Happy Friday, everyone. Nick Saban made the rounds yesterday, speaking about the recruiting class and other things. He was asked the annual question about retirement, and gave a pretty thoughtful answer that you can read here if you like. I prefer the video, personally.
That’s great news. Maybe he should hire few equipment managers to handle the recruiting.
Speaking of annual conversations, Jerry Jeudy weighs in on Bama vs. the worst NFL team.
Could the 2020 Alabama football team have beaten the Jaguars or the Jets?
“Yeah, actually I was thinking about that this year,” Jeudy told FanSided‘s Mark Carman on behalf of Old Spice. “Watching them play this year, these guys are so good, I think they could beat an NFL team. Maybe. Maybe.”
Opening up the Greatest Hits of Offseasons Past early this year. So, what say you? Could the Tide have beaten a Jacksonville squad that surrendered 6.3 YPP to NFL offenses, and was quarterbacked by Gardner Minshew and sixth round rookie Jake Luton out of Oregon State?
Nick also chimed in on this very different year in recruiting, as it was in every other facet of life.
“We also included the families in virtual practice. We included them in virtual medical meetings, virtual strength and conditioning, academics, academic appointments,” Saban said. “Is it better in person? Yeah, I’d much rather have personal relationships and be able to have people visit us and show hospitality and they get a chance to meet more people, not just the person who are actually Zooming with them. But we had a lot of people contribute in trying to do that in a lot of ways, including our players in some cases.”
In several cases, the relationships they built were enough to secure recruitments in the closing days and weeks. It held a commitment from five-star running back Camar Wheaton despite heavy interest from Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M in the closing weeks, and won the race for four-star defensive back Terrion Arnold over Georgia and Florida on Wednesday.
While Alabama has the best of the best in terms of facilities and campus environment, I suspect that players not getting to take visits contributed to this haul. It’s much easier for a player to get caught up in the emotion of being the BMOC when the red carpet is rolled out for him on an official visit. This year, the conversations with the coaches were basically all they had to go on, and Nick Saban is always going to win in that scenario.
Wide receiver was one of this year’s key position groups, and the Tide pulled in four of the top ten. Two of them, JaCorey Brooks and Agiye Hall, are taller than any of the Rydeouts at 6’3”. Josh Pate asked Nick if that was intentional.
We typically don't have guests on Late Kick but when a friend of the program knocks you always open the door. pic.twitter.com/HrPdfadvee— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) February 5, 2021
No offense to Mr. Pate here, but it’s kind of a silly question after two of the smaller guys went in the first round and two more are about to, including the Heisman winner who was the key driver in the most prolific offense in CFB history. Still, this is a very specialized group with two clear outside types and two slot types. It will be interesting to see how they mesh.
Terrion Arnold is a legit basketball talent in addition to a top 50 football prospect.
Oats chimed in Wednesday evening about Arnold.
“He’s tough. [Assistant] Coach [Bryan] Hodgson as been recruiting him hard,” Oats said after a win over LSU. “Him and Kool-Aid [McKinstry] are both guys that can play both [sports]. We teamed up with football to recruit him. He’s a tough, gritty point guard type that can get in the ball. We like him. Shoot, I FaceTimed with him this afternoon. Excited to bring him in.”
“[Saban’s] message to me was just, ‘Why not come to a winning program?’’’ Arnold said during the ESPN telecast that aired his announcement. “The competition level there is high-level competition, and if I feel like I’m one of the best players in the country, why not go compete with the best?’’
We are happy to have you, Terrion. You can check out some of his hoopin’ highlights below.
Nice handle. You can never have too many guys who can dribble.
Last, we saw Jalen Hurts and Landon Dickerson doing good works yesterday. Tua Tagovailoa has now started his own foundation.
The nonprofit organization’s first action featured donations of $16,667 apiece to the Police Athletic League of North Miami, Big Oak Ranch and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, which is in Hawaii.
Big Oak Ranch aims to help abused, abandoned and neglected children “by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.” Founded by former Alabama football standout John Croyle in 1974, Big Oak Ranch now operates Big Oak Boys’ Ranch in Gadsden, Big Oak Girls’ Ranch in Springville and Big Oak Cattle. Croyle’s son, former Alabama and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle, is the organization’s executive director.
No one could have ever doubted that Tua would find a way to impact the world.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.