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Football Wraps up 12th Fall Camp Practice on Saturday

9/3/20 MFB Practice Alabama linebacker Shane Lee (35) Photo by Kent Gidley

The Alabama Crimson Tide continued fall workouts Saturday afternoon, holding a two-hour practice in full pads at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Alabama will face the Missouri Tigers on September 26 at 7pm on ESPN.

Football Holds Third Practice of the Week

12/28/19 MFB vs Practice Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Photo by Kent Gidley
9/3/20 MFB Practice
Alabama defensive lineman Stephon Wynn Jr. (90)
Photo by Kent Gidley

he Alabama football team worked out for the third time this week, holding a two-hour practice in shells on Thursday inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.

 

Also on Thursday, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl announced Alabama head coach Nick Saban as one of the 13 coaches named to the Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List.

 

The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity – the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy. Saban won the Dodd Trophy in 2014, and the 2020 winner will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Alabama Football’s Lee, Moses Named to Butkus Award Watch List

8/6/19 MFB vs practice Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses (32) Photo by Kent Gidley 8/6/19 MFB vs practice Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses (32) Photo by Kent Gidley

The pair is among 51 linebackers from across the country named to the preseason list

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football’s Shane Lee and Dylan Moses have been named to the 2020 Dick Butkus Award Watch List, the Butkus Foundation announced today.

 

Lee and Moses are among 51 candidates from around the country named to the preseason list for the Butkus, which is given to the nation’s top linebacker. Four Crimson Tide players have won the award previously with Reuben Foster taking home the hardware most recently in 2016. Joining Foster on the list of Alabama linebackers to capture the honors are C.J. Mosley (2013), Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988).

 

SHANE LEE

Linebacker, Sophomore

  • Called into duty at middle linebacker as a freshman and put together a solid season in 2019
  • Started all 13 games on his way to earning Freshman All-America honors from both the FWAA and ESPN.com
  • Selected to the Freshman All-SEC team by the league coaches
  • Paced all league freshmen in tackles with 86 and ranked third among first-year defenders in tackles for loss at 6.5 (-33 yards)
  • Finished second on the Tide defense in tackles and added 4.5 sacks (-29 yards) to go with three quarterback hurries
  • Picked off one pass, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble to round out his first collegiate season

 

DYLAN MOSES

Linebacker, Senior

  • One of the top linebackers and defensive players in the country
  • Returns to the field after missing the 2019 season with an injury
  • Played in 26 career games with 17 starts to his name
  • Totaled 126 tackles, including 15.5 for loss (-65 yards) and five sacks (-46 yards) in two seasons
  • Also forced a pair of fumbles, picked off one pass and broke up another in his career
  • Led the Tide defense with 86 tackles in 2018 on his way to being named a finalist for the Butkus Award and earning second team All-America honors

 

The Butkus Award has been presented annually since 1985 by the Butkus Foundation to recognize the top linebacker in college football. The award is named in honor of college and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus. The 2020 winner will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season and recognized at the annual ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.

 

Alabama and Ohio State Schedule Home-and-Home Football Series

The Crimson Tide and Buckeyes are scheduled to meet in Columbus during the 2027 season with Ohio State returning the trip in 2028

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama and Ohio State announced a home-and-home football series between the two programs for the 2027 and 2028 seasons on Thursday.

 

“This series with Ohio State adds another outstanding non-conference opponent to our future football schedules,” said Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “We are thrilled at the progress we’ve made in securing such quality home-and-homes that will provide tremendous opportunities for our team and an exciting game day atmosphere for our fans in the coming years.”

 

The first game will take place in Columbus on Sept. 18, 2027, with the Buckeyes coming to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9, 2028. It is the first home-and-home meeting between OSU and Alabama.

 

“The addition of Ohio State to our future non-conference schedule shows the commitment our program and administration has to creating the best possible games for our players and fans,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said. “I have coached a lot of years in the SEC and Big 10 and Bryant-Denny Stadium and Ohio Stadium are two of the very best environments in college football. Non-conference series like Alabama-Ohio State are so important to the health of college football, and we are very pleased that we could get this series completed.”

 

Alabama and Ohio State have met on four previous occasions, all in neutral sites games. The first meeting came in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, which the Tide won 35-6. The two teams then opened the 1986 season at the Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., with a 16-10 Alabama win. The Crimson Tide won the 1995 Citrus Bowl (24-17), while OSU was victorious in the 2015 Sugar Bowl (42-35).

 

With the addition of Ohio State, Alabama has added 10 home-and-home series to future schedules recently, including: Texas (2022 & 2023), Wisconsin (2024 & 2025), Florida State (2025 & 2026), West Virginia (2026 & 2027), Notre Dame (2028 & 2029), Georgia Tech (2030 & 2031), Oklahoma (2032 & 2033), Arizona (2032 & 2033) and Virginia Tech (2034 & 2035). The Crimson Tide also has a 2-for-1 home-and-home series with South Florida (2023, 2024 & 2026).

 

Along with playing Ohio State in 2027 and 2028, Alabama will also host West Virginia during the 2027 season and travel to South Bend, Ind., to play Notre Dame in 2028. Alabama opens the 2020 season with a neutral site game against Southern California on Sept. 5 and then travels to Atlanta in 2021 to face Miami (Fla.).

 

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

 

Future Home-and-Home Football Series

2022: at Texas (Sept. 10)

2023: Texas (Sept. 9), at USF (Sept. 16)

2024: USF (Sept. 7), at Wisconsin (Sept. 14)

2025: at Florida State (Aug. 30), Wisconsin (Sept. 13)

2026: at West Virginia (Sept. 5), USF (Sept. 12), at Florida State (Sept. 19)

2027: West Virginia (Sept. 4), at Ohio State (Sept. 18)

2028: at Notre Dame (Sept. 2), Ohio State (Sept. 9)

2029: Notre Dame (Sept. 1)

2030: at Georgia Tech (Aug. 31)

2031: Georgia Tech (Aug. 30)

2032: Arizona (Sept. 4), at Oklahoma (Sept. 11)

2033: at Arizona (Sept. 3), Oklahoma (Sept. 10)

2034: at Virginia Tech (Sept. 2)

2035: Virginia Tech (Sept. 1)

 

Statement from Nick Saban on the Passing of Pat Dye

Circle of Honor (Photo by Dan Evans)

“I’ve known and respected Pat Dye for many years, and he always represented college football with tremendous class and integrity. He was an outstanding teacher and coach who affected our game in many significant ways. We are saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, co-workers and all of the players he had such a positive impact on throughout his distinguished career.”

Five Former Crimson Tide Players Selected on Day Two of the 2020 NFL Draft

12/18/19 MFB vs practice3 Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) Photo by Kent Gidley 12/18/19 MFB vs practice3 Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) Photo by Kent Gidley
11/16/19 MFB vs MSU
Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings (33)
Photo by Kent Gidley

Three were chosen in the second round while two came off the board in the third on Friday

 

TUSCALOSSA, Ala. – Five former University of Alabama football players were selected in the second and third rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday night.

 

8/6/19 MFB vs practice
Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs (7)
Photo by Kent Gidley

Defensive back Xavier McKinney was the first Crimson Tide player off the board (No. 36, New York Giants), while defensive back Trevon Diggs (No. 51, Dallas Cowboys) and defensive lineman Raekwon Davis (No. 56, Miami Dolphins) went in the second round. Linebackers Terrell Lewis (No. 84, Los Angeles Rams) and Anfernee Jennings (No. 87, New England Patriots) were selected in the third round.

 

The five players join Thursday’s first round picks Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos) to make up Alabama’s 2020 NFL Draft class through two days.

 

The 2020 Draft will wrap up with rounds 4-7 on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. CT and can be seen on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio.

