In Michael Lewis' "The Blind Side" (an excellent read, and now apparently being made into a movie), the central figure, high school offensive lineman Michael Oher is heavily recruited by the major football programs in the South. Throughout the process, the one coach that Oher's adoptive mother is most impressed with is the coach of LSU: Nick Saban.
Although Oher opted to attend Ole Miss, it is clear that Saban has some sort of "charm" (or sleaziness, depending on whom you ask), because yesterday he went out and got Alabama the number one recruiting class in the country.
Commenting on the 2008 class, which included three five-star recruits, Saban said:
"We have good players who can make plays and are quality people. When you have great competitors, things seem to work out better sometimes. Great playmakers is what we all want to see and what our fans will enjoy. The strength of this class is that it's not loaded at one position but has some good players at just about every position."
And if Alabama did that well, guess who didn't so hot? Their in-state rival, Auburn.
Tommy Tuberville got smoked up and down by Nick Saban. It's incredible. The top ten recruits in Alabama: 'Bama 7, Auburn 0. The top 20: 'Bama 14, Auburn 2...
It gets worse. Of Auburn's top recruits, the two five-stars are JUCO guys and RB Onterrio McCalebb is not expected to qualify."
Ya know, I'm gonna feel bad for these incoming Alabama freshman when Saban leaves in two years. Come on, it is inevitable.