FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Alabama coach Nick Saban attended the South’s practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium on Monday.
He said he wasn’t surprised that Falcons rookie wide receiver Julio Jones turned in a strong year and led the rookie class with eight touchdowns.
“He’s focused on what he wants to do,” said Saban, who coached Jones at Alabama. “He stays focused on the things that are going to affect his performance and he’s very mature about it. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he had a great year as a rookie. A lot of people criticized the Falcons for moving up to pick him. I think it was worthwhile for them and I think he proved them very much right.”
Saban on Paterno
Saban said that he considered former Penn State coach Joe Paterno a friend and that his death was a loss for college football.
“I can’t say enough about what he did for college football and his dedication to college football,” Saban said. “I don’t think anybody can; for the success that he had and the impact that he had and how he affected other people.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog