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Jumbo Package: Saban’s program is a training ground for NFL coaches, too

With national signing day approaching, Saban is at the forefront. Again.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Alabama Celebration Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. When Brian Daboll left after only one season, the hot takes were everywhere. This first writer has a bit of a different take on the situation.

“As a college program, it’s proving out to be the best,” former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said of Alabama. “So if you want to go work somewhere, go work for the best for a little bit and see what they’re doing right. It’s always good to spend a year with Coach Saban. It just depends on if you can handle it.”

There is a sacrifice, of course. Tuscaloosa is off the beaten path -- far from the bright lights that can be found in most NFL cities. Upon settling in, Saban’s newest underlings quickly learn the hours are long and the labor is intensive. But they often find the payoff is enormous. Careers generally don’t dead end at Alabama. They’re jumpstarted or revitalized and in some cases refashioned.

On Daboll, he mentions that he had run into something of a roadblock in New England and needed to show himself as a playcaller. Contrary to some message board experts, the Buffalo Bills were apparently impressed. When your program is seen not only as the best developer of NFL players but also a proving ground for NFL coaches, what you have is a machine that is going to be difficult to stop.

On to the recruiting...

The coaches have one final recruiting push to make this weekend before the dead period begins Sunday at midnight. The early signing period was supposed to remove some of the drama from early February, but it turns out that this signing day will be the most interesting for Alabama in years, as evidenced by the fact that only four of members of the 2018 class enrolled in January. Some pundits are even suggesting that Saban has an outside chance to pull off yet another #1 class despite limited slots, though that would require everything to break right.

White’s recruitment is a unique one. He committed to Princeton back in July during a family vacation where the Whites decided to visit the Ivy League school. White texted Herrington that he was going to commit to Princeton, which caused the coach to simply respond by saying, “What?”

“We’re talking about one of the top quarterbacks in California,” Herrington told SEC Country. “I knew with the way he was practicing that he was going to have another remarkable season. He did. He threw 54 touchdowns and only had 5 interceptions. He had just under 4,000 yards and didn’t play in the fourth quarter in over half our games.”

Joining the telecast will be a number of head coaches, including Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Urban Meyer(Ohio State), Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M), Kirby Smart (Georgia) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson). ESPN reporters stationed at various universities across the country will provide insight as to what each commitment means for the chosen school.

Former Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy will be reporting from Tuscaloosa.

“Alex did a great job this year,” Saban told Achatz. “When young guys come into the program, it’s really important for them to focus on the things they need to do to become a good player. Offensive line is a difficult position to play early in a career. Alex worked hard all year long and when he got an opportunity in the championship game, he did a great job.”

“Speaking on my end, I think all of those three (Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia), they’re all good choices,” Harber said. “And I think that he’s going to make the right decision. Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, none of ‘em would surprise me on February 7. None of ‘em. I really do think it’s that close, to be honest with you.”

A name to keep an eye on, though, is JJ Peterson.

The four-star Georgia native has a strong relationship with Jeremy Pruitt and committed to Tennessee in early January. However, he took an official visit to Alabama January 19. And it seems like there’s still a chance he could sign with the Tide.

Peterson is the No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 48 overall prospect in this year’s class, according to the 247 Composite.

To recap, the Tide could end up with three five-star DBs or none, have no idea whether a top 100 LB commit is going to stick, may or may not sign a QB, and could wind up anywhere from #1 to #7 or #8 in the class rankings when it all shakes out. Just do the moral thing and take Wednesday off, folks. You know you aren’t going to do any work that day.

The Tuscaloosa News has an outstanding series out on Saban and Bryant, headlined by Aaron Suttles and Cecil Hurt. Take some time and read it. You won’t be disappointed.

TideSports is looking back at the careers and legacies of both legendary coaches. Our special coverage examines the roots of the coaches, their styles, personalities, accomplishments and more.

You can order a copy of the section by calling Delicia Poole at 205-722-0128 for $5 per section, plus $5 for shipping and handling. The section will be in print for subscribers in Tuscaloosa on Sunday, February 4.

Just fantastic stuff. There are quite a few parallels between the two men who both grew up in the country and became famous for bringing football trophies to Tuscaloosa.

Dennis Dodd wrote about the case for all of the Ole Miss transfers to play early.

In a key exchange provided to CBS Sports, Patterson tells future Ole Miss teammate Tre Nixon in a direct message on Jan. 29, 2016, “… don’t listen to any of that crap. [The violations] happened before freeze was even here. The worst thing that can happen will be we lose one or two scholarships for next year. Nothing serious …”

In summary, Sleazy Jim may get to have a five-star QB this year because Sleazy Hugh is a lying scumbag. Seriously, Shea, does your Momma not get involved in these decisions at all, son?

Last but not least, this is just embarrassing.

If any of you RBR regulars are among these three, keep it quiet lest you be banned immediately.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.