Saban Recruiting Can't Be Too Good

If you are among the hundreds who still rely on the emasculated Birmingham News for opinion pieces three days a week, you might be alarmed at an article by Kevin Scarbinsky which paints former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron as suggesting that Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban recruits too many good football players.

Probably, though, you are more concerned about how Nick Saban is doing in recruiting the next few Alabama football classes than what A.J. McCarron purportedly said or how Scarbinsky interprets it.

First, the quote is now at least third-hand to you. According to Scarbinsky, McCarron was on the Jim Rome radio program in New York and offered this on his former Crimson Tide teammates:

"That's the kind of thing that ticks me off about recruiting and when these kids come in and they're five-stars and they expect to play right off the bat. It's a little entitlement, and when they don't play off the bat, they get a little ticked off and they don't want to work.

"We had a lot of young guys. In the end, success was our killer; too much success and a lot of young guys coming in who didn't know what it took to get back to that point to win. They thought we'd just show up and we'd win."

There were a number of curious things about this article.

It is understandable that many would think it was Scarbinsky grasping at straws in an attempt to sway any wavering "five-stars" away from Alabama in these last few days before National Signing Day on Wednesday. A reasonable suggestion is that the newspaper has little influence on high school football stars.

Scarbinsky discussed "Alabama's struggle last season." Alabama was ranked first in the nation for most of the year and after winning three national titles in four years, it must be that expectations are so unrealistic that an 11-2 record is considered a astruggle.

He also points out – as do all Alabama recruiting opponents – "...all those high school hotshots won't be able to play right away and inevitably some of them won't like it."

Enough of them like it as members of Saban's Crimson Tide that Alabama has won more games and more championships than any other team in major college football over the past six years. Bama has won 72 games – an average of 12 per season – in adding those three national championships. And McCarron didn't do it alone. Quite a few highly-ranked players assisted him.

The second thing I thought about was McCarron's analytical ability. I am on record as saying a strong case can be made that he is the best quarterback in storied Alabama history Better than Joe Namath, better than Kenny Stabler.

But in dozens of interviews with McCarron, reporters have heard scant insight. It has not gone unnoticed that McCarron takes a piece of what his coach says and then puts his own spin on it – an interpretation that doesn't have Saban's experience and intellect. His attitude towards a media that was very supportive of him was what Bama beat reporters refer to as "Saban lite."

And mostly I thought that Katherine Webb isn't exactly a three-star project.

My conclusion is that Saban knows better than McCarron, better than Scarbinsky, indeed, better than anyone, what is best for Alabama in football recruiting. I expect to see that view vindicated over upcoming seasons.

Join the discussion of the Alabama football recruiting being too good HERE

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