Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Star Alabama Transfer makes veiled statements about another possible transfer

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It doesn’t look like third-year cornerback Eli Ricks is satisfied with the lack of playing time he’s received so far in his first half of the season with the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2022. Ricks, ranked No. 14 overall in country outside of IMG, was part of Ed Orgeron’s last two seasons at LSU. Both campaigns ended in record losses at the bayou.

While Ricks arrived a season after Baton Rouge after the team won the College Football Playoff National Championship and saw only the Tigers struggle, the 6-foot-2 corner comes to Alabama during a season that has seen the Tide as the No. 1 entered the season team in the country. Despite going 6 games unbeaten, Alabama fell to 3rd in the polls after narrowly escaping as a 3-touchdown favorite at home to Texas A&M on Oct. 8.

Ricks was not instrumental in a Week 6 win over the Aggies, nor was he in any games this season. Despite coming into the 2022 season as a preseason All-American, Ricks only saw game action during a 55-0 season-opener game at Utah State. That has prompted him to make some veiled statements about a possible transfer on his social media Charlie Potter by 247Sports:

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Eli Ricks was injured early in the season and was promptly usurped by freshman Terrion Arnold, who teamed with sophomore Kool-Aid McKinstry to have the toughest secondary in the SEC alongside the rest of Alabama’s pass coverage at just 166.3 yards to list per game.

While Haynes King went for 250 yards against Alabama on Oct. 8, KJ Jefferson, who was held for 155 yards, picked up a Heisman contender on Oct. 1 against Arkansas, ending the repeated hopes of defending champion Bryce Young as well as Jahmyr Gibbs and Will Andersons eliminate dark horse candidacies. All of the other quarterbacks, for the most part, were thoroughly dominated by Alabama’s pass coverage.

Nick Saban praised McKinstry and Arnold’s ability to cut off big plays with their tackles during an Oct. 10 press conference. “I think both guys played well,” Saban said, “didn’t give up a lot of big games. I think that’s the key to the drill: cutting people down in the deep end of the field, playing the ball in the deep end of the field. They were good tacklers, they played the ball deep down the field and they play man to man quite well. Those are probably the most critical factors in their success and the other guys are doing fine too, but these guys have been the most consistent.”

Back in April, Nick Saban made it clear during the 2022 A-Day Spring Game after the game that Eli Ricks would need time to adjust to Alabama’s system after he got used to how things were at LSU under Ed Orgeron were.

“The biggest thing for Eli is learning the system,” said Nick Saban. “He’s like a guy who just got here. So for him it’s able to learn the system, and sometimes it’s even harder for people who played in a system, okay, because they knew a system and now they have to do some of the things that they do, intercalate with some of the things we do. They may have been told otherwise, so you need to work through that learning curve with them.”

Saban said he sees Ricks as a player willing to put in the work to become familiar with Peter Golding’s defensive schemes. “He’s a very aware guy and works hard at it, he takes coaching well and wants to please.”

Let’s hope Ricks is still looking to improve and Alabama isn’t giving up just yet.

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