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Alabama football coach Nick Saban wasn't specific with details during his Thursday news conference in Tuscaloosa.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Alabama football coach Nick Saban wasn't specific with details during his Thursday news conference in Tuscaloosa.

Recruiting a top
list for Saban

Tide coach vague on some issues

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2462

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama coach Nick Saban didn’t want to talk about specifics. And he didn’t.

“Evaluating (the team) is not the critical issue,” Saban said at a Thursday news conference. “I don’t want the players here to feel like they’re being evaluated. I want them to feel like they’re being taught and improving upon what they’re being taught.”

Saban discussed several issues in a vague manner, going over his new assistant coaches briefly and skimming over his first meeting with the team.

Before he took the job, Saban was considered by many to be a meticulous boss who did much of the work himself, but Thursday, Saban made sure to say that he wants to divvy up several tasks in order to bring Alabama back to prominence.

“It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time,” Saban said. “We’re going to have a lot of support in doing it, and people are going to have to stay positive.”

Saban said that he will be on the road for the next few weeks — coaches will be allowed to visit recruits Monday — and wanted to inform people before his travel begins. National signing day for high school recruits is Feb. 6.

One of the main issues facing the new coach is trying to land new commitments. Saban started late in the game, but appeared resolute to try to play catch up as quickly as possible.

People associated with the football program indicate that Saban and is staff have been working on a plan of which recruits to target.

Saban would not name names on his wish list.

"Recruiting is about numbers," Saban said. "You're going to have good recruiting years if you have strong number of good football players on board."

He did indicate that while Alabama will remain firm to its commitments, it will look around to fill the needs of those players who have wavered.

One player Saban might have been referring to was Plant High School (Fla.) quarterback Robert Marve.

Recently, Marve was quoted on a national recruiting Web site as saying he was looking around at other options.

"I am definitely going to take all five of my trips," Marve said. "I have only talked to those guys (new staff) a couple times. I want to make sure everything works out. I just want to make the best choice for myself. I don't know if that is at The University of Alabama, The University of Miami or maybe Purdue, UCLA or Hawaii — any of those schools. I am not sure right now."

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