Former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Rob Ezell won't show up in your highlight reels. The walk-on from Athens High School arrived at the University of Alabama in 2007, the same year Nick Saban took over as head coach. Over the next four years, Ezell played largely in the background alongside future NFL star Julio Jones, plus Heisman Trophy winners Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, and was a member of Alabama's 2009 BCS National Championship team.
Ezell worked his tail off, but he rarely took the field as a receiver in college football — the state champion quarterback did take a few snaps in a 2010 blowout versus Georgia State and appeared in spot duty as a wideout. However, those games on the sideline offered plenty of time for Ezell to perfect the greatest Saban impression you may ever see.
While ESPN profiled Alabama for a special that aired after their undefeated season, Ezell, who was a senior at the time, was caught on camera doing a spot-on impersonation of the legendary college football coach.
"There's a couple of them that can really imitate me," Saban told ESPN. "If you really want to have a good interview, get Ezell some time."
That's exactly what happened with the entire team watching.
Rob Ezell's Nick Saban Impression
"Hey guys. We got a lot of guys here, you come to practice, and you don't make weight. And you tell me you don't eat anything. Well I know the air ain't got calories, guys!"
"Today's practice was awful. And let me tell you this. The day I can't get you guys to do it right, I'm going to go to the lake, sit on the docks, and watch the ducks s*** in the yard!"
Ezell told reporters after the video went viral that Saban enjoyed it just as much as everyone else, but when asked to do it again? Yeah, right.
"I can't. I can't. I can't do it, guys. I really can't," Ezell laughed. "I got away with it once. I don't think he's gonna let it happen again without me having to do, you know, 40 [40-yard sprints] at 6 a.m."
What Happened to Rob Ezell?
— Rob Ezell (@RobEzell) October 20, 2019
After graduation, the former walk-on remained with the Alabama football program as a volunteer assistant in 2011. He then followed former Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain to Colorado State, where Ezell worked as a graduate assistant for three seasons.
In 2015, Ezell joined Saban's coaching staff as a graduate assistant and offensive analyst, a position he remained into the 2019 season.
"He's ready to move on to learn how to be a college coach," Deb Ezell, Rob's mother, told The Ledger-Enquirer back in 2011. "That's what his dream has been since he was a little boy: to play on a D-I team and to become a college coach."
He's now the tight ends coach at the University of South Alabama.
Ezell is still living out that dream, and I hope a few Saban impersonations still find their way into position meetings. (As long as coach isn't watching...)
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