The paparazzi (known in these parts as photographers) swarmed Saban as he entered the lobby and flashbulbs went off as if Paris Hilton was in town, leaving Alabama players Simeon Castille, who was included on the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award watch list released Wednesday, and junior center Antoine Caldwell standing alone in Saban's wake.
"Just this morning when we were walking in me and Anotine Caldwell were being him," Castille said. "Coach Saban walks in first and every person in there was just on him, and me and Antoine were just standing there by ourselves, like, ‘alright I think we can go now.' It's crazy."
There were at least 10 staff members from the University of Alabama to accompany Saban and the two players (two UA photographers, two Crimson Tradition videographers and six members of the media relations staff) in addition to the SEC staff which was also serving as part of the entourage.
Asked is Saban had brought a new level of excitement, Castille said, "Everybody that saw the a-day game and how many people where out there can tell. Ninety-plus thousand people at a spring game is unheard of."
Castille said the team has a point system relating to disciplinary matters such as going to class and study halls.
"He's really big on doing the little things right," Castille said. "He wants us to realize there are consequences when we don't. They keep track of points on players being late to class, missing class, being late to a tutor miss tutor. It's really a big change from last year to this year."
In other notable moments yesterday, Tommy Tuberville said that linebacker Tray Blackmon "reminds me of Ray Lewis," whom Tuberville coached when he was an assistant at Miami, and Steve Spurrier, an avid golfer, said he'd soured on golf.