Alabama earns 'mommy points'

Alabama had hosted four-star defensive tackle Josh Frazier on several occasions, but never his mother. The staff got Donna Frazier to join her son this time around, and it could prove to be a big move down the road. She breaks down the visit and much more inside.

Nick Saban and the mother of four-star Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier, Donna Frazier, had only talked on the phone before Saturday.

And their relationship wasn't what one would call a great one.

"I've talked to Coach Saban via teleconference a couple of times before, and I wasn't very happy initially," Frazier said. "The problem before was that I asked him several questions that delved into the campus and surrounding area and it took him off guard.

"You don't like to take Coach Saban off guard"

This time around, in person after driving in for the LSU game, things dramatically improved. The first thing the staff directed the two toward was Saban's office.

"We met with him for 15 minutes or so," she said. "He gave us his vision and the high points of what he likes about the school for Joshua and I listened and nodded my head.

"He's direct and to the point, and he had some good answers in getting back to me between then (the phone calls) and now."

With Frazier's initial questions about the school answered by Saban and the support staff early into her first visit to Tuscaloosa, she got the chance to learn much more about the champion head coach.

"We are both direct, which is why maybe things didn't work out initially," she said. "But there's a marked difference between them and other schools. You just see why Alabama gets the big names."

The thought began and ended with how Saban handles his program, thoroughly.

"I remember being there and at one moment it hit me, ‘This is how they have the big names,'" Frazier said. "There's this saying that says don't make assumptions because all they do is make an a** out of you and me. Well, they (Alabama) make assumptions. They throw that saying out of the window. But the difference is that they make correct assumptions. They evaluate their players to the point that they know what they're talking about.

"Coach Saban knows that education is important to me. After he talks to you, they're making evaluations about what you're saying, that's one of the things. I actually sat down and made a list, there's 10 things that I saw with Alabama recruiting that I didn't see with others schools."

One notable add on the list was the incredible control Saban has on Alabama, from top to bottom.

Nick Saban made sure to spend time with the Frazier's.

"Here's Nick Saban up in his suite, you think about all the people it takes to put this big game together -- hostesses, food, everything -- you get the feeling Nick Sban is in control from the next play on the field to the amount of pieces of popcorn recruits have on their break," she said laughing. "That's just kind of how you look at it, you think Nick Saban knows how many watts are in the light bulbs, what type of shoe strings are in the shoes.

"He takes that responsibility very seriously and you could tell in the energy of those around him."

The entire presentation, from the initial questions to Saban's "process," had clicked for Donna Frazier. She admitted that Alabama had made a big impression on her.

"They earned some mommy points," she said. "That's kind of how josh and I look at things. He gets a feel for what I like and don't like."

Mom also got to sit back in the wings while the game was about to start, spending time in meeting rooms and with the student development staff because she doesn't like "crowded places" like a stadium. Shortly after, another coach eager to make her aware of his efforts with Josh was Chris Rumph, the Alabama defensive line coach.

"I met some coaches that have been wanting to get me down there I was very impressed with that, and how they did it," she said. "I did enjoy the atmosphere and energy he (Rumph) gave he wasn't over aggressive or like a salesman, he's an intense person and gets the job done.

"My interaction with him, he was very engaging, interested in being able to develop him, which is something Josh likes. At the end of the day, you want your son to be developed by the best, by people who serve a purpose in getting him to where he wants to go."

The game and post-game itself impressed, as well.

"It was very, very exciting, an awesome event," she said. "I basically had an opportunity to see what it's like in Tuscalosoa on a game day. And Josh was given the red carpet treatment…he was in there with Saban, A.J. McCarron and all of these top ranked players. It was a thrill for him."

The anticipation for's No. 22 defensive tackle in the 2014 class was noticeable even before entering the city limits. He tried to mask some of his feelings before mom got the impression of the town and what football and education there has to offer.

"I think he's been secretly holding this program in really, really high regard to me until I got a chance to see it," Frazier said. "He wanted me to see it for myself. You could just tell his excitement was building when we approached the stadium, once we approached Tuscaloosa."

The result was a bond between mother and son that had crossed over to the No. 1 team in America, admittedly for the first time. Donna was once fairly vocal about her son's recruitment to him, before going through the process more thoroughly.

"I didn't like Alabama, I didn't like Coach Saban, I wasn't engaged with the program," she said. "I would like him to go to the Razorbacks, I'd like him to go to A&M, which is where my family and I were from. But when you see God moving a situation, and his plan is a lot different than yours, you have to let go and let God.

"Josh and I have very strong faith, I've spent my days raising him as a single mother in prayer, and God will direct him in where he needs to go. It's not a matter of my comfort. You have to be open to what is happening. If he went to school in Antarctica, that's where he's got to go."

Like Mom, Scout will be anticipating where Frazier ends up at the next level, but Alabama certainly took a step in the right direction on Saturday night.

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