Nick Saban makes satellite debut at USF
With one casual step through the east gate of the Morsani Football Practice Complex, Alabama coach Nick Saban took a giant leap for satellite camp proponents nationally.
Previously an outspoken satellite-camp detractor, Saban made what is believed to be his first appearance at such a gathering Saturday afternoon, arriving in the waning stages of USF coach Charlie Strong's one-day mini-camp that attracted hundreds of state and local recruits.
Saban offered neither instruction nor a group speech, but sought out a handful of notable campers and met with them to the side. The first with whom he met: Armwoood ATH Jerome Ford and Hawks ATH Warren Thompson, deemed three- and four-star prospects, respectively, by 247Sports.
Crimson Tide OL coach Brent Key and WRs coach Mike Locksley were among the dozens of other college coaches from various schools on hand Saturday, arriving well in advance of Saban. Key got some quality face time with 6-foot-6 Berkeley Prep four-star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Saban created a national stir this time last year, when he said he was against satellite camps because they incorporate third parties into recruiting.
The NCAA recently established some new guidelines on satellite camps, mandating they be conducted on university facilities or facilities used by universities for games or practices. The new rules also limit 10 days to be used for camps in both June and July.
Saban wasn't finished. He was believed to be slated for a satellite twin bill Saturday, concluding with a Butch Davis camp at FIU.
Meantime, Strong hosts another mini-camp Sunday featuring -- among others -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Mississippi State's Dan Mullen. Mullen and Strong were coordinators for Meyer's 2006 and '08 national title teams at Florida.