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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban for President?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Ross Dellenger wrote a fantastic piece on the relationship between Nick Saban and longtime DL coach Pete Jenkins.

Pete Jenkins knows his visitor is arriving to discuss his relationship with arguably the greatest coach in college football history. He is prepared, holding multiple marked-up notebook pages with what he says are the characteristics that make Nick Saban the best.

Hard worker. Great communicator. Forgiving (yes, he says, it’s true). Compassionate (yes, this too is true). Holds everyone accountable. Excellent talent evaluator. Intelligent. Saban is smart enough that he would be successful in any field, including the political realm, Jenkins says. “If he were the president of this country, it’d be a better country.”

That’s a funny quip, but there is all kinds of great history in there. It’s probably the best thing you will read today.

Saban spoke to reporters about bowl practice yesterday.

— Saban said they allowed players to go home for Christmas break last year and gave them a “care package” that helped explain what they need to do to stay safe. Saban said they have already implemented their policies from last year. “We’re going to keep doing that,” he said. “Am I concerned? I’m always concerned when there’s an issue out there.” He said players need to “respect it” and Alabama has done a good job of vaccinated and has over 90 percent of its players boosted.

Regardless of what one thinks of the current rules that are in place, and you aren’t alone if you think they should be reevaluated, the bottom line is that positive test results could have a profound impact on the game. This is smart policy from Saban.

He also mentioned that some wide receivers have looked solid in John Metchie’s stead and said Chris Allen is still trying to get back to where he needs to be health-wise. I’ll embed his entire presser below.

Those of you who live in select markets can catch the playoff games at a movie theater, should you so desire.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc., one of the world’s largest and most influential movie theatre companies, today announced it is teaming up with ESPN to bring some of college football’s most exciting and prestigious games to the big screen, only at Cinemark theatres. This postseason, fans can catch the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl and the biggest game of all, the College Football Playoff National Championship, at select U.S. theatres.

Seems like a pretty cool way to watch the game if you can’t get there in person.

Alex Scarbrough outlines why recruiting is more of an effort than ever.

Signing Day, capital “S,” capital “D,” has been diminished in recent years thanks to the December early signing period, which began in 2017 and wound up supplanting the longstanding February signing day; the transfer portal, which went online a year later and removed the need for coaches’ approval to move freely; and the onetime exception, which went into effect last year and allowed players to change schools once without having to sit out a season.

Many players are transferring before they’re even eligible to leave their freshman dorms. At last check, 46.1% of athletes in the portal were either first- or second-year players.

An SEC coach said it’s no longer debatable; they have to play freshmen.

“Otherwise,” the coach said, “a bunch of guys are going to jump in the portal.”

Basically, coaches now have to recruit their existing roster on a daily basis in addition to recruiting new talent. Some think that’s a good adjustment to the power structure and perhaps it is, but Saban has voiced concerns on many occasions about the inability to instill discipline in such an environment. Those who don’t buy in will simply move on.

Last, Marcus Banks has his transfer destination.

The defensive back will be continuing his collegiate career at Mississippi State, he posted on social media Monday night.

“I’m a dawg,” reads the graphic next to a picture of him in a Bulldog uniform.

The 2019 signee wasn’t recruited by Mississippi State coming out of Houston’s Dekaney High School.

Best of luck, Marcus.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.