That SEC Podcast (April 17, 2019): Spring game recaps: Kentucky, Texas A&M, Missouri, Florida, Auburn, Mississippi State, Alabama & Tennessee; Mullen trolls Georgia and Mike's "Make It Right" tattoo bet
Coronavirus: Trump admits to slowing the testing rate, which allows unabated spread & more American deaths
Good morning everyone - I am posting this coronavirus-centric newsletter instead of the usual Lost in the Sauce because I am running behind after spending yesterday on Father’s Day activities. So tomorrow I will post Lost in the Sauce (covering the political and legal news that may have been overlooked last week). My apologies, I wanted to get something out to you guys today as promised. Housekeeping:
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The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the pandemic's largest single-day increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 183,000 cases reported in the previous 24 hours. Brazil and the United States contributed the most to the surge in cases.
Trump says he told his administration to test fewer people: “Testing is a double-edged sword… When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people, you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please. They test and they test.” (video)
The White House later tried to soften Trump's remark, saying he was joking. Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, points out a key aspect that is often overlooked: “The joke is on us. We stayed inside weeks on weeks with the unstated social contract that it was going to give the nation time to have alternatives to social distancing. And they didn’t do it. The nationwide testing plan never panned out like they said it would.”
Congressman Andy Kim (NJ): When I requested FEMA to stand up a Coronavirus test site in South Jersey they told me the White House said no. Now we know why.
EDIT TO UPDATE: A reporter asked Trump this morning if he actually ordered testing to be slowed down - Trump avoided answering the direct question but implied that he thinks we should do less testing. Trump says: "if it did slow down, frankly, I think we're way ahead of ourselves if you wanna know the truth. We've done too good of a job." (video) Just days earlier, Trump told the WSJ that testing for the coronavirus is "overrated," arguing that it has led to an increase in confirmed cases in the U.S. that "makes us look bad." Trump has made statements like this numerous times before.
Reminder: In March, Trump said he wanted to keep passengers and crew on an infected cruise ship so that coronavirus cases in the US don't "double." "I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship."
Op-Ed: Trump Just Admitted to a Crime Against Humanity. No, He Wasn’t Joking.
Fact check: Controlling the spread of the pandemic demands finding the infected and isolating them until they can no longer spread the disease, alongside broader measures like social distancing. With an untold number of asymptomatic carriers, the only option to find out who truly has the virus is to test. Meanwhile, a lack of testing hampers the response to the virus. Health officials can’t preempt outbreaks in new regions. The threat then silently persists, infecting, killing, and draining resources. (Vox) The U.S is now conducting more than 3 million coronavirus tests a week, far short of the 30 million tests per week experts say is needed to safely reopen. These experts aren’t just worried about the number of tests that labs can process. They are concerned about the logistical challenges of testing so many people, and the lag in setting up adequate contact tracing to find who may have been exposed.
Cases continue to rise
Experts abroad: “It really does feel like the U.S. has given up.” Comparing the rolling average of new coronavirus cases in the EU (pop. 446 million) to the US (pop. 330 million), shows the stark difference in results: the US rate is climbing back to its high point of ~30,000 average cases while the EU has stabilized at only 4,000 cases.
Note that since that graph was made, the US has surpassed that number: The CDC reported over 32,000 new cases for both Friday and Saturday - the highest daily totals since April 25. [See a few paragraphs below for state details]
Germany’s success in responding to the coronavirus pandemic was based on U.S. research that was ignored or dismissed by the U.S. government. “A large portion of [Germany’s] measures that proved effective was based on studies by leading U.S. research institutes,” said Karl Lauterbach, a Harvard-educated epidemiologist who is a member of the German parliament for the Social Democrats. If the US had acted when other nations did, using the same information, 70%-99% of American covid deaths would have been avoided. The Oxford index shows that 14 days from the date of the 15th confirmed case in each country — a vital early window for action — the U.S. response to the outbreak lagged behind the others by miles...Due to exponential viral spread, our delay in action was devastating.
Meanwhile, at his Tulsa rally over the weekend, Trump boasted that “I have done a phenomenal job on it,” calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu.”
A dozen states have seen record highs of new COVID-19 cases since Friday… Those include Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
Arizona’s coronavirus cases have nearly doubled in 14 days, from 26,989 on June 7 to 52,390 on June 21. Florida on Saturday reported 4,049 new coronavirus cases, another consecutive single-day record increase in cases. For the fourth time in five days, Texas reported a record number of new coronavirus cases Saturday.
Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas… Of the 3,748 employees tested, 481 tested positive for COVID-19, and 455 were asymptomatic. [This asymptomatic number is surprising and raises the possibility that there may be contamination somewhere in the testing “chain.”]
Funding and equipment
Trump administration ends funding for new lung damage treatments… The coronavirus attacks the lungs, killing some and leaving others with severe lung ailments. Earlier this month, the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) abruptly notified companies and researchers that it was halting funding for treatments for this severe form of Covid-19. The new policy highlights how staunchly the Trump administration has placed its bet on vaccines. Instead of COVID testing supplies, FEMA sent the Washington State Health Dept. tiny plastic preforms that can be made into 2-liter soda bottles… The Department of Health received 300,000 vials, all of which were unlabeled, unusually packaged, and unusable. FEMA paid $7.3 million to a first-time federal contractor with a sketchy owner for these unusable mini soda bottles. The bottles are also contaminated, as employees did not wear masks and kept them in an unclean environment. FEMA reportedly sent them to all 50 states. A DHS review found that the CDC’s earliest coronavirus test kits were contaminated… Scientists did not thoroughly check the kits despite “anomalies” during manufacturing, according to the federal review. The CDC’s failure with the test added many weeks of delays to the rollout of widespread testing. One of Trump’s top fundraisers is cashing in on the pandemic… Brian Ballard uses his Trump connections to lobby the administration on behalf of companies seeking to market their health products or score federal relief money. “He’s playing the K Street lobbyist game, buying access to this administration and enjoying that access,” said Craig Holman, who works on ethics and lobbying issues for the watchdog group Public Citizen. FEMA can find no records of criteria it uses to make distributions to states from the Strategic National Stockpile to address the coronavirus pandemic… The claim is especially concerning because the president has made statements suggesting that states should get federal assistance based on how he feels about the states’ governors. TSA whistleblower alleges the agency endangered staff and passengers… TSA withheld N95 masks from staff and exhibited "gross mismanagement" in its response to the coronavirus crisis – leaving employees and travelers vulnerable during the most urgent days of the pandemic. Airports beg government to set face mask policy for passengers… “I can’t emphasize that enough – we would welcome regulations on a temporary basis that you should wear a mask in an airport when you’re transferring through it,” Airports Council International - North America President Kevin M. Burke said this past week. Concerns that Donald Trump’s inner circle might pressure the FDA to rush a coronavirus vaccine to market in time for the presidential election have risen after the White House attacked the agency for reversing itself on an experimental drug treatment. “And if you give it to people and they think ‘Wow, I’ve got the vaccine now,’ they’re likely not to physically distance, wear face masks. And then if it doesn’t actually work, Oh! We’ve got a disaster on our hands,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania and former Obama White House health policy adviser.
CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program
Senators find $14 billion in unspent funds Congress approved in April to expand coronavirus testing and tracing… "While it has been months since these funds were first appropriated, the administration has failed to disburse significant amounts of this funding, leaving communities without the resources they need to address the significant challenges presented by the virus," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday. The pandemic is disproportionately hurting black-owned small businesses and the administration is not helping… Only 12 percent of black and Hispanic business owners polled between April 30 and May 12 received the funding they had requested. About one quarter received some funding. By contrast, half of all small businesses reported receiving from a single part of the stimulus packages — the Paycheck Protection Program — according to a census survey.
Only 2 percent of a $20 million city-wide small business loan program went to businesses in the Bronx, the New York City borough with the highest share of black people, according to a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Small Business Services, while 57 percent went to Manhattan businesses.
A coalition of civil rights groups including the ACLU sued the Trump administration for denying coronavirus relief loans to small business owners with criminal records, arguing the restrictive policy violates the law and perpetuates systemic racial injustices by discriminating against people of color. PPP failed to get money where it was most needed. 7 of the 10 states that received the smallest dollar amount of loans were among the 10 states with the highest number of people approved for unemployment claims as of May 23. South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, and Nebraska received significantly more aid proportionally compared to states with higher covid-related unemployment rates like Nevada, Maine, Michigan, and Hawaii. A federal judge is once again ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to release the full amount of stimulus funding Congress set aside for Native American tribes. “The Secretary has now taken more than twice as much time as Congress directed to distribute all CARES Act funds,” Mehta wrote. Mehta’s decision blocked so-called Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs), which have vast land holdings and secure significant profits from timber and oil sales, from receiving funds, as they are not government entities. The administration has so far failed to spend more than 75% of the American humanitarian aid that Congress provided three months ago to help overseas victims of the virus. Relief workers said they were alarmed and bewildered as to why the vast majority of the money was sitting unspent.
