Happy Friday, everyone. A young LSU fan managed to sneak into SEC Media Days this week in effort to bribe Nick Saban out of Tuscaloosa.
Speaking at the Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills at the annual Nick’s Kids Foundation golf tournament on Thursday, Saban confirmed that he was approached while at SEC meetings in Destin, Florida, this week by someone – reportedly a high school junior – who offered him $5,000 to stop beating his LSU Tigers.
“He made an offer for me to retire or come back to LSU, one or the other,” Saban said with a grin. “But I think LSU has a good coach. They have a lot of good players. We’ve had a lot of competitive games with them, and I’m sure it’ll be no different in the future.”
If you’d like to hear the entirety of Saban’s comments, here you go.
In other news, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day says it takes a lot of money to build a contender nowadays.
“If the speed limit’s 45 miles per hour, and you drive 45 miles per hour, a lot of people are going to pass you by,” Day said. “If you go too fast, you’re going to get pulled over.”
So that’s the middle ground Ohio State said it wants. What is that? Maybe 53 miles per hour? Maybe 57 if the weather is good and the roads are empty?
Day said the Buckeyes have been gathering information by talking to recruits and their families and getting a sense of what other schools might be discussing with NIL deals. He said he believes right now top-shelf quarterbacks require $2 million in NIL money. Major offensive tackles and edge rushers he said are about $1 million.
I remain unconvinced that boosters are going to come up with this kind of money in perpetuity to buy high school talent. Players will bust out, transfer, etc. and the market will reset itself whether or not the NCAA or conferences come up with so called “guardrails.”
Athlon’s top 25 is out, and you know who is number one.
Alabama is the unanimous preseason No. 1 across several major organizations, including 247Sports, thanks to the return of Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young and star edge rusher Will Anderson. Toss in a couple instant-impact transfers and the No. 2 signing class for 2022 and Alabama should be playing for a playoff spot in early December once again. One thing to keep an eye on is a new receiving corps for Young, as Alabama lost John Metchie and Jameson Williams to the NFL Draft, but with the addition of Tyler Harrell from Louisville and Jermaine Burton from Georgia, that position should not be a major concern.
Rat poison is unavoidable this offseason.
Alabama isn’t really mentioned in the top recruiting storylines piece below, and Saban is probably happy about that. Billy Napier is though, and he has a hill to climb.
Well, we’re six months into the 2023 cycle and Florida has only five commitments. Of those five commitments, only one is rated inside the top 300.
Florida needs a big finish, and it has plenty of open spots. The Gators are still involved with a ton of top-50 players: cornerback Cormani McClain of Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson, cornerback AJ Harris of Phenix City (Ala.) Central, cornerback Tony Mitchell of Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson, linebacker Malik Bryant of Orlando (Fla.) Jones, running back Cedric Baxter Jr. of Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater and safety Joenel Aguero of Danvers (Mass.) St. John’s Prep.
Can Napier be the anti-Dan Mullen and close the deal on a top class?
Last, ESPN decided to rank projected starting QBs in tiers.
Tier 1: Heisman or bust (three players)
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud
USC’s Caleb Williams
Alabama’s Bryce Young
Barring something catastrophic, it’s fair to say these three can safely book their flights to New York for the Heisman ceremony now. Young could become just the second player in history to win a second Heisman after taking home the hardware last year. Stroud was a finalist in 2021, and had Williams been Oklahoma’s starter from Week 1, he might have been there, too. Williams got his first start in Week 7, and from that point on, these three combined for an 89.3 Total QBR with 90 total touchdowns and just 15 turnovers.
I watched all three of those dudes fairly extensively last year, and to my eyes Caleb Williams didn’t belong in the conversation with the other two. Granted, he was a true freshman and might make that leap this year, but Young and Stroud looked much stronger passing the football, particularly down the stretch.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.