“I don’t think he’s ever had more than 125 carries in a year,” Mayock said. “So he’s had a light workload, yet he’s been injured a lot. It’s a bad combination. Teams are going to want to get a look at him up close. They all know he’s a five-star recruit. They know what he looks like in the flesh. He’s a height, weight, speed guy that’s probably going to test very well. If he does, it begs the question, you know, where was the guy that played the final three or four games of the 2016 season? That’s the guy we want.”
Despite the heated in-state rivalry with Auburn, Bear Bryant was more adamant about defeating his rivals to the north, the Tennessee Volunteers .  The series is named the Third Saturday in October , the traditional calendar date on which the game was played. Despite the name, the game has only been played on the third Saturday five times between 1995–2007. The first game between the two sides was played in 1901 in Birmingham, ending in a 6–6 tie. From 1902 to 1913, Alabama dominated the series, only losing once, and never allowing a touchdown by the Volunteers. Beginning in 1928, the rivalry was first played on its traditional date and began to be a challenge for the Crimson Tide as Robert Neyland began challenging Alabama for their perennial spot on top of the conference standings.  In the 1950s, Jim Goostree, the head trainer for Alabama, began another tradition as he began handing out cigars following a victory over the Volunteers.