We’re justifiably excited that Georgia landed three five-star recruits in the 2016 class, but to keep things in perspective, consider that over the last four seasons, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings, Alabama averaged at least three five-stars per class.
Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules
Well, now, this is an interesting development.
One day after Oneonta linebacker Riley Cole decommitted from Alabama, his father David called into JOX FM’s Opening Drive to clear the air.
The main points: the Cole family was most disappointed in the timing of the decision, said communication was the major issue…
“The respect I have for Coach Saban and his family, I can’t describe enough about it,” David Cole said on JOX. “I really don’t think he knew about what was trying to be presented to us.”
But after Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker – Cole’s primary recruiters – left for Georgia, communication started to drop. Last Friday – just five days before National Signing Day – the grayshirt talk came up with Cole.
“Communication was the biggest problem and when Riley asked them to give an answer, they wouldn’t give him a straight answer,” David Cole said. “We got the impression they were wanting to wait until after National Signing Day, see who they got, and then let Riley know if they wanted to grayshirt him.”
So Cole claims a miscommunication problem, one that Saban didn’t know about? Well, now, indeed.
Who’s the supposed guilty party? Hey, looky here!
Alabama discussed with the Coles that Riley might redshirt his freshman season, but the idea of grayshirting – pushing his enrollment back from this summer until next January – was never discussed.
Until Friday, when David Cole said Pruitt, Alabama’s new defensive coordinator, mentioned grayshirting as a possibility in a conversation with Riley. David Cole said it appeared Alabama wanted to wait until after Signing Day – until other linebacker prospects announced their school choices – to decide whether Riley should grayshirt.
Okay, to be fair, we only have one side of the story, as coaches can’t comment on recruits until they sign with the school, but if Pruitt’s going off half-cocked without supervision, well, I can’t say that comes as much of a surprise. And so much for those of you who suggested that Saban would have Pruitt flying right, because he’s Nick Saban.
Al.com ponders whether Nick Saban can keep the recruiting ball rolling at Alabama – c’mon, fellas… really? – and notes one issue the man has to grapple with.
But there are a number of factors working against the Tide in this recruiting cycle. Alabama fans celebrated the return of some of the top stars from the 2015 squad but that also means fewer opportunities for early playing time for top recruits, something that other schools could use against Alabama on the recruiting trail.
There’s also the matter of Kirby Smart. Once considered the Tide’s ace recruiter, Smart has moved on to Georgia, where he’s already made a massive impact on the recruiting trail. Smart has the Bulldogs ranked 7th nationally in the recruiting rankings, one spot ahead of Alabama, and is battling with the Tide on some of the top prospects from both Georgia and Alabama.
Let’s wait and see how that plays out on signing day, eh? (Although I admit the lead up to then is fun to watch.)
Asked to summarize after last night’s win, here’s what Kirby Smart had to say about Nick Saban’s record:
“I don’t think anyone understands what that is,” Smart said. “Four national championships in seven years in a world where there is parity. It’s going to be that way. You have to change quarterbacks every other year.
“Kids come and go. Kids transfer. It’s just a different world of college football and there’s so much parity. For him to do that, it speaks volumes of his coaching ability. Nobody realizes how much mental effort, execution and ideas this guy puts into it. He lives, sleeps and breathes football.”
All of which begs the question… actually, two questions: (1) do you think Georgia is getting the same level of commitment/obsession in Smart; and (2) do you think (maybe it’s more relevant to ask if you care) that same level of commitment/obsession is healthy?
Shorter four random pundits: Hey, this Kirby Smart fella can coach a little.
In 1994, Alabama coach Nick Saban — then the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator — was hired as Michigan State’s coach with several weeks still left in the NFL season.
With Saban staying with the Browns through the end of the season, then-Cleveland coach Bill Belichick gave Saban a secretary to take any Michigan State-related calls during the day while Saban focused on the Browns.
Later in the day, Saban could then return the calls and handle any other Michigan State-related matters.
Saban said that helped during that process.
So Saban gave former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain a secretary when Colorado State hired McElwain as its coach in 2011 with the Tide in the midst of preparing to face Notre Dame in the national championship game.
Smart has one, too.
Saban gave Smart a secretary shortly after he was hired by Georgia and told him that he should be done with his Alabama-related work by a certain time each night to give him an opportunity to take care of Georgia-related matters.
That’s something of a win-win for both Smart and his boss. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Junior surreptitiously goes through Smart’s messages.