Typically at this point I would talk about notable omissions. Unfortunately, in this class, even bad players end up ranked because there's just not enough players to actually push some fairly weak players out of board range. Though also, past iterations of the board have only been 60 players long so past years might have talked about Immanuel Quickley (Undersized non-handling shooters tend to not be very valuable) or Cassius Stanley (Understanding what's going on on the court in front of you matters), but both of them have pretty well-defined strengths and weaknesses. That said, Isaiah Stewart has no redeeming features, and he's somehow still a better prospect than Ashton Hagans. Also Skylar Mays, who I think is an incredibly smart person who gets credit for feel as a basketball player based on that and not based on his actual feel. Additionally, I've traditionally discussed potential 2 way candidates who I wouldn't draft, but I think are well suited to a 2 way deal in case they develop well in an NBA team context. Again, this is impacted by ranking 75 players rather than 60, so guys like CJ Elleby, Yves Pons, Cassius Stanley, and Borisa Simanic would've all normally been discussed here but end up ranked instead. But also I think guys like Chris Smith, Trent Forrest, Emmitt Williams, Cassius Winston, and Nick Richards all are reasonable bets for 2 way deals because of some open unknowns. So now, pre-addressing guys where I'm fairly far away from consensus:
So this is going to be the big one that people disagree with I suspect, but:
Maledon's shooting mechanics have a high degree of manipulability, which is something that matters a lot for shooters that develop to high, high levels.
Maledon has a high level burst that he uses effectively in conjunction with his size and ability to finish through contact as a slasher
Those two factors matter a ton and when combined with his lack of clear weaknesses, they are more than sufficient to make him the best player in this class, especially in the absence of another good option.
I'm relatively high on him when compared to draft twitter, I'm aware. The track record for guys with any kind of athleticism and a standing reach over 9'4" drafted in the first round is pretty solid if you start after Greg Oden, and that's omitting Mitchell Robinson, Deandre Jordan, and Hassan Whiteside, all of whom were early 2nd rounders. If his median case is Hassan Whiteside that doesn't think he needs to post up, then that's a pretty good outcome for this draft.
The short version of the argument here is that guys his size don't do what he does. Is the competition awful? Sure. But FIBA play is usually enough to be usable. Does he have physical issues? I think they're a little overstated, but it's clearly a weakness. But I expect he'll be a positive player on both ends of the floor, and he's the only extreme upside bet in this class. At some point, while there is risk, you just have to bet on guys like that.
Zeke Nnaji/Onyeka Okongwu
These two are likely going to play the same role; They're short roll/pinch post bigs who make plays off the dribble and with their finishing on the offensive end, and mobility guys first on the defensive end because of limitations to their physical tools (Nnaji's length, Okongwu's height). Nnaji is far better at the primary traits of that role. He's a better handler, better finisher, and better mobility guy on the perimeter. He also has a better chance of shooting, which is the first additional skill you want to add to that role. Okongwu, meanwhile, has a far better chance of Edit: developing beyond and outside of that role. Better flashes of passing, explosiveness around the rim, etc. But I generally buy that Okongwu's flashes are infrequent enough to not make up for him being worse at his NBA role.
Ball is a 99th percentile passer. Ball is a 0th percentile rim finisher. And a low percentile shooter. And a low percentile defender. And a low percentile physical tools guy (beyond his positional height, which is good). His passing is an overwhelming strength, and at some point any significant outlier skill is enough. This is easily the most likely ranking on this board to be wrong as well, because wherever he goes he's going to get a ton of usage dumped into him and that's extremely valuable to players like him. But there are just too many weaknesses that were displayed against low level competition to justify ranking him higher, especially if you don't buy the upside as more than a 1% case, since it would require so many different things to go right.
Perry might be the single biggest divergence in how he was used at the college level and what he's actually good at. He's a super high level pinch post guy, who can attack mismatches at the 4 or 5, hit generally good passes, and hold his own fairly well defensively. Basically, he can do a lot of what Julius Randle does when Randle is trying, without being a sticking point in the offense. But Ben Howland is an outdated dinosaur of a coach and as a result Perry got to spend almost the entire year as a traditional post 4. And even in that absurd miscast, he was still an extremely efficient player. Yes, his decision-making verges on awful at times, but that can be highly coaching influenced and didn't seem to be an issue in FIBA play, where, when separated from Howland he was very good. Perry is a reasonable upside bet as a result.
There's so much incorrect information floating around about Hayes. He's been credited with improving his ability to burst by guys, even though he very clearly still can't beat any disciplined defender consistently. He gets a ton of credit as a team defender, but most of the rotations he's making aren't processing based but are instead just his team encouraging all of their guards to cheat off of shooters above the break hard. His on ball defense is a catastrophe, getting blown by at LaMelo level frequencies. His 3 point shot, which has been occasionally projected as usable due to his not great but probably usable stepback, is not usable because he doesn't actually do any shot prep for C+S situations. There's also the handedness issue, though that's fairly minor. Ultimately, I just haven't seen a remotely satisfactory answer in the film to the question "What does Killian Hayes do against a disciplined defender". And Hayes is good at getting defenders out of discipline, between an effective floater and his weird ability to segment his arms to throw off the timing of a pass. But we've already seen middling EuroCup/G-BBL teams stall him out by just staying down, so it's hard to see a world where NBA teams can't manage that.
Toppin might be the best play finisher in the class. He also has some ability to create off the dribble, both for himself and others. The problem is that ability to create is merely okay, when it really needs to be outright good in order to make up for his defensive ineptitude, because the play finishing alone just isn't quite enough.
Isaac Okoro/Herbert Jones
Herb Jones is the best defensive wing prospect since MKG, and like I said with LaMelo, at some point an outlier skill is enough. He's also a better ball handlepasser than the likely lottery PG on his own team. He's even merely a below average finisher now, despite having been LaMelo level bad last year. Is there a chance he's not offensively enough to make the league? Sure. But again, at some point it's worth the bet that he meets the bare minimum for his outlier defensive skill to take over. Okoro, meanwhile, is a similar player but he trades defensive acumen (And a fair bit of it -- the gap in them as defenders is large) for even better passing than Herb's already good ability and high level ability to finish at the rim. Basically, Jones has the bigger outlier skill, but Okoro is way more likely to hit minimum thresholds, so it makes sense to have Okoro higher, but both players in the same general area.
Luka Garza/Vernon Carey Jr.
There are 3 traits that an ultra-big must have in order to succeed at this point, IMO. They must be a smart passer, they must at minimum try on defense, and they must be able to play NBA style ball on top of any post possessions they do. Garza hits all 3. Carey hits 1 if we're being optimistic about his pick and roll ability. Which isn't to say Carey's totally irredeemable. He makes some good post seals, which is a minor weakness for Garza, and he has a chance of shooting, which is something.
Josh Green has been raised as a 3+D with a little bit of auxiliary ball handling guy for years now, which is fairly unique since most high level RSCI guys are the best player on their team and aren't pigeonholed from day 1. Only problem is, there are significant problems with all 3 of his shot (right-left movement and mediocre results indicate a probably below average shooter), defense (He isn't watching his teammates and reacting to what they do -- he's watching the opponent and reacting to what the opponent does, and that causes his rotations to be frequently late) and his auxiliary secondary handling (Poor creativity as a finisher) and the auxiliary ball handling, which is just inconsequential. There's some level of fixability to those, but generally I don't think I'd take him any higher than this.
Bolmaro has gotten some hype in recent days, in large part because when he beats a guy it's usually by a high, high level dribble move, or by a great pass. Only issue is he can't actually get by guys, so when things work they look great but far too many possessions (Especially when he plays actual ACB/Euroleague level competition) are just spent dribbling to nowhere because he lacks the burst. Similarly, while he's praised as an on-ball defensive guy, he struggles to actually move his feet with anyone with actual speed. So that's my board for this year pending whatever combine information we get. Please feel free to ask any questions, but please also remember that this is not a projection as to where the players will be drafted, and try to keep discussion relevant to the board at hand.
