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Saban: I wasn't a very good recruiter in those days

Nick Saban's top-ranked Alabama team finally is poised to get back on the field this week for what is set to the Crimson Tide's first game this month.

Alabama had a scheduled open date and then saw last week's scheduled rivalry game at LSU postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 issues at LSU.

Now Saban is going to face the one SEC coach he might have known the longest: Kentucky's Mark Stoops.

Their history stretches so far back, in fact, that Saban remembers trying to recruit Stoops, and his brothers, Bob and Mike, during Saban's time as a Michigan State assistant coach.

“Well, Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown (Ohio) was part of my recruiting area for a long, long time,” Saban said during Wednesday's SEC coaches' teleconference. “All the Stoops brothers came through there, and their dad (Ron) was the defensive coordinator there.

“Even though they all ended up at Iowa, we still tried to recruit them at Michigan State when I was at Michigan State.”

Saban even revealed the Stoops brothers weren't the only recruit he failed to land from Cardinal Mooney during his first stint at Michigan State.

“Vince Marrow, who's on their staff now, also was a player we recruited at Cardinal Mooney that we didn't get,” Saban said. “I'm kind of admitting I wasn't a very good recruiter back in those days.”