For some freshmen, the first year on campus is all about adjusting. Alabama DB Patrick Surtain II, however, barely needed to adjust, as Nick Saban recalled recently when speaking to the media ahead of the Orange Bowl.

“Patrick has done a really, really good job for us this year,” Saban said. “He’s got a maturity about him that’s beyond his years, and he’s been a really, really consistent player. He’s bright, he’s smart, he’s got very good football intuition. He understands what you’re trying to get done and what you’re trying to do and goes out there and executes it fairly well, especially for his experience and his age.

“You know, we sort of brought him along in the first couple games, we just played him about half the time, and then he became a starter, and he’s just done a really good job, and he’s a phenomenal person. Really never been in my office since he’s been there for not doing what he’s supposed to do. He’s really conscientious, good person, cares about other people, cares about his teammates, and is very conscientious in his work. I think all those characteristics have helped him to be able to play early on and play very effectively.”

Saban was probably ready to be asked about Surtain, a native of Plantation, Fla. which is only about 15 miles from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where No. 1 Alabama will take on No. 4 Oklahoma Saturday night. Coming out of American Heritage, Surtain was a 5-star recruit, ranked the No. 1 cornerback, No. 2 Florida product and No. 6 prospect overall nationally in the class of 2018 on the 247Sports Composite. Surtain has played in all 13 games for Alabama, recording six pass breakups, an interception, 1.5 tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble.