Dee Stands for Dummy

For a lot of you, today’s article is going to be very unpopular.  However, the header of this blog says we “cast a light on the good AND the bad of Alabama football.”  Today, we’ll examine the bad.

By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the glorious picture of Dee Liner holding out a wad full of cash.  If you haven’t, then here you go.

In Dee’s infinite wisdom, he thought it would be a spectacular idea to tweet this picture out for all the world to see.  Really Dee?  THIS is a good idea?

If you are a “By Godder” then you are coming up with a zillion reasons why Dee Liner is an upstanding kid who is just misunderstood.  By Godders are likely referencing the now infamous Dakota Mosley as their shining example of how being pictured with wads of cash doesn’t result in any infractions on their school they are attending.

Yeah – goodie for you guys for pointing that out.  But, if you are using Mosley as your shining beacon of hope, I’d like to also point out that Mosley became addicted to spice, failed a ridiculous amount of drug tests and was sent to prison for armed robbery.  How’s that for a shining example?

Mosley was pictured here on his Facebook page with wads of cash shortly after he signed his commitment papers to Auburn University.  And, yes, By Godders are correct in saying that absolutely nothing happened in the way of sanctions regarding Mosley or Auburn.  The fact is Alabama will likely not receive any sanctions whatsoever regarding Liner’s picture.

Hooray for Alabama.  But, what will happen to Dee Liner?

Liner has now been involved in three questionable incidents in the last year.  Three.  Last year Liner was arrested twice in 10 days – once for confronting an officer who had pulled over his mother (he was placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct) and once for criminal trespassing at a public school in Sheffield.  Now he’s flashing wads of cash for all the world to see.  To me, this third incident involving the picture is the worst incident of the three, even though it’s the only one of the three where there was no arrest.  Why? 

Because there are only three real reasons why Liner could suddenly have this wad of cash to make it rain:

  1. He got paid for committing and enrolling at Alabama
  2. He got paid or received the money for his involvement in illegal activities
  3. He just won the McDonald’s Mega Millions jackpot

If it’s number one, that’s going to be impossible to prove on any level.  Ask Dakota Mosley or Auburn’s compliance department and they’ll confirm it’s simply not possible to prove where that money came from.  Nothing to worry about there for Alabama or for Liner.

But, what if it’s door number 2?  Honestly doesn’t that seem to be the most likely scenario of the three?  This picture with the cash is the typical kind of picture that is sent out to the masses in order to get yourself some street cred.  Jimmy Johns had street cred.  Dakota Mosley had street cred.  Maurice Clarett had street cred, too.   There isn’t exactly a long line of successful athletes who excelled after engaging in this kind of stupidity.  And even if the money was gained legitimately, you have to question the motives for sending it out to the world.  You have to know that all hell is going to rain down on you as soon as you hit send, right?  So why send it?  Even By Godders would have a tough time explaining this…

Look, maybe Liner has a chance to be something special and maybe he comes out of this completely unscathed and in the clear.  But, history tells me that the kind of kid who is worried about flashing cash and getting his street cred is the kind of kid that won’t last very long on a Nick Saban team (or any team for that matter).  We’ll see what the future holds for Dee Liner but right now Dee stands for Dummy.


Fall Camp Preview – Defensive Line

Fall Camp Report – Defensive Line

The Nose Tackles

Brandon Ivory – 6’4, 315 Junior:  Mr Ivory played a strong but unheralded role as a backup nose tackle last season.  However, he did it well enough to be recognized by Todd McShay during one of his film study sessions – pretty impressive.  Spring practice saw Ivory continue to gain strength and confidence and many are of the opinion that the nose position will be just fine this season.

Darren Lake – 6’3, 315 Sophomore:  Lake reportedly has all world potential.  Unfortunately, we haven’t quite seen that potential become reality just yet.  This season, Lake will get a real chance to shine as he’ll be rotating with Ivory at the nose position and, like Ivory, I suspect he’ll spend some quality time in crucial short yardage situations.  Everyone loves this big kid so it will be interesting to see if he breaks thru this season.

