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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Kayvon Thibodeaux shares his big problem with Nick Saban’s recruiting pitch

Kayvon Thibodeaux in uniform

Kayvon Thibodeaux was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school. He was recruited by Alabama but chose to attend Oregon instead.

Thibodeaux sat with Joel Klatt during the national championship game between Alabama and Georgia on Monday and talked about his experience with Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

Thibodeaux said that one thing about Saban is he is honest with recruits. But after Saban told him his philosophy on playing time, Thibodeaux knew that Bama was not for him.

“Nick Saban will tell you the truth. When I first met him, literally, he came to my school. The first time we talked, he said, ‘This is the problem with young guys. Young guys think that they’re supposed to play when they’re ready to play. You’re going to play when I feel you’re ready to play.’”

Thibodeaux says that was the moment he knew Bama wasn’t for him.

“That’s when I knew,” he said. “I was like, you know, I like my odds somewhere else.”

Not only did Thibodeaux realize his feelings on playing time didn’t match Saban’s, but he also criticized Alabama over the type of education and future he thinks they offer.

“If I handed you a fishing pole, would you know how to use it? If I’ve never learned (how to fish) or if school has never been important to me, or a job, or a career has never been important until I was done playing football, how would I ever know how to get a career or a job? I won’t,” Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux said he knew he could win at Alabama, but the draw of being part of a Nike school like Oregon helped pull him in. He wanted to be associated with the Nike brand.

“What people don’t realize is that football is an American sport. So, no matter how great Alabama is, you only play football in America, Canada and a couple other places. But a brand like Nike, I mean, for me it was like what brand associations do I want to be tied to? For me, I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks. Do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard,” Thibodeaux said.

You have to love the irony of Thibodeaux saying “stigmatism” instead of “stigma” while lamenting the “dumb jocks” reputation athletes receive.

Thibodeaux could very easily just explain why Alabama wasn’t the right fit for him without disparaging them or suggesting they can’t help out their players after football. But he decided to do that and ends up talking about “stigmatisms.” That’s not a great reflection of the guy who’s expected to be one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.

H/T 247 Sports
Photo: Oct 15, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) warms-up with players before play California Golden Bears at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

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