Alabama Crimson Tide: Connecticut Huskies

3-point stance: AJ wins the other award

December, 13, 2013
1. AJ McCarron of Alabama expressed amazement Thursday night when he won the 2013 Maxwell Award, but perhaps he wasn't aware of the award's recent history. Heisman winners don't win the Maxwell. Since Drew Brees of Purdue won the Maxwell in 2000 instead of Chris Weinke of Florida State, only two players have won both awards: Tim Tebow of Florida in 2007 and Cam Newton of Auburn in 2010.

2. Bob Diaco will be a good salesman for UConn. He is a good-looking, well-spoken, energetic coach. He has the football chops as well, having served a long apprentice for Brian Kelly. UConn athletic director Warde Manuel hired a sparkling candidate. Now Diaco must face the reality of UConn football: Will UConn provide Diaco with the budget to hire a good staff? Can Diaco do what Randy Edsall did at UConn, supplant the state's meager homegrown talent with players from the northeast and Florida? Is there room for national success in the American? Diaco bit off a lot. We'll see how well he can chew it.

3. Alabama didn't finish No. 1 in the BCS ratings, but the Crimson Tide finished No. 1 in the TV ratings, playing in the season's three most-watched games. LSU at Alabama, played in prime time, drew a 6.9 rating. The Iron Bowl pulled an 8.2. The most-watched game of the season, played way back in Week 3, had been promoted for nine months: Alabama and Texas A&M did an 8.5. Ohio State at Michigan came in a distant fourth at 5.8. The most-watched Pac-12 game, Oregon at Stanford, drew a 3.6 on a Thursday night.

RN Top 10: D.C. NFTC 

April, 22, 2013
The RN Top 10 will appear throughout the camp and combine season and rank prospects based strictly on their on-field performance at that particular event. It does not reflect their overall prospect ranking.

ASHBURN, Va. – The East Coast and mid-Atlantic states represented well on Sunday as eight players earned invites to The Opening at the Nike Football Training Camp outside of Washington, D.C. Defense ruled the day, led by two five-star prospects from Virginia.

10. Nick Scott
Fairfax (Va.) Fairfax |RB| 5-11, 180

Scott stood out among a field of backs who were overshadowed by the prospects at nearly every other position. He earned the attention of coaches for his strong play and versatility but missed the MVP award, which went to Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield), who also posted the top SPARQ score.

Scott committed to Penn State in February over an offer from Boston College.

ESPN national recruiting analyst Craig Haubert’s take: “He’s got a great frame, and what I like about him as a Penn State verbal, he’s a versatile player. He may not run by you, but he does a good job in route-running.”

WR Camp Watch: Artavis Scott, '14 group 

August, 14, 2012
With 54 catches and over 1,100 yards receiving as a sophomore, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake wide receiver Artavis Scott was among the top performing Class of 2014 prospects in the state last season.

Now the 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior is looking for an encore and comes into the 2012 season training camp with tons of momentum after a productive offseason.

Scott took part in several offseason events including Florida State's camp, Friday Night Lights at Florida, UCF's team camp, Al Golden's camp at Miami and most recently the Barbecue at the Big House during a tour of schools that included Ohio State and Notre Dame.

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Darius Paige discusses Bama commitment 

May, 20, 2012
Pensacola (Fla.) Washington defensive lineman Darius Paige committed to Alabama this past Friday after Crimson Tide coaches came by his school on a visit.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect becomes the 13th commitment for the Crimson Tide in the Class of 2013.

"I was offered by Alabama in late January and the coaches came back on Wednesday to see if I was ready to commit," Paige said. "I went home and thought about it with my family for a couple of days before making the decision.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida signed wing prospect DeVon Walker (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) on Friday, quickly filling the scholarship of Bradley Beal, who departs for the NBA.

"[Beal] had an amazing, amazing impact on the program and the team, so I wouldn't mind copying him," Walker said just after signing his letter of intent during a ceremony at his school.

As he assisted Beal in assessing his draft stock, UF coach Billy Donovan made a late push for Walker, a well-rounded swingman who averaged 23.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a senior.

"He came a little bit harder towards the end when it got closer to signing," Walker said. "Coach Donovan said Brad was in the process of deciding to go to the league. But before Brad had even decided, [Donovan] had already told me I had a scholarship and everything was good. So I don't really think it came down to Brad leaving."

Walker, who has grown to 6-foot-6 1/2, 187 pounds and can play shooting guard and small forward, was at one point committed to Central Florida. He chose the Gators over Alabama, Florida State and Connecticut.

"It came down to Alabama and Florida, and I really loved both programs," Walker said. "Coach [Anthony] Grant at Alabama, he has something special going on. I feel that their program is one of the best programs in the country, and Florida is also.

"My decision came down to just being closer to home and being able to have my family come to a lot of games, being comfortable at UF's campus, because I've been up there the most times."

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DeVon Walker closing in on decision 

March, 22, 2012
There’s a pretty good utility wingman still available and judging by the interest he’s receiving, there are a host of programs that will be excited to see if he signs his name on the dotted line this spring.

DeVon Walker (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) is prepping for the Florida vs. The Nation senior all-star game. Once that’s done, he’s got to see about the process of finalizing his decision.

“I’ve narrowed down my list,” Walker said. “I have maybe two more visits and I’ll decide where I’m going.”

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SEC players featured on Kiper's Big Board
Mel Kiper Jr. discusses SEC players and their NFL combine performances.