Nick Saban: Why He Is Part of ‘Bama Nation
He was relaxed, smiling, and not the “Iceman” the press often paints him as. When he was told I was into writing now, he looked me directly in the eye and asked, “A writer, huh? What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written about me?” Without hesitation, I told him it was when we first hired him and everyone was saying that you were a hired gun and wouldn’t be with us long. I said that might be true, but for now, you’re our hired gun, and I didn’t care if you were or weren’t staying long, just as long as you shot the bad guys. He stayed emotionless for a second, then said, “That’s fair, I guess. And it may have been true at one time, but now I’m an Alabama man. This is my last stop ’til I go to the lake house and hang it up and you can write that.”
SEC West: Will Ole Miss challenge Bama, LSU?
ALABAMA: Can the defense carry this team until the offense grows up? Three very good starters (including Outland Trophy winner Andre Smith) are gone on the offensive line. The Tide will have a new quarterback in Greg McElroy. Alabama still needs a big-time receiver on other side from superstar Julio Jones. The good thing is that the defense, which was third nationally (263.5 ypg) last season, returns nine starters. LB Rolando McClain becomes the de facto leader with the departure of FS Rashad Johnson. NT Terrence Cody has now had a year’s worth of conditioning.
Craig Sanders gives verbal commitment to Alabama
Defensive end/linebacker Craig Sanders of Ariton committed Tuesday to Alabama coach Nick Saban, becoming the 12th verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide’s expected 2010 signing class. Sanders held interest from a number of Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference schools, including Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss and Tennessee. He already projects as a full qualifier academically. “A lot of schools recruited me very hard and really showed me a lot of respect,” Sanders told BamaOnline.com. “Alabama just felt like the best fit from an academic standpoint and as a future student, as well as football.”
CECIL HURT: Saban, Crimson Caravan makes a stop in Atlanta
The latter days of springtime feel about as far from college football action as Nick Saban allows himself to get. But on Tuesday, Saban, the University of Alabama’s head football coach, was speaking in the metro Atlanta area, from the Georgia Dome venue where Alabama came close to earning a national championship shot in December, the same arena where the 2009 quest will begin with a very difficult game against Virginia Tech. To add to the football atmosphere, Saban picked up some leftover hardware from the 2008 season as a representative from The Sporting News was on hand at the Gwinnett Center to give Saban that publication’s 2008 National Coach of the Year Award.