A story about the Nick Saban Crimson Tide Football Camp in today's Sand Mountain Reporter is getting a bit of play across the sports blogosphere. Seems Sardis High School assistant coach Dusty Darnell, who was as a staff member at the one-day Offensive Line/Defensive Line camp held on Saturday, had some interesting first-hand observations about the event.
"[The players] are going to get their money’s worth. I’m an Auburn fan, but I told Alabama’s coach the other day if I had a kid right now, I’d send them to Alabama. They’re going to work if you send them down there."
According to the University of Alabama Athletics website, the camps are "non-contact, skills teaching camp that is designed to give each athlete a solid foundation in the football fundamentals needed to excel at his position." They are also a prime opportunity to give recruits a taste of Coach Saban's coaching style and meet some of the current Crimson Tide players.
According to an unofficial report, about 700 kids showed up for the second three-day High School camp held at the UA campus this weekend.
Darnell described the camps under former Alabama coach Mike Shula as a "dog-and-pony show" and said things have changed dramatically under Coach Saban's guidance. That could be something of an understatement. At Coach Saban's first camp two years ago, about 150 players left early once they got a taste of the conditioning drills, Darnell said.
ESPN's Chris Low says the rigorous workouts have been known to reduce some of the young players to tears. This shouldn't be surprising as Coach Saban has made NFL players cry in the past, as the vid after the jump demonstrates.