Seeing as how today is the 25th anniversary of the final Dead show, I figured I'd share how I found out about the Dead. I'm not sure how long I'll make this out to be, but I'm just glad I'll get to finally write it down. It's a story of music, jamming, hippies, and acid. Before I start the story, I want to explain the brief brushes I've had with the Dead in my life. When I was 11 I saw Phil and Friends at Gathering of the Vibes in Connecticut, but I had absolutely no appreciation for him or who he was, and I specifically remember seeing him for a few minutes and walking away to see other stages due to lack of interest. I'm STILL kicking myself or that in case anyone was wondering. (similarly, I saw Billy Strings at a bluegrass festival and walked away because I wasn't interested and then I really got into his music... I have a bad habit of walking away from great shows). My Aunt Ari who was actually a huge Dead brought me and my sister to that show, but we were too young to properly appreciate it. When I turned 17, I enlisted into the Air Force and hated it. I hated the rules, the bullshit, the conformity, cutting my hair, all of it. When I got to my first duty station at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, sometime in 2016, I got heavily into country music and eventually got VERY heavy into bluegrass and decided I wanted to play a banjo and happened to buy one from one of the best banjo players in town who later became my teacher. He showed me the ropes and got me started and I eventually went on to teach myself banjo as much as I could. I fell in love with Flatt and Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Don Reno, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, and Bill Monroe just to name a few. But I heard about this one band called Old and in the Way and I loved their music so much. Since Jerry was the banjo player I tried to emulate his style as best as I could. I knew about Jerry, but I didn't know a whole lot about him. I didn't listen to the dead at all, but I had a deep appreciation for Jerry and the rest of Old and in the Way. In 2019 I wound up joining a local bluegrass/ folk/ rock band and we were actually really good and got lots of shows with nice crowds and I got to really hone my technique, again, emulating Jerry and Earl Scruggs as best as I could.A Here's where the story REALLY starts. I left the Air Force on September 27th 2019, quit the band, loaded up my truck and headed on out on the open road. After staying in Colorado for a week and camping in the Rockies, I decided to hit up Nashville and try and find some like minded people to play some music. My search was mostly unfruitful, and after a few days of overpriced hotels and drinks, along with the daily hangovers, I decided I wanted a change of pace. I decided I wanted to work on a farm for a while through the WWOOF website. (Basically, I work on a farm for a place to stay) I went on the website and looked for something north of Nashville and the first place I picked was this place that didn't look anything like a normal farm. I knew what it was, but I had no idea what I was in store for. The first place I looked at on the website was in fact a sustainable eco-village, better known as a hippie commune. It was called The Garden in Lafayette Tennessee, and I decided to head over. I called the phone number, expecting maybe an interview or something, but they told me to show right up and I did. I showed up and I saw these buses, painted with psychedelic colors, hand built structures everywhere, a wonderful and massive garden, art wherever you looked, especially these psychedelic bears that I knew from what little I'd seen or heard about the Dead, and the best vibes I've ever felt in my whole life. There was nature all around me and the people there were some of the nicest, most open people I'd ever met. I shared the weed I'd saved from Colorado with them and did my best to be open with them as they were with me. Mind you, I was less than two weeks out of the military so I was in absolute shock and I had a hard time talking for most of my time there. I was only going to stay for two days, but that turned into a week and a half. I helped with the garden, building structures, and I played my banjo for them. The food was free and the living was nice and I was in absolute SHOCK over how kind and open everyone was, when in my life I was used to people being cold or have ulterior motives. It was just such a shock for my mind going from the rigid structure of the military straight to a commune where you could do what you want with minimal rules. I met some of the realest and kindest people in my life. I felt love for what felt like the first time in my life and I had an amazing experience and knew I'd return every chance I could. After staying there, I went home to visit my folks in Connecticut, but once that was over I headed straight back there to see it all again. And this, my fellow Dead Heads, is where I truly discovered The Grateful Dead. I went back sometime in Late October or November. The air was cold during the day and the nights were bitter cold as well. The Garden was still thriving and the love was still there. They were glad that I came back and I was glad that I did. The love I felt was amazing and I loved them too. I loved how open they were and how they treated me as an equal. Nobody thought less of me for having been in the military or being new. We were all humans, and we were all equals. There were the normal commune shenanigans, we all played music together and I loved playing music with them. Everyone played something, be it guitar, ukulele, drums, cahone, banjo, etc and it brought us all together. But there was one guy there named who was really good at guitar. For his privacy I won't say his name, but for those reading who know of The Garden, I bet you'll know who I'm talking about. I'll use the letter K in place of his name. K came to the Garden and loved it, but wanted a piece of land for himself and his family so he bought some land right next to it, so it was like a miniature version of the Garden. But one key difference was that acid and drugs (besides weed, that's considered medicine) was not allowed in the garden. At K's place, anything goes. We played some music together and we talked a ton about Old and in the Way because we had a mutual love for their music, especially the song Catfish John. He asked me if I knew anything about The Dead and I didn't know a whole lot. I asked him if I should see him and he'd say something like, "The boys? Oh you've gotta see em at least, I dunno, 300 times or so." He told me what Dead shows were like and I was enraptured. He asked me, "So kid, ya wanna party?" "Hmmmm, what do you mean by 'party'?" I said "Go to my place and take some... acid?" he said in a lowered voice because we were around people I'd done acid twice in my life at this point. Once with a friend of mine at her house, and I took two tabs on Bourbon Street in Nola. Both times I thought it was really cool and interesting but I never got anything I could really take from it. "hmmmmm, I'll go, but I won't say yes to the acid quite yet.... maybe" And so it was settled and he gathered all of us musicians who were down to go. I brought my banjo and the synthesizer my sister had given me while I was in Connecticut. There were 5 of us total all playing music with a few listeners who came too. Now K built his home in the woods and it's VERY homemade. The Garden was already surreal enough, but this took it a step... Furthur... He built his home around a large tree and built a cabin for him and his family to sleep in. He built a work shed and had a wonderful, massive dog named Lucy. Luckily, I have a few photos I'll share with y'all. The woman in one of the photos was a friend of mine holding my banjo for a little photo shoot, but these were taken waaaayyyyy after all of this happened. https://imgur.com/gallery/Ysz5Z4g This is where I went to trip on acid and learn about the Dead. I had no idea what they were about, I didn't even understand the concept of a jam band. But I learned that night. We all took 1 hit as night fell upon us, and it began. All this time, K was explaining the Dead to me, but it never hit me until we started jamming. We played a few songs, but then it came time that we all played Catfish John and I have no idea how long we went on for, but for most of it it didn't even feel like we were playing that song. We fell into this weird jam and everything was so fucking weird and I loved it. We were all tripping out and as we were jamming I felt like I was in a spaceship flying through space and I used my banjo to guide myself, but we were all jamming together and our minds were all together in it. But K was like a conductor of the whole jam, guiding us all through it. The best thing I could compare it to was Playing in the Band from Pacific Northwest 73-74 but with acoustic instruments. After we jammed and everyone was tired and drained I was still peaking and wierding out and I sunk into a couch he had there, in absolute awe of what had just transpired. K must have saw it in me and knew it was the perfect time to really show me what the Dead was all about. "You wanna know about the Dead, kid?" He said "Just lay it on me man" I said And what he said next I didn't fully understand or appreciate until these past two months. This dude straight up pulled out an amp and pulled up a live album. I didn't fully understand the whole deal with Deadheads and live albums, but I did that night. I obviously can't remember the exact date he pulled up, so I'll substitute it with something. "Alright man, check this out, 5/8/77, we're gunna go about three quarters into the show during Estimated Prophet when Jerry has this kick ass solo and his guitar goes woh wahhhh" "Hell yeah! that's a kick ass one!" Said another guy who was there with us K went on to explain what a dead show was like AND Y'ALL I FELT LIKE I WAS THERE. I felt the wobs and wahhhs and the wumps and the dumps. Phil was holding down the bass, Jerry was tearing it apart, Bill was keeping it all together, Bobby was holding a solid rhythm, and everyone was having and amazing time and it was just so much joy that I felt in that short period of time. K and another guy who was jamming with us wound up talking about a Dead and Co. show they saw and they were explaining the vibes there and what its like to be in a stadium full of people tripping. They explained the energy and it blew my mind. I wish I could go into greater detail, but I have no idea how I could even begin to explain it. As my trip wound down and the vibe shrank down smaller and smaller, I thought to myself, "The trajectory of my life has been drastically changed. I don't know how, but it has." Recently, I've been seeing the effects of it and I'm so happy that I went through with it and took a leap. It's bittersweet, I'm 22 so I never got to see Jerry. It's not the same, but I'm happy that I got to experience at least a small beautiful piece of the Dead in the woods with a bunch of hippies. The day I left I went to visit K one more time and I thanked him for showing me the Dead and I told him he changed my life, even if he doesn't realize it. He offered me a few extra hits for the road, but I declined. I decided I only want acid to find me, I'm afraid it would lose its magic if I took it too much. I sadly haven't seen K since. Apparently he's on a boat off the coast of Florida fighting off the Coast Guard or something, I have no idea. But he hasn't been there in my subsequent trips I've been there. I've taken that feeling I had that night and I hold it close to my heart and I've made it my mission in life to spread it as far and wide as I can. Thank you for reading, and be well y'all! Life's a long strange trip, and we're all in it together. Edit: here's an interview with one of the founders of The Garden for those interested, https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=CJ9qG54Ztzo
Super Sauce Spectacular -- Sauce Recommendations, History, and Favorites!
