Ronnie Harrison responds to Nick Saban's comments about leaving early for NFL Draft
On Saturday, Nick Saban was asked if he can tell a difference with his team during spring practice after players leave early for the NFL Draft.
Of course, Saban said he could and that every team can. Then, Saban went on a four-minute dive into players leaving early for the NFL Draft. You can watch all of his comments here.
During the four minutes, Saban — without naming names — said the following about a specific third round draft pick from Alabama in 2018.
“Now, we have guys that have no draft grades, seventh-round grades, free-agent grades, fifth-round grades that are going out to the draft. And the person that loses in that is the player,” Saban said. “If you’re a third-round draft pick, and we had one here last year — I’m not going to say any names — goes and starts for his team, so he’s making third-round money, which is not that great. He’d be the first guy taken at his position this year, probably, and make $15-18 million more. So, the agent makes out, the club makes out, and now they’ve got a guy that is going to play for that kind of money for three more years, aight.”
Without saying Ronnie Harrison’s name — Harrison was Alabama’s only third-round pick, Saban implied that Harrison would have been better to stay at Alabama and enter the NFL Draft this year as opposed to last year, where he was a third-round pick. We can debate whether or not that’s criticism, but Saban is saying that should he have stayed, he would be making much more money as a higher pick and that he essentially left a lot of money on the table.
Harrison took to social media about the comments, and he wasn’t happy.
Coaches get so Butt Hurt Now Days About a Kid Making a Decision to live out his dreams and Go Pro. Makes me think do you really care about the success of the kid or how well your program performs? 🤷🏿♂️💯 #KeepMyNameOutYaMouth #Bama #Saban #GodGotIt
— Ronnie Harrison II (@Rharr_15) April 7, 2019
The Jaguars picked Harrison in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft and signed him to a four-year $3.38 million contract that included a signing bonus of $803,032. He eventually won the starting safety job, but his season was cut short due to a knee injury. He finished his rookie season with 32 tackles, one sack, three passes defended and one INT.