Newcomers:  Two quick notes on this position.  First, it normally might be alarming that there are only 2 nose tackles listed in this list but this season (and perhaps subsequent seasons) it may not be that big of a deal.  More and more, Saban and Smart are having to use 4 man fronts to combat spread offenses so true nose tackle isn’t as prevalent in their defenses these days.  However, the Tide did sign a big 6’5, 302 lb 5 star defensive tackle in A’Shawn Robinson and the depth chart, or lack thereof, indicates he’d better be ready to play.

The Defensive “Ends”

Ed Stinson – 6’4, 282 Senior:  As we mentioned in our pre-spring look at the defensive line, you may be surprised to know that Stinson was second only to Adrian Hubbard in tackles for loss.  You may also be surprised to find out that lists Stinson as the #50 player in their top 50 college player list.  Stinson quietly goes about his business and is largely unsung by Bama fans.  This season, Stinson will be counted on for leadership and his continued solid play and spring gave no indication Tide fans will be disappointed this year.

Jeoffrey Pagan – 6’4, 285 Junior:  Pagan, by all accounts, is ready to have his breakout season.  He did flash a few times during A-Day but he certainly didn’t dominate like many reports seem to indicate he can.  It is pretty clear that Pagan will start opposite of Stinson and then it will be up to him to show the staff that he can provide consistent effort.  The sky is the limit for the ultra-talented Pagan and much is expected of him this year.

Xzavier Dickson – 6’3, 262 Junior:  We talked a good bit about Dickson in the LB preview so I won’t spend a ton of time on him here.  Dickson’s athleticism and size could see him follow in the footsteps of Ed Stinson, moving from LB to DE during his career.  The nice thing is that with Dickson on the field, Bama can show a 4-3 or a 3-4 at any time so his presence at DE gives Kirby Smart another couple of tools in the tool box.

LaMichael Fanning – 6’7, 275 Sophomore:  I’m going to go out on a limb here but the flashes that I’ve seen from Fanning have been more impressive than what I’ve seen from Pagan.  Now they are both impressive but I like Fanning’s upside a bit more.  Of course, at some point Fanning will need to prove to the staff that he can be trusted out there but, honestly, I’m dying to see him suplex another unsuspecting running back.  Aren’t you?  Fanning will be in the rotation and, depending on Pagan’s play, he could get a couple of chances to crack the starting lineup.  Either way, Fanning will have plenty of opportunities to prove his worth this season.

Wilson Love – 6’3, 286 Sophomore:  I would love to tell you that I’ve heard a ton about Love but that just hasn’t been the case.  I didn’t see him do anything noteworthy during A-Day, either.

Dakota Ball – 6’2, 270 Sophomore:  See Love, Wilson.  There just isn’t a lot of info out there about Ball and I didn’t really spot him during A-Day.

Korren Kirven – 6’5, 281 Redshirt Freshman:  I actually thought Kirven flashed some potential a couple of times during the spring game and I think we may have something here.  He looked very strong at the point of attack and even penetrated into the backfield a couple of times.  I’m interested to see if he moves up the depth chart this fall because he looks as though he could.

Dalvin Tomlinson – 6’2, 287 Redshirt Freshman:  Tomlinson is the apple of the Lighthouse’s eye on the defensive line.  A former Georgia heavyweight wrestling champ, Tomlinson has a quick, strong burst and the strength and knowledge to use his leverage to his advantage.  I saw a lot of #54 during A-Day and the word on the street is that he was so good last year they almost had to take the redshirt off of him.  I’m really, really, really excited to see him play and I think he’ll get a lot of time as a tackle in the Bama four man fronts.

Newcomers:  Darius Paige (6’4, 314) impressed me a ton in two different All Star games and I think he’ll be close to game ready when he steps onto campus.  Paige has a tremendous motor and while he may not play a ton this season I also do not think he’s going to redshirt, either.  Dee Liner is a much heralded recruit on the DL as well, giving Bama three studly DL in this class.  Liner appeared to sleep walk during the all-star games I saw and at 6’3, 280 he’s not as big as Paige or Robinson.  I’m interested to see if Liner cranks it up during fall camp competition or if the staff finds it difficult to get his maximum effort.  Of course, after flashing this picture I would imagine he’s going to start camp buried beneath the dog house – coming out only to run stadium steps.

