Paul Finebaum sees Kevin Steele almost in a class by himself among Alabama assistants, current and former, and that plays a strong role in why the new defensive coordinator is a sound hire.

Finebaum outlined that thought process during his regular segment on WJOX in Birmingham, Alabama on the “McElroy and Cubelic In the morning” show.

“I think he’s a fantastic choice, for a lot of reasons,” Finebaum said. “He understands Nick Saban of any assistant coach, maybe short of Kirby Smart, in the entire country. They worked together, as you know Cole, remained friends, even when he was at Auburn, Kevin was at Auburn, Saban and Steele talked occasionally, they’re similar ages, they have vast backgrounds.”

Finebaum added that no matter how Saban arrived at this development to hire Steele, and the extent to how deep Jeremy Pruitt was involved, the ESPN commentator said Saban is not only confident in Steele’s ability, but he’s also comfortable with him as a coach and colleague.