Nick Saban uncomfortable with the amount of attention paid to recruiting
Year after year, Nick Saban has one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
Alabama’s head coach has been very good at convincing players to join the Crimson Tide, and he’s been even better at winning football games and championships with those players.
But Saban is not entirely comfortable with all of the attention paid to recruiting. Recruiting receives a lot of attention in the media, on the internet, among fans and on social media.
“I do think that all the media attention (high school players) get nowadays compared to years past, you know, creates an expectation for the player, which probably is a little bit unfair,” Saban said during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference.
“You’d like the guy to come in and focus on developing,” the coach added. “To improve and be a better player and try to be a good college football player. But sometimes the expectation is so great that they feel a lot of pressure to get results. They’re more worried about playing time than they are developing. It affects their ability to improve, and that’s something that we try to insulate them from, to some degree, by trying to focus with them on what they need to do to get better and be a good player at this level.”
Recruiting rankings are popular among fans, but Saban said his staff doesn’t pay attention to them.
“The rankings mean nothing to us,” he said. “We try to evaluate players based on how they fit the criteria for what we’re looking for at certain positions. What kind of people they are. What kind of students they are, and all that kinda stuff. I just don’t know how accurate that information is sometimes, in terms of how you rate guys.”
Saban said that it’s easier for NFL teams to evaluate their prospects than it is for college teams to evaluate potential recruits.
“I know the NFL spends millions of dollars and has a combine and works out every player they’re gonna draft,” he said. “We still have a hard time getting players rated right. I think it really creates a lot of interest and positive self-gratification for players.
“Some of it’s beneficial. Some of it isn’t.”