It’s a slow news day, but hey, Alabama extended a preferred walk-on offer to this guy!
Alabama has extended a PWO offer to the son of WCW and WWE legend Bill Goldberg.
Gage Goldberg visited Tuscaloosa for a camp earlier this summer and came away with an offer afterward. He posted a picture with his father on social media, and you can check it out below.
It’s hard to tell how sincere that smile is from Bill Goldberg, however, as he was a standout defensive tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs in the late 80s and early 90s. It goes without saying he isn’t wearing any Crimson or White for his son’s sake, either.
May he bring good depth to Alabama’s linebacker practice squad in the future.
In other recruiting news, Alabama lost out on the sweepstakes for in-state 5-star linebacker Demarcus Riddick:
While Georgia felt the most at home following his commitment, a new school took that spot once Riddick began taking more visits. That school ended up being Auburn. Riddick announced his decision to flip his pledge from Georgia to the Tigers Wednesday afternoon.
“Alabama is an amazing school, but Auburn is where I feel I need to be at,” Riddick told On3. It’s a big family there and the feeling when I am at Auburn is great. There’s something different about Auburn for me. I have that feeling there.
…I could have stayed with Georgia, I could have chosen Alabama, but Auburn is where I felt most at home. That was the most important thing for me.”
It wasn’t all that unexpected, and most of the expert folk didn’t think Alabama was going to be the choice. For what it’s worth, here was Tim Watts’ words on it:
And before you jump in here and start saying that an Alabama blog staffer is making excuses, check out this quote directly from Riddick:
…Everyone is about winning but it’s not all about winning right now for me. I might could do that at Georgia or Alabama. At Auburn, I can feel at home, play early, work hard and get to the next level while helping the program get back to winning more games.”
And that’s OK. Seriously. Players can be “hungry” or motivated for different reasons.
Anyway, Alabama already has three linebackers committed for this class, so it’s not a huge priority. But there are a few guys the Tide could still be targeting:
After losing an in-state prospect in Riddick, Alabama could get another one in Shaw, who plays at Hoover. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound four-star prospect is rated as the No. 14 linebacker nationally by the 247Sports composite.
Shaw also has offers from, among others, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Auburn.
Looking out of state, Cole, who plays at Salem High School in Virginia, has the Crimson Tide in his top eight. Cole is a four-star prospect and is rated as the No. 6 linebacker in the 2024 class by the 247 composite.
247′s Steve Wiltfong put in a prediction that Cole will commit to Georgia. However, the Tide remain a contender for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect.
Cole’s top eight included the Crimson Tide, Georgia, Southern California, Tennessee, Miami, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
The three-star prospect from Brunswick, Ga. visited Alabama during junior weekend in March. He reported an offer from the Crimson Tide in January.
He has also visited Kentucky, LSU and Auburn among others. On July 3, he narrowed his top five schools to Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina and LSU.
The 247 composite ranks the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Smith as the No. 57 linebacker and No. 559 player in the class.
Here’s an interview from Media Days where Josh Pate got to talk with Saban for a little bit:
And further, here’s Pate talking about about Alabama and Saban.
Sorry for the links... 247 didn’t make a good way to embed their videos. But both are definitely worth giving a listen.
“They’re bigger, and faster, and stronger and deeper than you. And they’re all holding a sledgehammer and they hit you with it for four quarters.”
On one hand, Pate is speaking music to our ears with his predictions that Alabama could lead the league in rushing this year. And that, if they do, they’ll win the National Championship.
Of course, he ends the segment with one other phrase: “But if they can’t (run the ball), then I don’t think they have the QB play to win it.”
So... Here’s to hoping Tommy Rees figures out the murderball offense, huh?
Finally, check out this clip from Eli Gold:
"When I get back in the booth, I'm going to be broadcasting for those people."— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 25, 2023
Eli Gold reflects on how his own family as well as the 'Alabama family' drove his recovery from stage 3 cancer: pic.twitter.com/qThVkQTmt8
Having Eli back in the booth just in time for Alabama to storm back onto the national scene after disappointing ends to the two previous seasons would just be absolutely perfect.
May fate make it happen.