We all knew passage of new Name, Image and Likeness rules would begin a new era in college football. What none of us foresaw was coaches at recruiting superpowers giving insistent quotes that this is the first time their players may make money playing at School X.
Speaking to reporters at the Senior Bowl last night, Saban -- who once bragged that Bryce Young earned close to 1 million NIL dollars before starting a game for him -- stated that players are not offered NIL deals in exchange for signing with Alabama. (For the record, one of the few NIL rules in place is that NIL deals cannot be offered to individuals contingent upon their signing with a certain school.
"When we start using name, image and likeness for a kid to come to our school, that's where I draw the line," he said, via ESPN. "Because that's not why we did this."
In typical Saban fashion, he then started getting wound up. You can almost hear the fury in his voice rising sentence by sentence.
"I hear these crazy people on TV who say now you're doing it above board," he said. "We never did it. We never did it. We never cheated to get a player. We never paid players to come to our school.
"And now that's actually happening. People are making deals with high school players to go to their school."
Saban also decried the transfer portal and its supposed ability to let players transfer out of adversity rather than fight their way through it. He did not, however, offer to cancel Eli Ricks, Jahmyr Gibbs and Jermaine Burton's (all blue-chip transfer additions to his 2022 team) enrollment at Alabama, nor did he apologize for Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams' 15 receiving touchdowns this past season.
But that's not the quote of this Signing Period. That would belong to Jimbo Fisher.
Texas A&M signed the No. 1 class of all-time in 2022, a 28-man haul that includes seven 5-stars and 18 4-stars. That group includes, per the 247 composite, six of the top 25 players in the nation, and the Aggies still may yet add the No. 38 player, safety Jacoby Mathews.
Already boasting two 5-star defensive linemen, including No. 2 overall player Walter Nolen, the A&M added 5-star defensive lineman Shemar Stewart on Wednesday, luring the Miami native out of South Florida despite a strong push from the Hurricanes. (For the record, Stewart said Wednesday he would've earned more NIL money at Miami than A&M.)
For a team without so much as an SEC division title to pull down the top recruiting class of all time, it's sparked questions, allegations and rumors. And Jimbo responded in spectacular fashion.
Jimbo continued singing that tune at his press conference later in the afternoon. In addition to Mr. Bread, it seems Fisher would like a word with a Mr. Kiffin out of Oxford, Miss.
For the record, Jimbo is citing a poster on the Oklahoma message board OUInsider who goes by the handle Sliced Bread. Mr. Bread's post was screenshot by a Twitter user, and that tweet was aggregated by the website BroBible.
A for effort though, Jimbo.