 

Alabama Draft Recap

Player Pick Team
Tua Tagovailoa 5 Miami Dolphins
Jedrick Wills Jr. 10 Cleveland Browns
Henry Ruggs III 12 Las Vegas Raiders
Jerry Jeudy 15 Denver Broncos
Xavier McKinney 36 New York Giants
Trevon Diggs 51 Dallas Cowboys
Raekwon Davis 56 New York Giants
Terrell Lewis 84 Los Angeles Rams
Anfernee Jennings 87 New England Patriots

 

Xavier McKinney (No. 36 | New York Giants)

A versatile defensive back, McKinney spent each of the past two seasons in the starting safety spot for the Alabama defense. He totaled 41 games in three seasons at the Capstone, including 28 consecutive starts to close out his collegiate career. The Roswell, Ga., native finished with 176 career tackles and made an impact in almost every defensive category, totaling 13 tackles for loss (-85 yards) and six sacks (-61 yards) to go with five forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 15 pass breakups, five interceptions and seven quarterback hurries. He led the Alabama defense with 95 tackles in 2019, including 5.5 for loss (-40 yards) and three sacks (-21 yards). McKinney totaled a league-high and team-best four forced fumbles to tie for second in Alabama single-season records and added three interceptions (78 yards) to go with five pass breakups and five quarterback hurries. His productive junior season earned him second team All-America accolades from the AFCA, The Sporting News and Walter Camp. A permanent team captain on the 2019 team, McKinney was also selected as a third team All-American at safety by the Associated Press and Pro Football Focus while being named to the All-SEC First Team by the conference coaches and the Associated Press.

Trevon Diggs (No. 51 | Dallas Cowboys)

Diggs put together a standout senior campaign, earning first team All-America honors from Pro Football Focus and second-team recognition from the AFCA and The Sporting News. He was also tabbed to the Associated Press’ third team and was an All-SEC first team selection by the same outlet. That 2019 effort saw Diggs tie for the team lead in pass breakups with eight while only allowing a passer rating of 44.5 when he was targeted, according to PFF. He also posted 37 tackles, including half a stop for loss (-1 yard), to go with three interceptions for a combined 79 yards. Diggs added two fumble recoveries, including a 100-yard score against Tennessee. The Gaithersburg, Md., native leaves Tuscaloosa after starting 19 starts games and playing in 46 in a multitude of roles, including corner, wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.

Raekwon Davis (No. 56 | Miami Dolphins)

A force along the Alabama defensive front, Davis passed up the NFL Draft a year ago to return for his senior season. In that final campaign, he was selected as a second team All-American by the AFCA and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the league coaches. Davis totaled 47 tackles in 2019, adding three tackles for loss (-6 yards) and half a sack (-4 yards) to go with five quarterback hurries. He wrapped up his career with 175 total tackles, including 19.5 for loss (-92 yards) and 11.5 sacks (-72 yards), across 48 games of action and 32 starts.

Terrell Lewis (No. 84 | Los Angeles Rams)

One of the nation’s top pass rushers, Lewis was selected to the All-SEC Second Team by the league coaches following an impressive final season. He tied for fifth among SEC defenders with 11.5 tackles for loss (-53 yards) and finished ninth in the conference with six sacks (-40 yards) across 11 games (three starts) in 2019. He added a team-high 16 quarterback pressures to go with his 31 total tackles and also contributed two pass breakups and a fumble recovery as a redshirt junior. The Washington, D.C., native played in 26 games for his career, including four starts, and racked up 14.5 tackles for loss (-79 yards) and eight sacks (-62 yards) as part of his 58 career tackles.

Anfernee Jennings (No. 87 | New England Patriots)

A permanent team captain on the 2019 squad, Jennings earned All-SEC First Team accolades from both the league coaches and the Associated Press. His standout play as a senior also earned him a spot as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker. Jennings produced eight sacks (-61 yards) in 2019 to pace the Crimson Tide and rank fourth in the SEC in that category, while adding 12.5 tackles for loss (-72 yards), a number that tied for third in the league ranks. He finished with 83 total stops and intercepted a pass while breaking up five others in 13 starts. The Alabama native saw time in 54 games for the Crimson Tide with 37 total starts. He accumulated 194 tackles, including 34.5 for loss (-146) and 15.5 sacks (-98 yards), and added 21 quarterback pressures to go with 18 pass breakups from his outside linebacker post.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

Alabama Lands Four First Round Picks on Opening Night of the 2020 NFL Draft

The Crimson Tide had four former players hear their names called on Thursday evening

 

10/19/19 MFB vs Tennessee
Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11)
Photo by Crimson Tide Photos

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football had four former players selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night. The four picks included quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), wide receivers Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos).