I love barbecue sauce! I've made it a personal mission of mine to try as many sauces as possible and wanted to share my experiences. Hopefully this is educational. I'm not including any links because I don't want anyone think I'm trying to sell you something. I'm not! I'm just passionate about this stuff. Now, just a heads up, this is mostly from memory and I haven't had some of these sauces in years. My palette may have changed a little. A bit about me, I'm originally from Memphis, Tennessee where the finest pork ribs in the world are made. Fight me. I did live in Virginia and Florida for a while, but now live in Kansas. I've had a chance to sample a lot of different regional variations and absolutely love to try new things. One of my favorite things about barbecue is that it means different things in different places and it's pretty much all delicious! Anyway, let's get on with it! What's a barbecue sauce? Good question, actually. Most people, when they think of barbecue sauce will think of something like Sweet Baby Ray's or McDonald's barbecue sauce. Thick, red, ketchup-based, and smoky. But barbecue sauce is actually many different types of sauces. That thick red sauce is found mostly in the Midwest in places like Kansas City (KC Masterpiece) or Chicago (Sweet Baby Ray's). But in other places, you can find some wacky stuff. Here's a list of a few regional sauces: South Carolina: In South Carolina, their sauces aren't red, but yellow! Instead of using ketchup as a base, South Carolinians use mustard. It makes for an extra tangy sauce that pairs especially well with pulled pork. North Carolina: There are actually two regional variations of barbecue sauce in North Carolina and there's some heated, but light-hearted, debate on which is better. The first variation is found eastern North Carolina where their sauces are entirely pepper and vinegar-based. There is no tomato of any kind allowed. Further west, you'll find a similarly thin sauce but they'll add ketchup or tomato sauce. Alabama: In Alabama, chicken is king and their sauces are mayonnaise-based. I know that sounds super weird, but it's actually quite good. Kentucky: In the area of Owensboro, Kentucky, you'll find a thin, black sauce they just call dip. This sauce is Worcestershire-sauce based and made to pair with smoked mutton. It's a very different take on barbecue sauce, but is delicious and I've even enjoyed it with pork. Elsewhere: Barbecue sauces elsewhere in the United States don't tend to vary too much from the "classic" style. You'll find different recipes here and there, but not quite the vast regional difference between, say, North Carolina and Alabama. How to buy barbecue sauce: The best way to eat any barbecue sauce is to make it yourself. You can find tons of recipes for the different regional styles and these will always be better than what you can buy in the store. Amazingribs.com has a recipe for just about every regional recipe out there, but you can find more than that just by hitting up the Googlies. But let's say you just want to buy one and be done with it. That's fine. I buy sauce all the time. I have too much sauce in my fridge right now. That doesn't stop me from compulsively buying sauce. But I actually do have a few criteria that help me choose a "good" sauce. I don't stick to these religiously, but they make good guidelines.
No high-fructose corn syrup. This isn't a health choice, but it helps narrow down which sauces are mass produced and which are made with a little more love.
Not too many variations. If a sauce brand has like ten different varieties, it's probably not worth your time.
Buy local! If you spot an odd bottle with maybe cheaper-looking marketing, buy it. Some grocery stores, even Wal-Mart, will buy from local businesses and sell sauces you can only get where you live. If you're getting locally-made sauce, you're more likely to get something unique and delicious.
Experiment. Never tried North Carolina-style? Do it! Even if you have to buy, say, the Heinz brand, that's fine! Try new things. I thought a vinegar sauce would suck until I tried it.
Sauce Recommendations and Reviews: I'm not putting these in any particular order, but the better sauces will be fresher in mind, so take that as you will! My reviews are also not in depth and I'm not assigning a grade or number to them, just my thoughts. George's This is my favorite sauce I ever bought in a store. It's a western North Carolina sauce that's got just a bit of ketchup in it. It also has red pepper flakes and apple juice. If you like vinegar sauces, George's is an absolute treat. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find George's since I left Virginia and I've resorted to making a knock-off at home. George's is simple, tasty, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Bone Suckin' Sauce A honey and molasses-based sauce that's been a stand-by for me for years. It's a very sweet and smooth sauce that pairs well with just about anything. One advantage about Bone Suckin' is that I've not had trouble finding it in any state I've lived in. They sell a "thicker variety" that I've seen more often than the regular style, but I think the regular is better, honestly. Definitely worth a try! Good & Gather Moscow Mule Sauce I know! This breaks like every single one of my guidelines, but I saw this sauce at Target and I thought it was so damned weird that I had to give it a shot. And you know what? It's actually good! It's got a sour, gingery flavor that tasted great with chicken. It actually tastes like a Moscow Mule and I've not a barbecue sauce quite like it. Pig's Ass I bought this one just because it's called Pig's Ass. It's actually a pretty good sauce, too. It's not my favorite and I won't go out of my way for it, but I've grabbed it out of the fridge when I've had other options available. It claims to be a Memphis-style sauce, which means tomato-base with molasses. It's also got some vinegar and spice going for it, so it's a pretty complex flavor that goes with about anything. Give it a try! Gate's Gate's claims to be a Kansas City staple that's won awards, but I honestly found the sauce to pretty forgettable. I mean, it's fine, but that's about it. It's been sitting in the back of my fridge for a while and it's probably expired. Redneck Lipstick A snoozer of a sauce with a funny name. It's a pretty regular "classic" barbecue sauce. You might like it, but I thought it was just okay. Corky's Corky's is one of the most famous Memphis barbecue restaurants and it's fine. The sauce is fine. It's very smoky and a little sweet. There are better sauces out there though. Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous Another Memphis staple. I like Rendezvous sauce better than Corky's. It's tangier and a little thinner than Corky's but overall has a similar flavor profile. It's fine. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sauce This one hails from a famous NY barbecue restaurant. This sauce was given to me as a gift and I was pretty skeptical because NY isn't exactly a location famous for barbecue, but I was actually impressed! It's sweet and the tomato flavor is very strong, but it's also got some spiciness to it. I went through my bottle pretty fast. Try it if you can find it! Trader Joe's Carolina Gold Sure, it's a supermarket brand, but it's actually a pretty good variety of South Carolina mustard sauce that's not hard to find. If you really just want to try the style without making it yourself, this is a good start that you can probably get pretty easily. I love to use the gold stuff as a dip for my pulled pork. Try it! Lillie's Q Hot Smoky Another purported Memphis sauce, but this one is actually pretty good. It's not hard to find and will do in a pinch, though it's not a favorite. Lillie's Q Carolina While it's definitely a western North Carolina sauce and not quite as unique as, say, George's, this is a good option if you're looking for a thinner, tangier sauce and can't find another variety of NC sauce. Lillie's also has a gold variety I haven't tried yet, but based on the other two sauces, I'd say it's a safe bet. Famous Dave's A pretty big name in the barbecue world, Famous Dave's is a'ight. Gator Hammock Gator Sauce A Florida sauce! It's a spicy, peppery, vinegary sauce. It's almost more of a hot sauce than a barbecue sauce, though it's not quite spicy enough to just straight up call it hot sauce. If you like a peppery taste, this is the sauce for you. Try it! I have more sauces in my fridge that I'm just not remembering off the top of my head. I'll update if I think of some, but I'm not home right now so I can't just go look. I guess if I don't remember them, they aren't that good. What are your favorite sauces? Any recommendations? Any to avoid? What's your favorite regional variety? Thanks for reading!
I've been getting a lot of individual questions so I thought we'd do a mini-update for Offense and Defense respectively QB - 0 Current QBs: 3 (Ideal is 4) Potential Departures: 0-2 2021 Needs: 1 Overview: Alabama had a 2021 QB commited, got Bryce Young in 2020 and lost their 2021 QB. This basic dynamic is probably the biggest story of Alabama's recruiting: who wants to go up against Bryce Young. Alabama is actively recruiting both prospects and is a legit options for both
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Miller Moss - EE
4* (#52, #5 PRO)
Moss is an California QB with a big arm and a sturdy frame. Moss has a final 4 of USC, UCLA, Alabama, and LSU. LSU has a QB commit and Moss hasn't visited Baton Rouge so they aren't a legit option. Current pulse favors him staying out West (Covid should have that effect on multiple kids this cycle). UCLA does not feel good (despite a mid confidence CB pick), given their past few years and Chip Kelly's allergy to recruiting. USC is the presumed favorite, due to proximity, peer connections, and personal rooting interest but USC already has a QB in the 2021 class in high 4* Jake Garcia. Moss himself isn't bothered by multiple QBs in the same class (Bryce Young isn't a deterrant either) but there is concern on how Garcia will react. Alabama and Steve Sarkisian has recruited Moss well, prioritizing him in this class and building those relationships, so much so that sources have said that if geography wasn't as much of a factor, he would already be commited to UA. USC makes the most sense today but I do think Alabama is close and realistic option that will be close to watch over the next few weeks.
