Izzy Gould, the Alabama beat writer for al.com affiliated newspapers, has an enlightening report in this morning’s print editions of the Mobile Press-Register, Birmingham News and Hunstville Times.
In his story, Gould describes how Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban has garnered such respect and admiration from current or former NFL coaches and players that they have either seriously considered sending their sons to play football in Tuscaloosa, or have already made up their minds to do so.
Duron Carter, the 6-5, 210-lb son of current NFL Analyst Cris Carter, has committed to transfer to Alabama and play for Saban’s 2011 Crimson Tide squad. The Carter family joins a growing list of impressive NFL figures considering the Tide and Saban’s program as one of the best training grounds for developing their NFL-caliber sons.
Gould ticks off a list of family names that NFL and Bama fans easily recognize. New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan. Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders. Hall of Fame and Superbowl MVP Joe Montana. All either have seriously considered having the most important people in their lives—their children—play for Alabama or are currently doing so. Or, in the case of the Carter family, they’ve already made the commitment.
Gould has quotes from key figures to demonstrate why.
"We're grown men," Cris Carter said. "I don't think we're intimidated by Nick Saban. We understand the value of a great coach, great discipline and great team unity. That's probably the No. 1 thing, if that makes sense."
"I think everybody that comes from Alabama is just mentally and physically prepared for the next level, just because of the type of system he runs and how he runs his program," Ingram said. "... Just going up against guys like Marcell (Dareus) and Dont'a (Hightower) and then Terrence Cody and (Courtney) Upshaw and Rolando (McClain), just going up against them, day in and day out, taught me how to practice, and practice hard. It definitely helped me be a better player."
"You know they're going to play a pro system whether you're on offense or defense," Cris Carter said. "... Every aspect of their football is all pro from the way they install plays to the way they review the tape to the way they go through practice. It's professional-like, so the training is as good as you're going to get at the college level."
Great discipline. Cultivating team unity. Mental and physical preparation. A top-to-bottom, all professional approach to the game. Professionals know professionalism when they see it, because as successful NFL professionals, they’ve lived it.
This, dear reader, is the reason why the allegations made last week by Auburn homer Jeffrey Lee are laughable. Alabama doesn’t have to bribe or coerce great players to sign with and play for Nick Saban. Those great players hope to have an NFL career, and Nick Saban’s program is one of only a handful of schools that provide the opportunity to grow, learn and play at the highest level. Along the way, they want to play for and win a college football National Championship.
Saban and the Alabama football program give them the opportunity for both, and that is the only "enticement” they’ll ever need.