 

10/19/19 MFB vs Tennessee
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4)
Photo by Crimson Tide Photos
10/19/19 MFB vs Tennessee
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4)
Photo by Crimson Tide Photos

The four first-round selections for the Crimson Tide moves Saban’s career total to 38 first-round picks. Four Tide players were drafted in the first round of the 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2020 drafts.

 

With Tagovailoa’s fifth overall selection in the first round, Saban becomes the first college head coach in the NFL’s common draft era to produce a first-round pick at every non-specialist position. In addition, the pick of both Jeudy and Ruggs III in the first round mark the first wide receiver duo in program history to be drafted in round one.

 

From Head Coach Nick Saban

“We are certainly very excited for Tua (Tagovailoa) and his family. This means as much to me as any player ever for what he was able to accomplish here, not only as a player, but as a person. He was one of the most popular players we ever had with our fanbase. He could not have done more as a player. I think the Dolphins are going to get a great leader and someone who is going to be the face of their franchise, that their fans are going to love in the future. I know he is going to have a great career.”

 

Alabama has now had 33 players selected in the first round of the last 12 NFL Drafts. They are listed below:

2009 – Andre Smith (No. 6, Cincinnati)

2010 – Rolando McClain (No. 8, Oakland), Kareem Jackson (No. 20, Houston)

2011 – Marcell Dareus (No. 3, Buffalo), Julio Jones (No. 6, Atlanta), James Carpenter (No. 25, Seattle), Mark Ingram (No. 28, New Orleans)

2012 – Trent Richardson (No. 3, Cleveland), Mark Barron (No. 7, Tampa Bay), Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17, Cincinnati), Dont’a Hightower (No. 25, New England)

2013 – Dee Milliner (No. 9, New York Jets), Chance Warmack (No. 10, Tennessee), D.J. Fluker (No. 11, San Diego)

2014 – C.J. Mosley (No. 17, Baltimore), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21, Green Bay)

2015 – Amari Cooper (No. 4, Oakland)

2016 – Ryan Kelly (No. 18, Indianapolis)

2017 – Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, Baltimore), Jonathan Allen (No. 17, Washington), O.J. Howard (No. 19, Tampa Bay), Reuben Foster (No. 31, San Francisco)

2018 – Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11, Miami), Da’Ron Payne (No. 13, Washington), Rashaan Evans (No. 22, Tennessee), Calvin Ridley (No. 26, Atlanta)

2019 – Quinnen Williams (No. 3, New York Jets), Jonah Williams (No. 11, Cincinnati), Josh Jacobs (Oakland, No. 24)

2020 – Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders), Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos)

 

The second and third rounds will continue on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. The 2020 Draft will wrap up with rounds 4-7 on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. CT and can be seen on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio.

 

Alabama First Round Recap

Player Pick Team
Tua Tagovailoa 5 Miami Dolphins
Jedrick Wills Jr. 10 Cleveland Browns
Henry Ruggs III 12 Las Vegas Raiders
Jerry Jeudy 15 Denver Broncos

 

Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5 | Miami Dolphins) 

Tagovailoa was the first Alabama player taken in this year’s draft. One of the most prolific quarterbacks in Alabama history, Tagovailoa heads to the NFL atop the Crimson Tide’s career touchdown responsibility (87 passing, nine rushing) and passing touchdowns lists. He is also ranked third in Alabama annals for career passing yards with 7,442 across his two-plus seasons. One of the Crimson Tide’s permanent team captains last season, Tagovailoa threw for 33 scores and rushed for two more as a junior while accumulating 2,840 passing yards to rank 13th in Division I. He led all quarterbacks with a 206.93 passer efficiency rating and completed 71.4 percent of his passes on 180-of-252, a percentage that was fifth in the country. The Ewa Beach, Hawai’i, native was selected as the Co-Polynesian Player of the Year and the Bobby Bowden Award recipient while also earning All-SEC Second Team accolades by both the league coaches and the Associated Press. In his first season as the Tide’s starter in 2018, Tagovailoa won the Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Polynesian College Football Player of the Year awards thanks to a standout sophomore campaign that saw him throw for 3,966 yards and account for 48 total touchdowns (43 passing, five rushing).

