Alabama football coach Nick Saban points to a number of factors when it comes to the "turnaround" in the Crimson Tide's program since his time started in Tuscaloosa.

But perhaps there is no bigger reason than the recruiting he and his staff has done in Mobile.

"The amazing thing about it is when I came to Alabama we had only one scholarship player, Wallace Gilberry, from the greater Mobile area on our team," said Saban, who joined the Afternoon Sports Drive on WNSP from the Crimson Caravan at the Mobile Convention Center on Thursday. "Probably the biggest difference in the turnaround of our team, because right now I think we have a dozen players on the team, is that we have had three first-round draft picks from here - Mark Barron, Julio Jones and D.J. Fluker - this year from this area.


"We have probably have two of our best leaders on the team on our team - AJ McCarron and C.J. Mosley are from this area. There are another dozen players that contribute and are good players, so they have great programs here. This is one of the real rich places in our state for talented players."

Saban said he always knew his starting quarterback was talented, but has really improved in areas that are hard to measure from the stands.
"I think where AJ has become a fantastic player has been his leadership and ability to affect other people," Saban explained. "Quarterback is really a hard position to play if other people don't play well around you."