Sark Leaves Bama for the NFL

It was announced on Tuesday that Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian accepted the same position with the NFL’S Atlanta Falcons. University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban issued the following statement.


Coach Saban Statement on Steve Sarkisian: “We appreciate all Coach Sarkisian did for our program during his time here. He is an outstanding coach, and we wish him the best in his new role as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. As always, when we have an opening on our staff, we will use it as an opportunity to go out and hire the best coach available.”



Top 2018 DL has Good Relationship with Tide Staff.


One of Alabama’s top priorities in the 2018 class will be defensive linemen. There is little doubt that one top DL target will be Bradenton-IMG Academy, FL standout Taron Vincent. The 6-2, 285-pound Vincent, who is expected to rank among the nation’s top 20 prospects, already has a top five of Ohio State, FSU, Alabama, Michigan and Clemson.


“Ohio State is my top school,” Vincent says. “Otherwise, I’m open with the other schools.”


Vincent favors the Buckeyes partly due to his relationship with OSU assistant Larry Johnson.


“He recruited my older brother a few years ago when he was coaching at Penn State,” Vincent says. “So we’ve got a longstanding relationship. I know him real well and I’ve always liked him. I’ve also got a good relationship with Coach (Urban) Meyer. I’ve talked some with Coach Meyer and I like him.”

As for Alabama, Vincent says he’s “pretty high” on the Tide, too.


“I have a real good relationship with Coach Mike Locksley at Alabama,” Vincent says. “I played (at Gilman HS in Baltimore) with his son, Kai Locksley. So I’ve known Coach Locksley for a while Like I said, we’ve got a good relationship.


“I’ve also got a good relationship with Coach Tosh at Alabama. I talk to him every week. He’s wanting me to get down there with my parents for a visit. I’m trying to find a good time to fit in a visit there.”


Vincent plans to visit FSU for a Junior Day at the end of February. He will visit Ohio State in the spring.


“I’ve already visited Ohio State. I was up there last summer,” Vincent says. “I want to visit all of the top schools on my list before making a decision. I don’t know when I’ll commit, maybe in the summer.”



LaBryan Ray’s Signing Caps Off Stellar Class


This past signing day saw Alabama land another star-studded class. One of the late additions to the class was the state’s top prospect, LaBryan Ray of James Clemens HS in Madison. The 6-5, 260-pound defensive end is excited about his decision.


“It was a very big day for us,” Ray said. “A lot of family came out to support me, and that meant a lot. It helped me with the recruiting process, which I definitely needed. It was a long and great journey, and I’m blessed to be part of it. I’m glad I was able to make a decision.”


Ray informed the UA staff of his decision on Monday before National Signing Day.


“It was a hard decision over the past couple days,” he said. “I just prayed about it and talked to my family. I just went with my heart. On Monday is when I knew and told the coaches I was coming. I talked to Coach Saban and Pruitt, and they were really excited for me to join the program. They talked about what they can do for me and what type of player I can be for them. It’s something I’ll always remember.”


What put the Tide on top?


“I liked the feel of the place and the type of players they have and how they develop the players,” Ray says. “That’s important, because they’ve put a whole lot of people to the next level. That’s where I want to get to. It’s important that my family will be able to come to every game. And they have a need for my position.”


This past season, Ray racked up 124 tackles, including 25 for loss, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries.


“They think I can play on the edge and do like Jonathan Allen and play inside and out,” he says. “They like my combination of strength and speed. I’m kind of used to playing inside and out, and I can go there and be versatile and make plays.”


Ray believes UA’s 2017 class can help keep the program among the best in college football.


“When I look at the class, there are definitely some good players,” he says. “I think we will push each other. Some of the best players in the country are coming in. That’s important, because you practice against the best. That helps you prepare and makes you better. It’s definitely a great class. I think we will have some great teams in the future. And it has a lot of great people in it, too. They have talent and leadership.”

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