Jedrick Wills Jr. (No. 10 | Cleveland Browns)

A powerful right tackle who helped emerged as one of the top offensive line prospects this season after anchoring a Tide unit that finished as a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. Wills Jr. started in all 13 games in 2019 and finished with 29 career starts, including 28 straight to end his career. The Lexington, Ky., native graded out at over 91 percent for the Crimson Tide as a junior and allowed only one sack and just 3.5 quarterback hurries while missing seven assignments in 771 snaps for a success rate of 99.0 percent. His efforts earned him second team All-America accolades from the AFCA, Associated Press, The Sporting News and Walter Camp. He was also selected by Pro Football Focus as a third team All-American at tackle and named to the All-SEC First Team by the Associated Press and league coaches. Off-the-field, Wills Jr. earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for his dedication in the classroom as both a sophomore and junior.

Henry Ruggs III (No. 12 | Las Vegas Raiders)

An explosive, game-breaking receiver, Ruggs III finished his time in Tuscaloosa ranked third on Alabama’s career touchdown receptions list at 24 and averaged a touchdown nearly every four catches (98 career receptions). He rolled up 1,716 yards receiving and averaged 17.5 yards per catch in three seasons, good for sixth on the Alabama career list (minimum 50 catches). He saw time in 41 career contests with 27 starts, including 12 games this past season. Ruggs III owned the team-long rush (75 yards) and the second-longest reception (81 yards) in 2019 and finished with 40 receptions for 746 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also a weapon on special teams, accounting for 286 yards on 12 kickoff returns with a long of 40 and added six tackles on coverage units.

Jerry Jeudy (No. 15 | Denver Broncos)

The 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner, Jeudy recorded 26 career touchdown receptions to rank second all-time in Alabama history, behind only Amari Cooper’s 31 from 2012-14. Jeudy finished with 2,742 yards across his three seasons, good for fourth on the Crimson Tide’s career receiving yards list, and amassed 159 receptions to average 17.2 yards per catch for his career, a number that is second in Alabama records. The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native totaled 100-plus yards receiving in 10 career games, including five matchups as a junior. He capped his 2019 season with Citrus Bowl MVP honors after posting one of the Tide’s three 200-plus yard performances on the year. He closed out 2019 with 1,163 yards to rank third on UA’s single-season list while leading all Tide wideouts with 77 catches, good for fourth in single-season history at UA. Jeudy’s output last season earned him first team All-America accolades from the AFCA and second-team recognition from Pro Football Focus. He was also a first team All-SEC selection by the coaches and a second-teamer by the Associated Press.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

4/2: Nick Saban Press Conference

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football head coach Nick Saban met with the media for a press conference via Zoom on Thursday morning.  Here is an audio clip from that meeting.

 

Alabama Announces the Hiring of David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced the hiring of David Ballou as the Crimson Tide’s Director of Sports Performance and Dr. Matt Rhea as the Director of Performance Science on Tuesday.

 

“Just as with any other area, we feel that it is imperative that we adopt and integrate advancements in the field of strength and conditioning that will provide elite training, while better protecting our players from injuries and helping them develop and perform at a higher level,” Saban said. “Our program has been working toward these type of advancements with the development and construction of our own sports science center, and with the addition of David and Matt, we believe our student-athletes will be better equipped to reach their goals for many years to come.”

 

Ballou and Dr. Rhea, who are both regarded among the best in their field, join the Alabama program after two years at Indiana where Ballou was the Director of Athletic Performance and Rhea was IU’s Football’s High Performance Coordinator.

 

During Ballou’s two seasons as the Director of Athletic Performance, 11 Hoosiers earned All-Big Ten honors while the team’s eight wins in 2019 were the most for the program since 1993. He helped four IU standouts move on to the NFL and has trained 31 NFL Draft picks in his career.

 

Before his time at Indiana, Dr. Rhea was the director of sport science at IMG Academy in 2016 and 2017. There, he contributed to the optimal development of athletes through innovative assessments and advanced strength and conditioning.

