Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Toledo Rockets cornerback Quinyon Mitchell poses after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as the No. 22 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tampering is as much a part of college football as the RPO and realignment, but saying the quiet part out loud, especially on national television, isn’t what we’ve come to expect from Nick Saban. But this version of Nick Saban is a bit different than the Alabama head coach we became so accustomed to. He’s on network television now and can give his unfiltered opinion on certain things he couldn’t talk about before.

Saban’s recent encounters with NFL Draft prospects gave him a distinct advantage over his fellow colleagues and analysts, and it showed in a very smooth ESPN debut. He not only faced them on the field this past season but also directly coached the likes of JC Latham, Terrion Arnold, and Dallas Turner. Additionally, his experience on the recruiting trail provides valuable insight into other draft hopefuls who might not have suited up for the Crimson Tide.

Tampering is in the big don’t ask, don’t tell category. But if you ask Saban about a draft prospect now that he’s retired, he’s probably more inclined to share his interactions with said prospect — and that may or may not include tampering.

When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Toldeo’s Quinyon Mitchell with the No. 22 overall pick, Saban made a bit of a stunning admission.

“He was our No. 1 guy in the portal last year to try to get him to come out of the portal, and he would never get in the portal,” Saban said.

Mitchell’s loyalty to Toledo paid off, as he turned down NIL money to finish his college career elsewhere and wound up being a first-round pick anyway.

It’s a bit ironic in the sense that Saban recently lobbied Congress for measures to improve college football. However, his public comments about Alabama’s efforts to influence Mitchell’s transfer decision raise questions about his commitment to said reforms.

In any event, it shows how Saban viewed Mitchell as a prospect and the measures Alabama was willing to take to get him there. But this is also an Alabama team that started Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry at cornerback last season. Arnold was selected No. 24 overall by the Detroit Lions, while McKinstry will undoubtedly be a Day 2 selection.

So maybe Saban knows a thing about a thing or two about cornerbacks, whether he admits to openly tampering with them on live television or not.

[Mike Rodak on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.