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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban on Michael Jordan, Scott Cochran, and 2021 recruiting

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Alabama Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Josh Pate at 247sports managed to land an exclusive interview with Nick Saban, and it is outstanding. Most in the media are focused on Saban’s reaction to this Michael Jordan quote from “The Last Dance.”

Few people have the obsession with greatness of those three men. The cost is high, particularly in terms of relationships. On recruiting in the pandemic:

“And I understand that because players had a very limited opportunity to go to junior days — maybe one in February, one maybe early in March — so they didn’t get to see very much, and they want to secure a spot in terms of what their knowledge base is relative to what they have seen. But we’ve tried to continue in our evaluation process, which is very important to us, so that we get the players that are good fits for us in terms of what our critical factors are at every position. We’ve got to continue along those lines rather than getting a whole bunch of commitments and then maybe some of the better players out there that you’d like to recruit or have an opportunity to recruit, you lose out on because you have so many commitments from other people. So, we haven’t changed our philosophy in how fast we take players from an uptake standpoint. We’ve continued to evaluate with the tools that we have, which is obviously not spring recruiting or summer camps, but to be thorough in really knowing as much as we can about the players that we do take.”

Saban doesn’t seem worried in the least. He isn’t making a firm offer to a kid until he knows he wants him, and you can bet that he will end up poaching some that are already committed. He also mentions that the athletic department personnel who are reporting to the complex are tested every day, which makes you wonder if they already have the capacity to test players in that fashion, and also touches on the transition from Scott Cochran to David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea. Great stuff.

As Cecil notes, particularly if testing is available to the players, they are probably safer on campus.

There are many factors that Dr. Stuart Bell and the other presidents will have to consider but some are starting to be a fait accompli. As states, particularly in the South, open up more and more, what are the pros and cons of bringing athletes back onto campus. Which is better, for instance? Having athletes at home, trusting to social distancing when they can essentially go to restaurants with their friends, or to get in a workout at the local Globo-Gym? Is that better or worse than a more strictly monitored situation with quick access to medical personnel, meals in a secure environment and Nick Saban enforcement of social distancing measures? Are they going to be more exposed to at-risk populations or less?

Also, many of the players don’t have a lot of family with which to shelter.

Trump knows where his bread is buttered.

In the end, Trump - like the rest of us - did want to see stadiums full for the upcoming football season.

“We want to get sports back,” Trump said. “We miss sports. We need sports in terms of the psyche of our country. We want big big stadiums loaded with people. We don’t want to have 15,000 people watching Alabama-LSU, as an example.”

We do too, Donald, as long as it’s safe.

The most spectacularly named recruit in the 2020 cycle has Bama in the top 5.

Recruiting insiders seem very positive on Alabama’s chances for the Pinson Valley five-star.

Jon Gruden spoke about Henry Ruggs III.

“We were able to really concentrate on Henry Ruggs, from our house, make a specific reel to ask him specific questions. We even asked him to memorize formations and asked him to regurgitate it to us, and I don’t think we had a receiver or anybody at any position perform better in terms of football intelligence than Henry Ruggs. A lot of it has to do with Alabama, playing the pro style system. A lot of it really had to do with this guy has the ‘it’ factor. He loves it. He learns it quick. Comes easy to him.

“And we all know he’s fast physically. But when you find out he’s fast mentally, he can handle a lot of stuff. We think we’ve got someone with a chance to be great. You remember Cliff Branch. You remember the speed factor with the Raiders. It’s something we have to get back in our organization and we think Ruggs will be a big part of it.”

It’s not the Raiders if they aren’t throwing bombs.

Last, nothing will lighten your mood like a skateboard riding pup.

Cuteness overload.

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

Roll Tide.