“The collaboration between strength and conditioning, sports medicine and nutrition are absolutely critical for the success of our program,” Alabama’s Associate AD and Director of Sports Medicine Jeff Allen said. “The addition of Coach Ballou and Dr. Rhea to our program will allow us to take full advantage of our sports science center. The data they will generate on our athletes, through their unique training methods, will allow us to know exactly how to manage our team to ensure we are performing at our best each Saturday and make sure we are doing all we can to prevent injuries.”

 

Ballou spent the 2017 season as Notre Dame’s co-director of football strength and conditioning after one year as the head strength and conditioning coach at IMG Academy. At IMG, he helped train 26 future NFL Draft picks in 2016 and 2017. Prior to IMG, he served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Avon (Ind.) High School for 14 years (2001-15) where he was a finalist for the 2014 NSCA National High School Strength Coach of the Year Award. He has held the credential as a certified strength and conditioning specialist (with distinction) since 2001.

 

“Player development is my passion” Ballou said. “We can’t wait to get to Tuscaloosa and begin working with some of the best athletes and football players in the nation. We will attack all avenues of performance to make sure we are optimizing the physical abilities of every player on the roster.”

 

Dr. Rhea was a full-time professor of kinesiology at A.T. Still University, where he taught courses in sports conditioning and exercise physiology. He has published nearly 100 studies in performance enhancement and lectured in seven different countries. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Southern Utah in 1998, a master’s in exercise science and physical education from Arizona State in 2001 and a master’s in sports management from American Public University in 2016. He earned his doctorate in philosophy at Arizona State in 2004 with an exercise and sport science academic focus and an athletic performance enhancement research focus.

 

“For the past 22 years, I have been studying how best to develop athletes, prevent injuries and prime for competition,” Rhea said. “Through research, I have found some innovative ways to target neuromuscular issues that are limiting performance and, by teaming up with one of best strength and conditioning coaches in the world, we can target those limiting factors during training.

 

“Everyone works hard in football these days, and our system involves a lot of hard work, but not just for the sake of causing pain and suffering. It involves hard work because getting improvements in very elite athletes is very challenging. We are combining hard work with very scientific methods in order to maximize development and preparation.”

Along with getting the Crimson Tide, bigger, faster and stronger, injury prevention will be a key focus for Ballou and Dr. Rhea and the Crimson Tide’s new sports science center will give them advantages not seen in college athletics. The sports science center, which will open this summer, will be a comprehensive facility that will feature assessment areas for all athletes, physical-evaluation areas, a behavioral health center, two athlete-recovery rooms that feature 15 specialized recovery chairs, three float beds and a multi-person, whole-body cryo chamber.

 

“The addition of Coach Ballou and Dr. Rhea shows the unsurpassed dedication to the student-athlete at The University of Alabama,” Andrews Sports Medicine Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said. “Their ability to develop football players while working in conjunction with athletic training and nutrition to help prevent injuries will be vital to the program’s success. With all these factors in place, Alabama will possess a one-of-a-kind program, not only in college, but in the NFL as well, that will focus on protecting its players and helping them reach their full potential.”

 

Ballou, who played fullback for the Hoosiers from 1997-99, graduated in 2001 from Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and earned his master’s degree in human movement from A.T. Still University in 2009. He is married to the former Leah Horn, who was a pole vaulter at Indiana and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten. The couple has two daughters, Mallory and Aubrey.

 

Dr. Rhea played college football for three years at UNLV and Southern Utah before entering the strength and conditioning field. In 2001, he launched a consulting company that provided direction in areas of athlete development, speed training, injury prevention and performance optimization to clients in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, International Olympic programs and top collegiate athletic departments

Coach Saban Statement on Scott Cochran

12/8/19 MFB Football Banquet Alabama Scott Cochran Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Photo by Kent Gidley

“We appreciate Scott’s contribution to our organization over the last 13 years. We can’t thank him enough for his service and dedication to our program, and his commitment to our players. He is taking his career in a new direction, and we wish Scott, Cissy and the kids the best. As we do with every position that opens here, we will go out and hire the best person to lead our strength and conditioning program and help our players maximize the resources available in our new sports science facility.”