40% USC, 34% Alabama, 25% UCLA
June (Next 2-3 Weeks)
2. Texas Commit Jalen Milroe
4* (#79, #4 DUAL)
Milroe is a dual threat QB playing at the highest level in Texas and thriving as a smooth operater. Milroe and Drake Maye were the final 2 for Alabama's QB commit last summer, Drake took that spot andMilroe went to Texas. Alabama has been in contact, alongside Miami, but Milroe seems pretty solid and has been an active peer recruiter for Texas. Would take a lot to flip, as of today.
85% Texas, 15% Alabama
RB - 0 Current RBs: 7 (Ideal is 4-5) Potential Departures: 2 2021 Needs: 0-1 Overview: Alabama signed 3 RBs in 2020, so RB recruiting in 2021 is pretty far down the list. Alabama could lose its top 2 rushers and still have ideal numbers. Alabama would like a back in 2021 but it's not a requirement and I'd be hard-pressed to project any guy on this list, as of today.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Jaylin White
4* (#220, #13 RB)
Jaylin is a in-state RB with a compact frame, quick feet, and a slippery frame. White runs low to the ground and doesn't heisitate in his cuts. I see Jaylin as the most likely RB addition and Alabama hasn't even offered (that should tell you how RB recruiting is going in 2021). FSU has an early lead but I fell Jaylin will wait on at least one of the in-state schools to pursue him.
50% FSU, 50% Alabama
1. Donovan Edwards
4* (#37, #3 RB)
(Michigan) UGA, Penn State, Notre Dame, Alabama
Alabama has had success with Michigan RBs and Edwards is Coach Huff's top guy on the RB board. Originally seen as a likely Ohio State commit until they filled up. Michigan has surged, even ahead of UGA, and is the likely choice. I think he stays up north regardless.
50% Michigan, 30% UGA, 20% Penn State/Notre Dame, 5% Alabama
2. Camar Wheaton
5* (#16, #1 RB)
(Oklahoma, Texas) SMU, LSU, Alabama
Camar Wheaton is the nation's #1 RB; kid runs angry. General consensus is Wheaton doesn't want to go too far from home, which is why Oklahoma and Texas seems to be in a good spot alongside SMU of all schools. LSU and Alabama also have some buzz due to some campus visits last season but the current thought is staying close to home, particularly Oklahoma.
Johnson is another elite Texas RB and is a workhorse at the high school level. TAMU has surged here and though he does want to revisit UGA before commiting, this may not go past the summer
80% TAMU, 7% UGA, 7% Texas, 6% LSU
Summer or early fall
4. Kyree Young
3* (#458, #30 RB)
(Kentucky) Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, UGA, Michigan State
Kyree is a lesser known RB from Ohio. Not a ton of film at this point. Buzz is still on Kentucky
WR - 2 Current WRs: 10 (Ideal is 9+) Potential Departures: 2-3 2021 Needs: 3-4 Overview: WR is a big priority position in the 2021 class and Alabama is in on numerous elite receivers. Alabama's got a great sales pitch for 2021, with recent elite production, playing time to offer, and a shiny new QB to pass the ball. It's key for Alabama to hit on WR in this class and there's a good feeling here.
1. Jacorey Brooks - ES
4* (#38, #3 WR)
Brooks reminds me a lot of Tee Higgins: Tall/long but still quick, great on contested balls, consistent scoring threat. Alabama beat out Florida at the last minute for a guy who could end up back in the 5* range at the end of the cycle. Well respected guy in South FL and should help in peer recruiting the area in 2021 and 2022
2. Agiye Hall - EE
4* (#74, #13 WR)
Hall is another taller WR who I think is one of the best athletes in the whole class. A little raw but the ceiling is so high if he buys in. Minor risk taken by Alabama but worth it IMO and in the opinion of the staff.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Brian Thomas Jr
4* (#63, #9 WR)
(Alabama, LSU) UGA, TAMU
Thomas is a Louisiana receiver with big-catch ability and a surprising amount of speed. As a Louisiana recruit, his top 2 is automatically Alabama and LSU. It's still Alabama-LSU, with a slight edge to the Tide due to deeper built relationships between Thomas as the UA staff
55% Alabama, 45% LSU
2. Christian Leary
4* (#130, #23 WR)
(Alabama,) Florida, Oklahoma, Auburn
Leary is a dynamic WR and wildcat QB for his high school team. This kid can fly when he gets going. Oklahoma, Alabama, Aubrun, and Florida are his top 4 and all 4are realistic options leading up to his commitment. Leary was considered a OK silent in the spring, along with Mario Williams and Caleb Williams but a lot of that confidence has dissapated. Alabama has really surged here, selling proximity (important to mama), a professional approach and a Jaylen Waddle comparision. Florida is always an option, as the closest school an a school that's really selling the upcoming NLI situation but it feels like Alabama/Florida to me and there's Bama buzz out there now.
Johnson is another speedy receiver who can play the slot, like Leary. Johnson has been very complementary of Alabama so far and in a suprising turn, Oklahoma did not make his top 8. Alabama could be seen as the early favorite but the other SEC Powers are in her also
Hilton is another Louisiana wideout of a similar build to those Alabama and LSU had success with last year: 6 foot even, shifty, speed, and effortless cuts to shake defenders. Unlike Thomas, Hilton is more likely a LSU lean but this is a close recruitment that Alabama is still very involved in. Hinton should commit soonish
Worthy is another recent addition to the WR, with near Ruggs-esque speed and acceleration. Michigan and Oregon are the front-runner at this time but Alabama could get in the mix, depending on how long this recruitment goes and its luck with the other slot targets.
Franklin is an elite west-coast receiver defined by one word: smooth. Franklin releasted a top 4 on Tuesday of Oregon, Washington, ASU, and Alabama. Oregon is the presumed favorite, due to a great recruiting staff and buzz as the Pac-12 contender of the future, followed by Washington, whose QB and WR commits are on the same team as Franklin. Alabama has gained ground here, selling a Smitty comparison, that was unheard of in the spring but it's still difficult to see him leaving the West Coast. A lot will be dependant on what Thomas does.
50% Oregon, 25% Washington, 15% Alabama, 10% ASU
4. Malik McClain
3* (#405, #64 WR)
TAMU, Tennessee, Alabama
McClain is a former Alabama resident with Julio Jones comparision (no, really). McClain is a behemith of a receiver, who catches over, around, and through defenders; I think he could make a hell of a TE if weight was added to his frame. TAMU and Tennessee have been the early names here but as a former AL resident and Julio fan, Alabama could be in a good spot.
5. Jahlil Farooq
4* (#133, #23 WR)
(Oklahoma,) Penn State, Alabama, UGA, Maryland
Farooq is a DMV receiver that I'd call a poor man's Devonta Smith: good on the deep ball, good size, strong hands. Oklahoma is the heavy favorite, with Farooq being another Caleb Williams fan. Alabama has interest but not the connection Oklahoma has.
80% Oklahoma, 10% Penn State, 5% Alabama, 5% Everyone Else
6. Deion Colzie
4* (#45, #5 WR)
(UGA,) Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee
Colzie is another elite, tall WR native to Athens, Georgia. Until recently, Colzie was commited to Notre Dame. I am surprised he hasn't commited to UGA yet.
7. Caleb Johnson
3* (#583, #93 WR)
TAMU, Oklahoma, Alabama, UGA, LSU
A recent WR addition, Johnson is another slot guy Alabama likes. Pretty early in his recruitment so hard to say where he stands with Alabama or any other schools.
TE - 0 Current TEs: 7 (Ideal is 5-6) Potential Departures: 2 2021 Needs: 1-2 Overview: TE is another priority position in the 2021 class, as Alabama has spent the last few seasons attempting to add an elite tight end to this dynamic offense. The question right now is more on talent than numbers but Alabama will lose 2 tight ends after the season but it's more key that Alabama gets at least 1 elite player at the position.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Hudson Wolfe
4* (#225, #9 TE)
(Ohio State, Alabama,) Tennessee, UGA, Ole Miss
Wolfe is a big-bodied in-line blocker, but runs well with the ball in his hands and gets physical with defenders. Alabama had been a long favorite here but current belle of the ball Ohio State has locked in on Hudson Wolfe for one of their final scholarship spots and has likely taken the lead. It will be critical for Alabama to get Wolfe back on campus before he commits; otherwise, he's all Buckeye.
