Stephen A Smith on Deion Sanders and Nick Saban Credit: First Take on ESPN

Everyone has their favorite pick to become the next Alabama head football coach in the wake of Nick Saban’s retirement. While some including Oregon’s Dan Lanning and Texas’ Steve Sarkisian have already rejected the opportunity, Stephen A Smith made the case on Friday’s First Take for college football’s most famous coach to head to Tuscaloosa.

That’s right: Deion Sanders.

“The reason why I feel that way is because I’m thinking of today’s generation of players, catching the pulse of the players,” Smith explained. “I’m thinking about NIL. I’m thinking about the transfer portal, which are obviously things that Nick Saban had some degree of a problem with.”

Smith argued Sanders has already proven himself to be among the best recruiters of high-schoolers as well as transfer athletes since entering the college football coaching ranks in 2020.

More from Smith:

“And then I’m thinking about Deion Sanders, he’s got the top-ranked transfer class. That’s the second year in a row that he’s pulled that off. So when you look at it from that perspective, the ability to recruit talent, I think if you’re going to replace the greatness of a Nick Saban, it starts and ends first and foremost with being able to recruit. And you can’t tell me that for a big-time program like Alabama, somebody like Prime Time goes there, that you’re not going to have athletes who would not follow.”

Smith and Sanders have a very public relationship. Coach Prime is so significant to the sports world that he even convinced Smith to care about college football. Sanders joined First Take numerous times this season, and Smith visited Boulder for Colorado football games as well.

But Smith knows Sanders to Alabama is unlikely.

“Imagine going from Nick Saban to Prime Time. It’s not going to happen, I know that,” Smith said. “But that’s what I would say.”

[First Take]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.