprain of the thumb occurred during the Crimson offense’s third drive, as Simpson’s throwing hand slammed onto the helmet of left tackle Kadyn Proctor.

SEC Network analyst Jordan Rodgers picked up on Simpson’s injury when it occurred, and the contact between hand and helmet can actually be heard on the ESPN+ broadcast of the game.

“Boy, Ty Simpson had some pressure in his face, actually hit his throwing hand on a helmet,” said Rodgers, who was covering the scrimmage from the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “You could hear it, and we’re about 30 yards away. He’s grabbing that right hand right now.”

Speaking of, this might explain Simpson’s ball placement issues. Most of us watch the A-Day game last weekend and thought that Ty was consistently making good decision and looked good in the pocket, but was just a hair off on a few throws. But if he messed up his thumb at the start of the game, that would really explain how he went from completing 6 of his first 7 passes to missing on 6 of the next 8 after that.

Anderson sat down with the Jim Rome Show this week to discuss why he was able to shine at Alabama and pick up Nick Saban’s leadership style so quickly, as well as how Saban was able to prepare him for the NFL Draft:

“It was kind of easy going into Alabama just because me and Coach Saban, we share the same mindset, the same mentality and it was easy for me to accept his coaching and to just follow his lead on everything,” Anderson said. “The high school I come from, it was just like how it was Alabama so everything we talked about was discipline, commitment, toughness. All those things were easy for me because I was used to it, that’s what I wanted.”

Turns out, the best player in college football the last two seasons has a strong personality mesh with the best coach of all time. Who would have ever been able to come up with that connection??

Seriously, Anderson has been absolutely wonderful to have at Alabama the last three years, and he’s going to be an amazing pro. If you missed it, read Erik’s glowing scouting report on him from yesterday.

And on the other side of the ball, Bryce Young seems likely to be the #1 overall pick tomorrow. Here’s a good recap piece from going back through his life and many of his press conference quotes over the years:

Young, a 21-year-old junior from Pasadena, California, announced his intention to enter the draft back in January 2023, opting to forgo his senior season. As the 2021 Heisman Trophy recipient, Young ended his collegiate career with 80 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 27 starts — making him one of the most sought-after prospects in the draft.

While Young has proven his skills throughout his prolific college career at Alabama, what he’s most proud of isn’t his athletic ability. Instead, Young values his leadership skills, which he hopes to use both on and off the field in the NFL.

“For me, I really pride myself on my leadership,” Young said at the NFL Scouting Combine, per ESPN. “I know that’s something I have to earn at the next level. I’m really excited to … try to earn that trust and respect from that locker room. I know that’s not something I’m entitled to.”

Roll Tide, Bryce. Go be awesome in the pros.

Finally, check out this piece from the Tuscaloosa News:

The black doors slide open at the end of the tunnel, a bright light shines, then Alabama football players appear.

Player after player, staffer after staffer and coach after coach filters through the sliding doors. They flood into the locker room, the destination on the other side of the doors from the Walk of Champions.

They all gather in the main part of the locker room, shaped somewhat like a big oval. Once everyone is inside, the black doors slide shut, and the bright light disappears. The players gather around junior cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry.

“We’re going to go out and compete,” McKinstry shouts.

This piece as a whole is a cool read to get an idea of what Alabama does pre- and post-game. However, I wanted to highlight this nugget above.

Kool-Aid McKinstry looks like he just may be the leader in alpha room at this point. It still feels like KAM is a young player, but he’s now entering his junior season and is going to start getting a lot of preseason talk about being a possible Top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

He’s displayed amazing cover skills and punt return ability, and if he can add team captain and another year of consist production to his game, he can very easily go that high.

Roll Tide!