Nick Saban is a legendary figure in the college football world and part of his phenomenal success at Alabama (and LSU and Michigan State before that) is the ability to lure the best prospects in the country via recruiting. This week, part of Saban’s magnificent ability as a recruiter was highlighted in a first-person post on the Players Tribune written by former Alabama defensive lineman and future first-round NFL Draft pick Jonathan Allen.
In the piece, Allen praises Saban for a myriad of things but he also sheds light on the fact that a massive part of his decision to commit to Alabama came from the head coach simply saying that “(he) already ate” when Allen’s mother offered him food. Here is what Allen had to say:
“He said thank you, but no thank you, he already ate. He hit her with the already ate. And all joking aside — Coach was incredibly polite, and I share that story purely out of love — it was a pretty telling moment for me. In this weird way, it told me everything that I needed to know about about Coach Saban’s intentions. And what I mean by that is: Coach Saban hadn’t come over to put on a show, or to flatter us, or to tell us what he thought we wanted to hear. He didn’t make some big sales pitch, or promise the moon. He didn’t promise a starting spot, or SEC dominance, or national titles, or NFL riches — none of that. Truthfully, Coach didn’t promise me a thing. But what he did do was sit across from me … and answer every single one of my questions … and treat me like an adult.”
Allen’s post continued to enlighten the world on Saban’s no-nonsense style and, while that isn’t a shock to those who can see his public persona, it is certainly another thing entirely to project that during the recruiting process.
It has to be noted that Saban’s direction in recruiting probably isn’t for everyone and, contrary to popular belief, Alabama doesn’t lure every five-star prospect annually. Still, there is a reason that he is the best in the business and Jonathan Allen let the world see a part of that.