55% Ohio State, 45% Alabama
Preseason, maybe early Fall
2. Robbie Ouzts
3* (#755, #35 TE)
(South Carolina, Alabama,) VT, Duke, UNC
Ouzts is a Carolina TE with a big frame and long legs. Ouzts has always liked Alabama but it remains to be seen how hard the staff will push. South Carolina is the early favorite but UNC is one to watch. Currently has a preseason commitment timeline but I would bet this goes into the fall
40% South Carolina, 30% Alabama, 30% UNC
3. Gunnar Helm - EE
3* (#547, #24 TE)
Alabama, Auburn, LSU
Helm is a more recent addition to the TE board with an established connection, as his sister attends the University of Alabama, despite the family residing in Colorado. Another in-line blocker type, Helm reminds me of Hale Hentges, as a great blocker but a big rumbler with the ball in his hands. It is still pretty early in his recruitment but Alabama, Auburn, LSU would be some early realistic contenders
4. Thomas Fidone
4* (#91, #2)
(Nebraska, Iowa,) LSU, Michigan, Alabama
Fidone is a midwestern prospect, with a big frame and WR receiving skills. Fidone is highly coveted by SEC programs such as Alabama and LSU, but has focused much of his recruitment of Big10 schools closer to home. Alabama would REALLY like to get him in on a visit and Fidone does have interest there but if he sticks to his current timeline, it would be tough to project UA as the selection. LSU could be a dark horse here.
60% Nebraska, 40% Iowa
5. Cal Commit Jermain Terry
4* (#200, #7 TE)
Terry is a west-coast TE with jumbo size and big play potential. Terry is a coveted prospect for the Tide, despite being commited to Cal, and Steve Sarkesian is working hard to get him on campus in the fall. Definitely one to watch.
80% Cal, 20% Alabama
6. Mizzou Commit Ryan Hoerstkamp
3* (#937, #47 TE)
A new addition, Ryan is a recent Mizzou commit and is an active recruiter for the Tigers. Not much to see here.
OL - 0 Current OLs: 15 (Ideal is 15) - 7 OT/4 OG/ 4 OC Potential Departures: 4-5 2021 Needs: 4-5 (At least 2 OTs, 1-2 IOL, 1-2 as flex) Overview: OL is the most important position in the 2021 class, purely based on the potential number of departures and additions. Alabama is looking to bolster both the tackle positions, as well as the interior, and has numerous high-quality targets with high interest in the Tide
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Tommy Brockermeyer - EE
5* (#5, #1 OT)
(Alabama, Texas) LSU, Auburn
Tommy is the top offensive tackle in the 2021 and with good reason, possessing an NFL-ready body, athletic pedigree, and advanced technical knowledge. As a Texas legacy, the Longhorns would always be a player in this recruitment but Alabama has taken a nice lead here, thanks to their simultaneous pursuit of Tommy's twin brother James (the rare legit Package Deal). The Brockermeyers like the winning pedigree, have hit it off with the new S&C staff, and had actually planned to take 2 OVs to Alabama, as they can attend as the brother of the other for each visit. Alabama's in the driver's seat for a recruitment that should not go past August.
75% Alabama, 25% Texas
2. JC Latham
5* (#17, #5 OT)
(Ohio State, Alabama,) LSU, Oklahoma
JC Latham is amongst the top athletes amongst linemen in the 2021 class and a guy Alabama has surged for over the past few months. Ohio State and LSU were the early top 2 but success in the NFL draft and a relationship with Evan Neal has caused Alabama to move squarely into Latham's top 2 with Ohio State. Latham's family is in Chicago so proximity favors the Buckeyes but sources have said that Alabama has sold itself better to Mom so far. Latham likely won't commit without visits, which will be crucial for Alabama's chances.
Mims is a nice complement to Brockermeyer: Mims is a physical mauler and absolute specimen at the tackle spot. Mims has stated Alabama is his leader throughout the spring and heading into summer, citing his relationship with Coach Flood and earlier playing time at UA but most feel a kid that close to UGA's campus with so many UGA connections will still end up in Athens. Visits will be huge for Mims and helps the Tide, as he won't commit until October.
45% UGA, 40% Alabama, 10% Tennessee, 5% Auburn
4. James Brockermeyer - EE
4* (#192, #1 OC)
(Alabama, Texas) LSU, Auburn
James is the twin of Tommy and is a high-quality center to boot. Same thing as Tommy: Alabama leads by a good bit for the twins but Texas will always be in the background. Look for a preseason commitment.
75% Alabama, 25% Texas
5. Jager Burton
4* (#160, #10 OG)
(Ohio State, Kentucky, Alabama,) Oregon, Clemson
Burton is a midwester lineman Alabama likes a lot and one Alabama has surged for, placing themselves in good competition with Ohio State and Kentucky. Proximity and need favor the Buckeyes but Kentucky is a real contender. Despite this, sources say Alabama is right there behind the scenes.
40% Ohio State, 35% Kentucky, 25% Alabama
6. Terrence Ferguson - EE
4* (#52, #3 OG)
Another big-time road grader on the interior, it's generally bad gambling to bet against UGA for an in-state offensive lineman but Alabama is definitely making things interesting, with serious interest from Mr. Ferguson around joining the Tide.
Parker is a Tennessee tackle that has more recently emerged as a more serious target. Parker lists Alabama as his dream school but both Alabama and Parker are taking things slow at this point. Tennessee is the biggest competition here so far.
80% Tennessee, 20% Alabama
2. Noah Josey
4* (#284, #17 OG)
(UGA, Alabama,) Ohio State
Josey is a Kyle Flood favorite, as another diamond -in-the-rough, blue coller, guard. UGA surged in the spring but it appears no team in his top 3 are ready to take his commitment.
33% UGA, 33% Alabama, 33% Ohio State
3. Ross Maseuli
3* (#618, #28 OG)
(USC) Michigan, Alabama
Maseuli is another Cali lineman who's a USC lean with Alabama interest. I know he was somewhat star-struck by the Alabama offer but I think a campus visit will be the real litmus test. Michigan is a realistic option also.
80% USC, 10% Michigan, 10% Alabama,
As always, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind. Defensive Update should come Fri morn.
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This is a list of "my guys" from this years draft. The common theme is that every one on the list was a breath of fresh air when I watched them on film and I have each player above the consensus, some significantly so. Some of the guys are highly regarded top end players, some are day 2 type of players, and some are day 3 players that I tagged as really good bets to exceed expectations. For the top end players, these are the guys I feel immensely confident in becoming high end NFL players. For some of the players listed I fully understand the significant issues holding them back but they may have some fantastic trait or are incredibly fun to watch. I create full positional rankings and big boards but the success of my evaluations this year, in my opinion, will hinge more on how the players fare that I feel especially strong towards. Here is my list from 2019: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/bbi73chwf3rds_my_guys/ From 2018: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/8ct6na/chwf3rds_my_guys/ From 2017: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/675cbc/5_prospects_i_have_significantly_above_the/ This year I did an additional list of late Day 3 guys that I feel good about. Jordan Love, QB, Utah St, 6'3/224 Grade: Round 1 (Top 20 overall) I would take Love in the top 10 overall if I had a need at QB. Love easily has the best arm talent in this draft class, routinely making jaw dropping throws. He's not a Josh Allen type either with scattershot accuracy and only capable of throwing the fastball. His accuracy is precise at all levels and he can manipulate his velocity and throw with touch. Furthermore, Love is a very mobile QB with the ability to evade pressure, escape the pocket, and keep his eyes downfield. Some of his throws on the run are reminiscent of Patrick Mahommes or Carson Wentz. The issue with Love is simply decision making - locking into his first read or trusting his arm too much. However, you look at his 2018 season and the volume of those bad decisions is not there. In 2019, Love lost not only his coaching staff but his main offensive weapons as well. Considering his elite traits, I'll gladly bet that Love can return to his 2018 form. https://gph.is/g/aKAgJje (throw vs LSU) https://gph.is/g/Z5YbQ36 (rollout) https://gph.is/g/4L5bqK0 (tight window) https://gph.is/g/aQO5gDA (touch) Cam Akers, RB, Florida St, 5'10/217, 54% SPARQ Grade: Top 20 A former top recruit, Akers chose to go to Florida St at the wrong time. Akers demonstrates every trait I look for in a RB at a high level - burst, toughness/violence, contact balance, lateral agility, and receiving ability. He didn't have the stage of Swift, Dobbins, CEH, or Taylor and didn't have the same type of huge games given the awfulness of Florida St. However, he's the most well rounded of the top RBs this year and has the highest upside. The one issue I have with Akers is questionable vision at times but it's hard to know whether to attribute that to him or the OL. https://gph.is/g/apb5eq6 https://gph.is/g/aKAbBy3 https://gph.is/g/4bB5Yen Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis, 6/228 Grade: Round 3 Gibson mostly played slot WR at Memphis but I project him as a RB. As a RB, Gibson's combination of size, speed, and receiving ability creates an upside similar to David Johnson. Gibson doesn't really know what he's doing at RB yet and is a projection but he demonstrates phenomenal traits for the position