It’s very clear by listening to Nick Saban that the Alabama coach has a special relationship with his star quarterback.

Of course, by now everyone knows that Tua Tagovailoa was lost for the season on Saturday after suffering a hip injury in Alabama’s game in Starkville.

It was a devastating loss for the Crimson Tide and may be the final time we ever see Tua take the field for Alabama.

Based on what Saban had to say on Monday, emotions are still running high in Tuscaloosa following the injury to Tagovailoa.

“We lost a great leader, a great player on our team and we are all hurting because of it,” Saban said to open his Western Carolina press conference. “Like anytime you lose somebody in your family, for whatever reasons, everyone in the family is hurting. This is all about people and this is all about the person. We are pleased that the surgery went successfully today and they expect him to have a full recovery.

“I talked to Tua — look, I feel bad. I’m hurting. I call him on Saturday night to cheer him up, he cheers me up. I call him last night because I’ve been sitting in that room for 10 hours yesterday watching film, I call him to cheer him up, he cheers me up. So this is a guy that has great spirit, he’s very positive about just about everything that he does, the effect he has on other people. I think he has been a great ambassador for college football in terms of the class that he shows, the way he goes about what he does and how he affects other people. I don’t think there’s any way any of us can say we won’t miss that spirit, that he has.

“The first thing he says to me last night when I tell him good luck with your surgery tomorrow, he said, ‘I just can’t wait to get back and see the game on Saturday.'”

You can check out a video of Saban’s comments below courtesy of Alex Byington: