Alabama Football: Rumored assistant coach turnover and recruiting

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans are clamoring for changes, assistant coach rumors are rampant. How do unknowns affect recruiting and the 2020 class?

In a recent post, we repeated an old refrain. Alabama football fans would do well to trust Nick Saban – in all things. Not that the man is incapable of making mistakes. But he does not make many and his repository of knowledge and experience means his mistakes are fewer, with lesser impact than other coaches.

Such advice falls on plenty of deaf ears. Fans are entitled to any opinion they can coherently argue. Even if every Alabama football fan took our advice to trust Nick Saban, recruits are in an entirely different situation.

Recruits are chased by men they expect will coach them at least during their first college season. It does not always work out that way. Most recruits and their families understand the business aspects of college football. Most know they need to pick a school and a program being their best fit. Meaning, making a choice based on a position coach is not wise.

The above logic is sometimes pushed aside. High school players become so bonded to one or two assistant coaches, those relationships drive final college choices.  So what happens when a recruit hears the one or two guys he feels closest to, may not make it into their freshman year? Responses include delaying recruiting decisions, sticking with the same school for other reasons and deciding to go elsewhere.

Given the 2020 cycle has only a February Signing Day left, delaying would not work well. A recruit can skip a Signing Day decision and make a later choice, but school options will be limited.

One or more top remaining Alabama football targets in the 2020 class, could choose another school because of potential Tide coaching changes. The most attention, and concern, is focused on 4-Star, defensive tackle target, McKinnley Jackson.

The Alabama football staff has made Jackson a priority for months. He has said his decision will not become public until Signing Day. The only clue he gives is he will choose Alabama, Auburn, LSU or Texas A&M. Jackson has been vocal about his strong relationships with Alabama football assistants Pete Golding and Brian Baker.

For months it has been rumored Defensive Coordinator, Pete Golding would not be on the Tide staff next season. For a few weeks rumors have said the same about defensive line coach, Brian Baker. In recent days Alabama football insiders have stated former Crimson Tide linebacker, Freddie Roach will be added to Saban’s staff. Roach is the defensive line coach at Ole Miss and the reports are he will have the same assignment in Tuscaloosa.

There has also been speculation Brian Baker might fill the off-field administrative job, recently vacated by Burton Burns. It is not known what Jackson and his family think about the rumored changes. Some Tide fans believe Jackson’s relationship with Freddie Roach is as strong as those with Golding and Baker. It might be significant that Jackson recently canceled plans to visit Ole Miss before Signing Day.

Next. Looking at 2021 Verbal Commits and Top Targets. dark

Having an impact as a freshman, defensive lineman is not common. Most high school players need a couple of seasons to adjust weight and build strength. McKinnley Jackson might be an exception.