including burst, contact balance, and lateral quickness. He is dynamic player with the ball in his hands, whether on receptions, carries, or special teams, with special athletic ability and open field vision. Not only is his upside as a RB through the roof but his floor is decent as well as a great returner and valuable gadget player on offense. His SMU game is maybe the most fun game I've watched this year. https://gph.is/g/ZOk5mNj (crazy run) https://gph.is/g/EGgbr8M (catch in traffic) https://gph.is/g/aeA5wDX (return TD) https://gph.is/g/aXJ53nR (good run) https://gph.is/g/aKAb9z9 (receiving TD) Rico Dowdle, RB, South Carolina, 5'11/213, 81% SPARQ Grade: Round 4 Dowdle demonstrates all the traits you look for in a high level 3 down RB but lacks the production to match. He's a high level NFL athlete and that athleticism shows on film with his awesome burst. He's a really tough runner with good size, contact balance, and a compact and powerful frame. He demonstrates decent vision behind the LOS and has receiving ability to boot. He doesn't have a ton of wiggle but everything else is there. https://gph.is/g/46vb3Y8 (tough run vs Alabama) https://gph.is/g/ZWw52yv https://gph.is/g/amX59YJ Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona St, 5'11/205, 89% SPARQ Grade: Round 1 Aiyuk is my WR3 and ranked in my top 20 overall. Aiyuk can create easy separation all over the field in a variety of ways: deep with straight line speed, with physicality, or with quickness and burst out of breaks. While he's not necessary a burner, Aiyuk is one of the most twitched up and dynamic WRs in this draft. He has the rare ability to cut without losing much speed and maintaining that speed after the catch. He's not necessarily a jump ball catcher but he has flashed the ability to make contested catches. Even in games where his production wasn't there, he's consistently open play after play. He's sometimes portrayed as just a deep ball and YAC guy but he has the ability to be so much more than. https://gph.is/g/Zd75D5D https://gph.is/g/4zqY3DK https://gph.is/g/4AjblvO https://gph.is/g/Z2mbxg7 Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU, 5'11/206, 89% SPARQ Grade: Round 1 Reagor is my WR4 and in my top 25 overall. Reagor immediately stands out when watching him as he looks like he's moving at a different speed than everyone else on the field. He's exceptionally twitched up and explosive and is among the easiest separators in the entire class. His game just looks effortless. Not only does he offer separation, YAC, and deep speed but he also shows the ability to make contested, difficult catches and displays excellent body control. He's a lot more well rounded to me than someone like Henry Ruggs or KJ Hamler. My biggest issue with Reagor is that he struggles to extend beyond his frame and thus doesn't give his QBs a huge target. https://gph.is/g/4w8d3Lx https://gph.is/g/4L5bpev https://gph.is/g/ZPm5zPX Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado, 6'1/227 Grade: Round 1 Shenault is my WR 5 and in my top 25/30 overall. For clarity, my grade is not taking into account injury concerns as I don't have access to his medicals. Thus I wouldn't be surprised if he drops due to medical issues and I'm fine if that's the case. Nonetheless, Shenault has largely been forgotten about given the combination of WR depth this year and his injuries. He really shouldn't be as he is such a dynamic and exciting WR with huge upside. My comp for him is Sammy Watkins and AJ Brown. He has RB size with awesome physicality and YAC ability. He's a little raw in his routes and Colorado didn't do him a lot of favors as they just wanted to get the ball in his hands as much as possible and the easiest way to do so was on wildcat plays, reverses, and screens. Nonetheless, Shenault expresses excellent route running traits and creates easy separation with his burst and physicality. While I don't think he's a burner, he has sufficient speed to threaten and win deep. Combined with his contested catch ability and skills with the ball in his hands, Shenault is an incredibly exciting WR prospect. https://gph.is/g/apbqw33 https://gph.is/g/Z7ge57R https://gph.is/g/46vO5Dd https://gph.is/g/ZrdDloG Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina, 6'3/212 Grade: Round 2 (top 35 overall) Edwards is another WR that is being somewhat overshadowed due to injuries and WR depth. Like Shenault and Aiyuk, Edwards is another big, dynamic, explosive WR with phenomenal YAC ability, toughness, and physicality. Furthermore, Edwards has been incredibly productive at South Carolina starting with his true freshman season at only 17 years old. Edwards can line up all over the formation and turns into a RB with the ball in his hands. Not just a YAC guy, Edwards flashes fantastic hands and the ability to make incredible circus catches. While he doesn't create consistent separation, his quickness and burst is more than sufficient. https://gph.is/g/EJYbRne https://gph.is/g/a99bdlP https://gph.is/g/EGgb9Ml https://gph.is/g/aRW5N7w James Proche, WR, SMU, 5'11/201 Grade: Round 3 Proche projects as a slot WR in the NFL. Proche had a very productive season at SMU as their go to offensive weapon. His calling cards are hands and YAC ability. Proche has the best hands in the entire draft and can make difficult circus catches along with strong catches in traffic. He has some separation issues due to a lack of speed and quickness but if he's moved to the slot a lot of that should be accounted for. https://gph.is/g/ZYl5LwD https://gph.is/g/ajW55yG Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama, 6'4/312 Grade: Top 10 (5th player overall) I have Wills in a tier of his own among the OL this year and I think he's an elite OT prospect. Of the big 4 OTs, Wills is the most well rounded. His balance is phenomenal and he's always in control. His pass sets look great and he combines an immoveable anchor to counter power rushers with sufficient feet to meet speed. As a run blocker, he's incredibly powerful as a drive blocker and has the movement ability to block at the second level. His Auburn game is absolutely phenomenal. Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia, 6'6/350 Grade: Round 2 If Mechi Becton weren't in this class, Wilson would be getting a lot more buzz. An absolute mountain at 6'6/350, Wilson carries that weight as well as one possibly can. If you're looking for a traditional RT, Wilson is your guy. He's a mauler in the run game and plays with a nasty demeanor, throwing around SEC defenders. He projects immediatly as a great run blocker in the NFL. In pass pro, he has an easy anchor and shouldn't struggle against power. While he'll struggle some mirroring speed rushers, his kickslide looks fluid and even without ideal feet, his it'll be a struggle for defenders to get around a 6'6/350lbs OT with 93rd percentile arm length. Ben Bartch, OT, St. Johns, 6'5/309 Grade: Round 2/3 For a new OT convert playing at a tiny school, Bartch has one of the prettiest pass sets in this class. This demonstrates a willingness on his part to learn the position and a natural aptitude for pass blocking. He absolutely dominated awful competition at St. Johns and demonstrated great traits including light feet to mirror speed and a natural anchor to stop power. In the run game, Bartch bullied and dominated. He still doesn't look completely natural and can lose his knee bend at times but that's to be expected for such a green player. What really sold me was when he played great at the Senior Bowl against top competition. Robert Hunt, IOL, Lousiana, 6'5/323 Grade: Round 2 Hunt is a college RT that projects inside in the NFL. His upside as a guard is huge as he is moves extremely well for the position. He demonstrates great balance and control with a great anchor to stop power. Moreover, he plays with a great nasty demeanor fitting for a guard. While he struggled some in space against speed, moving inside will ease those concerns. Matt Hennessy, OC, Temple, 6'3/293 Grade: Round 2/3 At only 293lbs, Hennessy is limited to zone schemes. He has great movement ability to reach difficult blocks and has easy transitions. He's extremely quick off the snap and maintains great positioning to create holes for the RB. He's not a powerful drive blocker but won't be asked to do so in a zone scheme. He struggles some with power and lacks ideal strength but he is rarely beat as uses his pad level and hands to effectively anchor down when needed. Tyre Phillips, IOL, Miss St, 6'5/331 Grade: Round 3 Philllips was a college RT who I project inside. He's an absolute unit at 331lbs with 88th percentile arm length and a massive, thick upper body. He has incredibly powerful, sticky hands and moved SEC defenders with ease. While his foot speed presented issues at tackle, he projects very well inside given his strong anchor. