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Saban to Julio Jones: We're going to win with or without you

When Julio Jones was coming out of high school in Alabama, he was one of the most sought after recruits in the country.

Normally to land one of the nation's highest ranked players your going to pull out all the stops. Send him 105 hand written letters in one day or fly to his game in a helicopter, or maybe address the recruit via a personal video when your out of town for a speaking engagement.

When you recruit high profile kids year after year like Nick Saban does, you have a knack for knowing how they'll respond to different tactics. Which is exactly what he did with Julio Jones, as Jones told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

"One of the reasons I liked Alabama was when I went to visit coach Saban, he said, ‘Well you know, we want you here. But we’re going to win with you or without you.’ I was like, that’s me. I just want to win. I don’t like stuff just given to me.”

Even as a highly touted recruit, Jones didn't relish the spotlight like so many receivers before him, and Saban recognized that and utilized it in his recruiting pitch.

"I really don’t care about the spotlight. That’s why going to a place like Alabama was good for me. When you put your pads on, you wouldn’t know who’s a walk-on and who’s a scholarship player.”

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.