Part of Saban’s opening statement on the 2011 signing class:
“The challenge for us as coaches is to help these players mature and develop in to all they can be. I’ve commented on this before, just because you pick the best puppy dog with the biggest feet, that doesn’t mean he’s going to grow up to be the best hunting dog. A lot of these young players are very good. They are very talented. They’ve had great success as high school players, but they are going to make a tremendous amount of improvement, almost as much as the time they were freshmen in high school to the time they are a senior in high school. They’re going to do the same thing in college. I think the challenge for us is to help these players develop so that they can have success not only on the field but in the classroom and to continue to develop personally, academically and athletically.”

Saban on the issue of over signing:
“I think that there has been quite a bit written about over-signing, so to speak, but we have never gotten rid of a player because of his physical ability. Any player that has left this program prematurely has created his own exit route. He’s created his own conditions for leaving, if that makes sense. Whether they are academic in terms of not doing what he needed to do academically, whether it is some violation of team or school policy, some of those things we are not allowed to talk about.”

Saban on the good character of recruit Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix:
“I think Ha-Ha is a guy that was the top guy at his position. He committed early and never ever once wavered. I would be worried and call him and say ‘Are you sure you’re ok?’ because people are hammering him for the last six months. It never fazed him. He always knew what he wanted to do and was anxious to try to help us recruit the best players that we could get, and he was anxious to get here and get started and do everything he could do as a player.”

Saban on the recruits that are still undecided:
“It’s quiet so we can’t travel, we can’t go on the road, we can’t continue to recruit. They can come and visit us, and we can call, so those are kind of the rules.”

Saban on the advantages of enrolling a semester early:
“First of all, it’s an easier transition for a guy to start in the winter and winter semester. You don’t have football season coming up for a long time, not until August. They can make a better social and academic adjustment because there is less happening right now for them. I think the idea they can learn systematically, in football, what’s expected of them through the offseason program as well as spring practice, puts them a half of a season ahead of the guys that come in the fall in terms of maybe having an opportunity to play.”