Why does Nick Saban think Alabama has success in recruiting the state of Georgia?
This past season, Alabama won a mythical national championship in the Rivals’ team recruiting rankings with a stellar class that included eight of Georgia’s top prospects.
Why the success? It’s almost like Saban lives in Georgia, a reporter suggested.
“Well, I still have a home in Georgia,” Saban quickly replied at a recent celebrity golf tournament.
The coach lives next door to this stunning mansion on Lake Burton. However, Saban’s place is considered just as nice, and he’s a partial investor in the mansion, according to an Alabama spokesman.
He was joking. But his recruiting in these parts – and across the Southeast – is no joke. The part-time Georgian explained his recruiting success within the state:
“I think we work hard in recruiting and try to have a good program,” Saban said. “We try to help the kids in our program be successful personally, academically, and athletically. There are a lot of good football players over here in Georgia.
“We want to do a good job in a five-hour radius of Tuscaloosa. Atlanta is the great city with the great population, and has a lot of football players in it. There’s good high school football in this state and good academics, too. It has worked out well for us.”
How will Alabama having all those first-rounders in last month’s NFL draft affect its overall recruiting efforts? The Crimson Tide had four drafted in the first round – coming off a BCS championship season.
“I think the fact in ’09 we had 13 guys sign NFL contracts and this year we had 14 [helps],” Saban said. “I think the most important thing we do in our program is we help our players develop personally and academically. We had 38 guys make the SEC Honor Roll last fall, which is one of the highest ever in the conference. We have a high graduation rate, and we have a high level [of winning] on the field. I think our program’s success is about being able to do all three of those things well.”
Alabama is off to a fast start for 2013 with 11 commitments, led by former Troupe High School LB Reuben Foster, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect.
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