Nick Saban recalls trying to recruit Mark Stoops to Michigan State: 'I wasn't a very good recruiter back in those days'
Ohio has long been a recruiting hot bed, and that was certainly the case when Nick Saban coached at Michigan State.
The Stoops brothers were also notable recruiting targets, and Saban shared on the SEC coaches media teleconference on Wednesday ahead of the Kentucky-Alabama game how he tried to recruit the now Kentucky coach.
“Well, Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown was part of my recruiting area for a long time and you know all the Stoops brothers came through there,” Saban said. “That’s where they went to school with their dad was a defensive coordinator there. Even though they all ended up at Iowa. We still tried to recruit them at Michigan State when I was at Michigan State, and Don Bucci was the coach. Ron was a defensive coordinator, which was their dad, who I had a really good relationship with. You know I’m gonna admit and I wasn’t a very good recruiter back in those days.”
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was once upon a time a Kentucky commit, but he’s developed into a Heisman Trophy contender leading the high-flying Crimson Tide offense.
“You know he was probably 180, 185 pounds, was not very strong needed to sort of, mature physically and very very smart bright guy that you know actually took advantage of, you know, being behind some very good quarterbacks,” Saban said. “Jalen (Hurts) into his time here and use those experiences I think to help themselves develop but the guy had one of those attitudes where he just wanted to get better, and he just wanted to improve and, you know, be a player here, and you know that’s that something has paid tremendous dividends for him because he’s made progress since he’s a freshman and playing very well for us right now.”
Saban also noted how Kentucky’s offensive line is, “probably one of the best we’ve play this year.”
“They do a good job as playing together, combo blocks… they are big, have power and usually control the line of scrimmage against most teams, that’s why they’ve been so successful,” Saban said.