Recruiting is everything in college football. It's your lifeline. There's a reason Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney spend so much time on it. If you can't recruit well, you can't win.
It's a lot like the Always Be Closing scene above. “As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.”
"The leads are weak? YOURE WEAK."
All of this leads us to the video that was leaked online of Saban pitching a recruit over Zoom:
Obviously, selling Alabama isn't that hard. You have the best facilities, most championships, unlimited NFL players, always play on national TV...I could pitch Alabama, but that wouldn't close the deal. How does Saban close? By immediately attacking the classic "why go to Alabama and sit on the bench when you can come to my school and start immediately." This starts around the 40-second mark.
"When they tell you that? First of all, it's insulting, because I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you if you couldn't play here....second, they are just telling you that Alabama is better than them. Number three, if you talk to the players here they'll tell you just the opposite. The competition is what makes them great. Marlon Humphrey practiced against Amari Cooper every day for 3 years."
I do wonder how much "cheating" goes on at Alabama. Has to be rampant, but I assume Saban doesn't hear much about it. He doesn't decide who gets what gifts, that's done by one of his soldiers who work directly with boosters. Saban's hands are clean of the duffel bags that are given to the recruits. Saban pitches it, the boosters finish it.
It would be nice to know how much some former players were worth. 25k? 50k? 100k? Do they continue to be paid throughout college? I need a full book on it or an 8-part documentary. Maybe one day. If you have any leads my DMs are open.