RECRUITING: Saban’s philosophy emerges

One theme has emerged in Nick Saban’s work on his 2008 recruiting class. He wants talented players, but he wants more than just football skills.

So far, the verbal commitments have come from players who bring both solid character and hard work to the practice field.

In conversations with the coaches who know the early verbal pledges the best, the coaches spend more time talking about the character attributes than gridiron abilities. And that is refreshing.


When Pleasant Grove defensive coordinator Greg Appling said Brandon Lewis was “a kid you would want for your own,” that’s much higher praise than saying he’s a talented defensive lineman. It speaks about the person’s heart and soul.

Pickens County High School coach Jack Cook praised his standout linemen, Michael Williams, but it was the off-the-field tribute of which Cook was proudest: “They (college coaches) won’t have to worry about where he is Saturday night or about his grades.” COMING SOON:PROFILE OF WILLIAMS

These players possess core values like hard work, humility and integrity. People need these traits to excel in the real world, and having them in football players is the surest foundation for success. And Championships.

Nick Saban knows players like these are winners on and off the field. It is a refreshing approach—an approach worthy of an academic institution, because these players should be ambassadors for the University (unlike some past players who shall remain nameless.)

The more we learn about Nick Saban. The more we like him and his philosophy.