What we said in Spring:  Similar to the LB position, Bama is stacked at the DL as well.   With this amount of depth, it’s no wonder Saban wants to find a way to substitute defensive players onto the field against the hurry up offenses!  The Tide’s spring practices seemed to solidify Pagan as the other starting DE across from Ed Stinson but it’s clear that the second group of ends (Dickson, Tomlinson & Fanning) are going to get plenty of time as well.  Fall camp will be interesting as we see if Pagan maintains his grip on one starting spot while we’ll intently watch the younger pups jockey for position on the #2 line.

Fall Camp Previews


Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Offensive Line

H-Backs and Tight Ends


Defensive Backs

Fall Camp Report – RBs

Fall Camp Preview – Running Backs

Instead of arguing against hurry up offenses, with the stable of running backs the Crimson Tide has in the backfield perhaps Saban should be arguing to use more footballs.  Sadly, there’s only one football to go around and the consensus is that TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry will be the one’s seeing it the most at the RB position.  Unless something changes (injuries, mainly), that leaves the beastly Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and the 4 star trio of signees Alvin Kamara, Tyren Jones and Atlee Tenpenny on the outside looking in for 2013.

TJ Yeldon – 6’2, 216 Sophomore:  Yeldon is the bell cow this season, plain and simple. ranks him among their top 10 college players and it’s no wonder.  Yeldon is big, elusive and can catch the ball out of the backfield.  He’s everything you’d want out of a running back and he looked the part of a future NFL first rounder in the spring.  He was particularly effective as a receiver so look for his role to be expanded in the passing game this fall.

Kenyan Drake – 6’1, 204 Sophomore:  Ability will never be Kenyan Drake’s issue and he proved that time and time again during his mop up duty appearances last season.  His 6.7 yards per carry was better than that of Lacy (6.5) or Yeldon (6.3) but his inability to block and a glaring case of fumble-itis continually conspire to keep him off the field.  There wasn’t as much of a buzz about him as I would have liked during the spring but I suspect this talented back will take a big step forward this fall.

Derrick Henry – 6’3, 242 True Freshman:  Oh Henry.  Why oh why did you have to get hurt before we got to see you in the A-Day game??  If there was one person who earned the most praise during spring practice it was easily Derrick Henry.  People this big shouldn’t have the ability to move like a smaller back.  RBs who are this big shouldn’t have the speed of a smaller back.  But, Henry does (and then some).  I can’t wait for those of you who haven’t seen him to get a chance to see him tote the rock – he’s exceptional and will be a force to be reckoned with this fall.

Jalston Fowler – 6’1, 242 Junior:  The Beast returns this season after suffering a knee injury last season.  Just as Fowler was showing his worth as an H-back, a fullback and a tailback, Fowler blew out his knee early in the season.  Since he was sidelined during the spring, it remains to be seen if “Nudie” makes a full and healthy comeback.  But, with the stable of horses behind him ready to take some carries, I think his role will shift solely to H-back and fullback this season.

Dee Hart – 5’9, 190 Sophomore:  With Dee spending more than half the spring at the defensive back position, one has to wonder just how much time he’ll get at RB. With Yeldon, Drake and Henry clearly in front of him, it will be imperative for him to hold off the likes of Tenpenny, Kamara and Jones during fall camp.  Coming off of two knee surgeries, this would appear to be a pretty difficult task.

Newcomers:  When a school brings in a top 100 running back, it’s pretty big news.  When a school brings in THREE of them, well, it’s kind of obscene.  Altee Tenpenny (6’0, 212), Alvin Kamara (5’10, 197) and  Tyren Jones (5’9, 215) will all have approximately 2 weeks of fall camp or so to vault themselves ahead of Dee Hart and squarely into the mix at running back.  We think to the victor will go the spoils and feel the other two will likely be headed for a redshirt (barring injury).  Fall camp will be fun to watch as these three highly talented backs will be competing for playing time.


Fall Camp Previews


Wide Receivers

H Backs and Tight Ends

Offensive Line

Defensive Line


Defensive Backs