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina, 6'5/324 Grade: Top 10 Kinlaw is one of the most disruptive players in this class and possesses elite physical traits. Not only is he massive and long (92% length), but his burst off the ball is incredible. He simply outpowered and outphysicaled the best OL in the country in the SEC. He displayed good hand usage and rip moves and has the ability to stack and shed vs the run using his size and length. While his upside is sky high, there is some downside with Kinlaw given his inconsistency. He can play too high and struggle to anchor at times, getting washed and pushed around vs the run. I'll take the Chris Jones type upside and accept that risk. https://gph.is/g/ZYl558p https://gph.is/g/EGgbb5d McTelvin Agim, DL, Arkansas, 6'3/309 Grade: Round 3/4 Agim is former 5 star high school recruit who just switched from DE to DL this past year. While his athletic profile is incomplete, he ran a sub 5.0 40 at the combine at 4.98. That athleticism showed on film as he has some of the best get-off in this class. Not only is his initial burst phenomenal, but he can convert that speed into power and bench press SEC OL into the backfield. He's pretty raw and lacks any kind of hand usage right now. Furthermore, he struggles holding up against the run and may have to start off as a pass rushing specialist. Nonetheless, he has room to grow given his youth at the position. https://gph.is/g/ZOk55DP https://gph.is/g/EGgbbbp https://gph.is/g/E0rbj6y Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee, 6'4/267 Grade: Round 2 (top 50) A discount K'Lavon Chaisson/Terrell Lewis. Taylor is a flash player with ideal Edge traits. Taylor has an awesome rocked up frame with little body fat. He shows great burst, flexibility to corner, and power to bull rush. Taylor possesses a phenomenal all-around skillset that projects well to the NFL as he can win with power or speed. His BYU game from this past year and his Kentucky game from 2018 were phenomenal. The issue with Taylor is that his flashes are very inconsistent and he lacks pass rushing moves. Still, he demonstrates elite Edge traits. As he was stuck on a poor team, he didn't receive the same publicity as other, similar type of players in this class (Chaisson and Lewis). https://gph.is/g/amXNxVQ https://gph.is/g/Z5YxwnG https://gph.is/g/Zxe6GD7 https://gph.is/g/4bBb9VG https://gph.is/g/Zd7WBzo Zack Baun, LB/Edge, Wisconsin, 6'2/238 Grade: Round 2 (top 35 overall) If I was coaching a game today and needed a sack, Baun would be my second choice in this class behind Chase Young. He's one of the few pass rushers in this class with some advanced pass rushing moves and can win in a variety of ways. He can win with a pure speed rush, flashes some speed to power with a long arm move, and has a nice spin move. Overall, he was consistently disruptive off the edge for Wisconsin. While he lacks size and natural strength, he use of leverage allows him to hold the edge vs the run. In the NFL, I think he projects as a SAM/Rush LB. He has some experience dropping back at Wisconsin and looked natural in space. https://gph.is/g/46vbVv9 https://gph.is/g/Z8eP7Bd https://gph.is/g/EqGQO5K Willie Gay Jr, LB, Miss St, 6'1/243, 98% SPARQ Grade: Round 2 (top 50) Gay is my LB4 or 5 (depending on what you list Zack Baun as) and he has the biggest upside at the position in this draft outside of Isaiah Simmons. He had an elite combine as he tested in the 98 percentile of SPARQ. That athleticism was clearly apparent on film as in the few games he played he looked like a top 20 draft pick. He's all over the field with sideline to sideline range and awesome closing burst. He has ideal LB size and plays with awesome physicality. Moreover, he has the fluidity necessary to drop back in coverage. In short, he demonstrates the traits of an all-pro 3 down LB that can play in the box or in coverage. He can be late on his reads and his angles are off at times but those issues may be due to his lacks of playing time. Even if those issues are never fixed, if he plays how he did in college in the NFL he easily projects as an impactful NFL starting LB. The off-field issues are well known but apparently he impressed teams in interviews. https://gph.is/g/4w8dlJ2 https://gph.is/g/4oL5dxJ https://gph.is/g/ZYl5Bdw https://gph.is/g/EGgbvdp https://gph.is/g/a99bmYo Evan Weaver, LB, Cal, 6'2/237, 26% SPARQ Grade: Round 4 Weaver is a tough, physical, productive, and instinctive LB that is incredibly fun to watch. He's an incredibly reliable tackler that is always around the ball. He's all over the field making tackles with an A+ motor. At the very least, Weaver will be a great character guy and a plus vs the run on early downs. While he's not a great mover and has some issues changing directions, his awareness in zone is pretty good and I see some upside as a 3 down LB. https://gph.is/g/aRW5AjJ https://gph.is/g/Zk65Ony https://gph.is/g/4zqYDxl https://gph.is/g/Zd75qG3 CJ Henderson, CB, Florida, 6'1/204, 95% SPARQ Grade: Top 10 (7th overall player) He's been getting a little more hype the past few days as a top 10 pick but I've had Henderson in my top 10 since February. I really don't see a huge difference between Henderson and Okudah. He's the ideal man to man CB with elite mirroring ability. His feet are incredibly quick, he has easy fluidity in his hips, and his closing burst is fantastic. Additionally, Henderson has the ideal frame and physical profile at 6'1 with 4.39 speed and 60th percentile arm length. He has two main issues - tackling and ball production. For me, the ball production is more concerning but I prioritize sticky man coverage over ball production. In sum, Henderson is a rare prospect with elite traits at a valuable position. https://gph.is/g/aRW5ApN https://gph.is/g/46vby3d https://gph.is/g/Zd75q3P Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa, 6'1/205, 92% Grade: Round 2/3 Robinson is an athletic, physical press man CB. He's an incredibly physical boundary CB that beats up WRs and uses the sideline to his advantage. He has quick feet and twitch to mirror in man coverage and the deep speed to stay with WRs downfield. His game vs Tylan Wallace really stands out.Moreover, he's great vs the run and comes up with physicality against the run and screens. The issues with Robinson are that he's overly physical to a fault and lacks the preferred fluidity in his hips. https://gph.is/g/Zywoxjd https://gph.is/g/EJYb1QB https://gph.is/g/4L5bzPR https://gph.is/g/EBmvkyK https://gph.is/g/4oL5mlP Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota, 5'9/203 Grade: Round 1 (top 20 overall) Winfield is a versatile, high IQ, physical safety prospect with excellent ball skills. He's incredibly physical and ball carriers feel him when he hits. His reactions are very quick and combined with his ball skills, his ball production at Minnesota should translate to the NFL. Against the run, blockers don't phase him and he's a reliable tackler as the last line of defense. He didn't look like an especially explosive or sudden athlete on film but he killed the combine with a 82% SPARQ score. His main issues are his size and injury history. https://gph.is/g/ajW5zqG https://gph.is/g/Z2mbq0W https://gph.is/g/E0rbwyX https://gph.is/g/ZPm5Ldp https://gph.is/g/ZrdXbjw https://gph.is/g/amX52lB K'Von Wallace, S/NCB, Clemson, 5'11/206, 97% SPARQ Grade: Round 1/2 (top 35 overall) Wallace is my #3 ranked safety and I would be comfortable taking him late Round 1 or early Round 2. He projects as a slot CB, safety hybrid with elite athleticism. He's extremely twitched up on film with a phenomenal closing burst on the ball. He reacts decisively on his reads and consistently makes plays on the ball with very good ball skills. Moreover, he's an extremely physical player that plays with an attitude and tenacity. https://gph.is/g/aN851zv https://gph.is/g/ZOk5zAg https://gph.is/g/aQO53KB https://gph.is/g/aQO53q5 https://gph.is/g/4AjbX8G Intriguing Late Day 3 Guys JaMycal Hasty, RB, Baylor Mike Warren, RB, Cincinatti Benny LeMay, RB, Charlotte Joe Reed, WR, Virginia CJ O'Grady, TE, Arkansas Cameron Clark, OT, Charlotte Michael Onwenu, IOL, Michigan Jonathan Garvin, Edge, Miami DJ Wonnum, Edge, South Carolina Broderick Washington, DL, Texas Tech Bravvion Roy, DL, Baylor Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno St John Reid, NCB, Penn St Julian Blackmon, S, Utah (not late day 3 but like him a lot) Josh Metellus, S, Michigan
The Tennessee Volunteers (1-2) visit the Florida Gators (3-0) for a 12 p.m. ET kickoff in Gainesville.. The two sides of this SEC rivalry have disappointed bettors to the tune of a combined 1-4 mark against the spread through three weeks. Florida is ranked No. 8 in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.. Tennessee at Florida: Betting trends and tips The Florida Gators head into Tennessee to take on the Volunteers in this week 4 of the college football season match-up. Oddsmakers have the home Vol's as the favorite at -6.5. Game preview includes player analysis, betting trends and a free college football pick. Florida at Tennessee (+5.5) Sat. 9/22, 7:00 p.m. ET Three things you need to know before betting on Florida-Tennessee: 1. The lack of a pass rush doomed Tennessee in its season-opening loss to Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators Betting Odds Saturday September 21, 2019 - Lines & Prediction College Football Matchups Tennessee vs Florida 2019 College Football Week 4 Betting Trends. Volunteers are 0-7 SU in their last 7 games when playing on the road against Florida; Volunteers are 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games against an opponent in the Southeast conference; The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Tennessee’s last 9 games played in September
College Football Betting Florida vs Tennessee Caution: Gators Could Be Over Valued by SBR Sports Picks. 4:48 [Deleted video] The next video is starting stop. Loading... Watch Queue College Football picks from https://www.tonyspicks.com/ between Tennessee vs. Florida Tonys Picks website provides sports information from an odds angle. Poi... Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoInVegas), Ralph Michaels (@CalSportsLV) and Bryan Leonard (@BLeonardSports) breakdown ... Florida vs. Tennessee 9/21/19 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Free Picks Free CFB Picks and CFB Predictions. SUBSCRIBE to Our Channel. #CollegeFootball #CFBPick #CFBOdds.