College football lost a legend early Sunday morning when Bobby Bowden passed away.

While Bowden is known for the dynasty he built in Tallahassee, he reached many folks off the field, too. Former players, former rivals and people around the college football world paid tribute to Bowden Sunday after the news of his passing.

Nick Saban is one of them. The Alabama head coach explained to the media Sunday morning the respect he had for Bowden, not only on the field, but off of it, too. Saban then shared the specific areas he tries to emulate the legendary FSU coach.

“I’ve always tired to emulate Coach Bowden in terms of the class in which he represented his organization with,” Saban said. “He seldom said a bad word about anybody and was always very kind and upbeat to everybody he ever met. He was always that way with me, and I would talk to him on occasion about things that I had a question about professionally.

“There’s probably not many in this profession that I have more respect for than Coach Bowden — not only as a coach and what he accomplished on the field, but the kind of person he was, the kind of character he had and the class he exemplified as a college football coach.”

During his tenure at FSU, Bowden won 2 National Championships and 12 ACC Championships. He was a leader and mentor to many players, coaches and fans.