Out of high school Jadeveon Clowney was the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, one that actually did live up to the hype. He chose to attend attend South Carolina, despite offers from essentially every major program including Nick Saban and the University of Alabama.
In the new biography Saban: The Making of a Coach, Clowney reveals exactly what he thought about the legendary head coach, “I don’t see no big deal like everybody else. They’d say, ‘He’s the king of all of football.’ The guy ain’t nothing but 5-5. He’s a short guy. Everybody’s going crazy on Nick Saban.” Clowney also wasn’t particularly impressed by his recruiting pitch either, “He talked the whole time he was there. I was dozing off. He can talk. A lot. He talked for a whole straight hour.”
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Ouch. That certainly isn’t a criticism you hear about Saban everyday. It just goes to show how difficult recruiting these young men can be. Obviously Saban is good at it, he’s brought in some of the best classes in school history, but at the end of the day, you’re still dealing with the fickle nature of a 17 year-old high school kid.
Rest easy Tide fans, there is some good news. Clowney didn’t forego playing in Tuscaloosa just because Saban is short. He would have gone to Alabama, but they ran a 3-4 defense at the time and the defensive end wanted to be in a 4-3 system.