Nick Saban's Non-Committable Offers Show How Alabama Doesn't Recruit, It Drafts

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMay 23, 2013

Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick SabanStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

With three straight composite recruiting titles under his belt, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has established himself as not only the best coach in the country, but also the nation's unquestioned king of recruiting.

Just how good is it these days for Saban?

According to Mike Herndon of, Saban told fans at a Crimson Caravan event in Orange Beach, Ala., that all of Alabama's offers to quarterbacks in the class of 2014 are non-committable until Saban sees them work out personally at Alabama's camp.

It is our philosophy at certain positions that we really like to learn a lot about players and one of the best ways to learn about a player is when they come and visit you, because you're limited in terms of the contact you can have with them off-campus. To get some of them to come here in the summer I think is a really big tool in evaluation as well as an opportunity to get to know guys, to see if they have the right character and attitude to fit in your program.

Sure, the words "non-committable" and "offer" contradict each other, but semantics aren't exactly important in the recruiting game. After all, a commitment isn't a commitment until national signing day.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, non-committable offers aren't uncommon—especially at quarterback. In fact, it's good business.

In this case, it speaks to the power of the Alabama football program. 

Two players mentioned in the AJC that have non-committable offers from Alabama are 4-star Clemson commit Deshaun Watson—the fourth-best pro-style quarterback in the composite index, and 4-star pro-style prospect Tyler Harris from Blackshear, Ga.

These aren't exactly no-name prospects who are destined to be buried on college depth charts. These are two studs who already have offers from several schools and will receive plenty more between now and signing day.

Former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said it best before his team hosted the Crimson Tide in 2012 (via:

"They draft, we recruit," Dooley said. "And they get the first 25 picks of the draft."

In the case of Alabama's 2014 recruiting efforts, it's also a situation caused by numbers.

Starting quarterback AJ McCarron will exhaust his eligibility after the 2013 season, leaving Alec Morris, Blake Sims and Cooper Bateman as the primary competitors for the quarterback spot in 2014. That's a lot of competition for any incoming freshman, but McCarron's departure certainly makes Alabama a little more attractive to any quarterback in the upcoming recruiting class.

Since Saban insists on evaluating quarterbacks on campus prior to truly issuing a scholarship offer, it's as much a matter of selecting the quarterback as it is recruiting. 

In other words, the situation is a coach's dream.

Alabama's recruiting efforts, success on the field and ability to send players to the NFL through the draft—22 over the last three seasons—have created the perfect recruiting scenario. 

While non-committable offers are common, not every school can get away with them. Whether a prospect is interested in championships, draft status or playing time, Alabama can offer it up in 2014.

That's scary.



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