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The Jumbo Package | 01.31.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

As you might expect with less than a week until National Signing Day, this JP will be a little bit recruiting-heavy.

Alabama's AJ McCarron shares thoughts on Lane Kiffin hire, undecided about throwing at NFL Combine |

McCarron, who declined an invitation to the Senior Bowl, said he was unsure if he would throw at next month's NFL Combine. Fewer and fewer quarterbacks have thrown at the February event in recent years. Instead, most throw for scouts at their respective school's Pro Day.

"I've talked to a lot of people. There's a lot of mixed emotions about that," he said. "It's hard to get timing with guys you've never repped with, especially for one day in throwing. I just have to wait and see and see how everything goes and go from there."

AJ.  Bro.  Sit down.  Would you like something to drink?  Okay, here's the thing...  The people that are giving you advice are doing a terrible job.  They apparently have you under the impression that you are a top-20 pick.  Well, I know this is hard to hear, but that's not the case.  At least not based on your college film alone.

Alabama, other BCS schools enter risk-reward game of QB transfers -

Apparently Alabama has a hole, at least for a year. Otherwise senior Blake Sims or Luke Del Rio (now transferred to Oregon State) or five-star incoming freshman David Cornwell would be vying for a starting job. Perhaps Sims and Cornwell still can, but Coker didn't sign with Alabama to be a backup.

One FBS coach told me he doesn't know any staff that actually likes quarterback transfers because "it usually means you don't have one." "It's admitting you haven't recruited or developed a quality QB," the coach said. "Guys who transfer obviously couldn't win the job at their own school most of the time."

That traditional powers look outside their own recruiting classes for a quarterback accentuates the scarcity of truly great quarterbacks.

AJ McCarron on Alabama in 2013: 'Success was our killer' -

"Myself and CJ Mosley, we were basically the two leaders of the team and we felt like it was a matter of time before it was coming," McCarron told The Jim Rome Show. "It's definitely tough to lose, but it kind of shows when you don't have everyone buy into one system, one belief, then sometimes a team is going struggle."

As a player that had been in the program since 2009, the year of Saban's first BCS title at Alabama, McCarron said he was able to see the success have a negative impact -- particularly on the younger players. "We had a lot of young guys," said McCarron. "In the end, success was our killer. Too much success and a lot of young guys coming in who didn't know what it took to get back to that point to win. They thought we'd just show up and we'd win."

Why hello there, hindsight.  Where have you been hiding over the last three years?

Matt Elam commits to Kentucky over Alabama |

The 6-foot-5, 370-pound nose guard from Elizabethtown (Ky.) John Hardin committed to the Wildcats over Alabama at a ceremony at his school on Thursday, placing a blue UK helmet on his head after he made the announcement.

Elam said he made his decision two or three days ago, telling UK coach Mark Stoops two days ago and Kentucky quarterback commitment Drew Barker on Wednesday. He added that his decision is "100 percent," saying he wants to be part of the foundation that helps the Wildcats reach new heights.

For anyone that didn't see the announcement, Elam had a Kentucky helmet on the table beside an Alabama hat.  Anyone that didn't see the writing on the wall at that point was beyond delusion.  Best of luck to Elam, but Kentucky hasn't done anything of note in over half a century, and the heights reached then?  Well, Kentucky is simply never going to sniff that level of success again.

5-star WR Malachi Dupre set to choose between Alabama, 4 others on Signing Day |

New Orleans wide receiver Malachi Dupre announced on Twitter that he will make his decision known on National Signing Day during a live televised announcement.

Dupre, a 6-foot-2, 187-pound receiver, also announced that five finalists still in the running for his signature are UCLA, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State and LSU. Alabama has stepped up its recruitment of Dupre in recent weeks, landing an official visit from the consensus five-star prospect earlier in the month and visiting him at his home on Thursday.

Supposedly, landing Marlon Humphrey was supposed to help us in this race.  I would be surprised if we were able to snatch this one from LSU, but he would be a huge get if we did.

Nick Saban on recruiting trail, secures visit from 5-star 2014 DE Chad Thomas |

The most beneficial trip may have been the visit he made along with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal to Miami-Booker T. Washington, where they met with five-star defensive end Chad Thomas, a Miami commitment who told that he now plans to visit Tuscaloosa this weekend.

According to Rivals, he's expected to be joined in Tuscaloosa this weekend by two other 2014 prospects who are committed elsewhere -- LSU tight end commitment Jacory Washington of Westlake (La.) and Utah safety commitment Donovan Wilson of Shreveport (La.) Woodlawn Leadership Academy, another stop in Saban's travels this week.

For the uninitiated, Chad Thomas is a big time recruit.  Rivals and 247 are high on him, as both have him as a 5* that is one of the top 30 recruits in the country.  ESPN is a little cooler on him, ranking him as a 4* and the 65th best recruit in the country.  Given the pass rush talent we already have in this class, though, I'm even more excited about the prospect of pulling in Jacory Washington, who is a consensus four star tight end with great hands.  At 6'5", 225 lbs, he would be an awesome compliment to OJ Howard in the passing game.

Alabama offers scholarship to 2015 dual-threat QB Jarrett Stidham |

After losing a commitment from quarterback Ricky Town, Alabama hit the reset button on its quarterback recruiting for the 2015 class and on Thursday the Tide extended its first new offer at the position since Town's decommitment.

Stephenville, Texas star Jarrett Stidham confirmed on Twitter that he received a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide just hours after being visited by Alabama assistant Billy Napier on Thursday.

Stidham, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound prospect rated the nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback prospect by the 247Composite rankings, told BamaOnline he received word of the scholarship offer during a phone conversation with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Well, this is... different.  Dual threat, you say?  It's been so long since we've had an option like that, I'm not even sure what to think about it.  What do you guys think?  Does this signal an eventual major change in offensive philosophy?