PARAMUS, N.J. — What does the mother of the nation’s No. 1 recruit think about Alabama coach Nick Saban?
“No comment,” Jennifer Coney told SEC Country in an interview this week.
Coney, the mother of 5-star defensive lineman Rashan Gary from Paramus Catholic High School (N.J,), hasn’t really gotten to know Saban. She said that she has a “great relationship” with Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal.
However, she really hasn’t gotten a feel for Saban because of his busy schedule.
“(I’ve talked to Nick Saban) maybe a couple times,” Coney said. “If he can squeeze in a minute.”
That’s not to say that Coney doesn’t like Alabama. She and Gary visited Tuscaloosa, Ala., last April and she was blown away by the campus, its architecture and even commented on how it looked like every brick on campus had been scrubbed.
But Alabama is for a “certain kind of kid,” according to Coney.
“I think if your whole focus, the only thing you are focusing on is being a great football player, and while you are at it are going to get a degree, this is just my opinion,” Coney told SEC Country. “If you want to be a great football player and that’s your primary, primary focus is to play football and do it at a high level, and while you are at it get a degree, that’s Alabama.”
Academics is a big sticking point for Coney when it comes to her son’s college decision, and she walked away impressed with the Crimson Tide’s academic presentation. She said she’s been most impressed with Michigan’s academics, and even mentioned that coach Jim Harbaugh has been her favorite coach to interact with. Coney talks with him a good bit.
But while she was impressed with Alabama’s academics, she used some interesting terms to detail her impression of the daily regimen of a Crimson Tide football player.
“When I say strict, they are very strict,” Coney said. “To me it’s ‘Boot Camp-ish-like strict.’ I’m just saying what I took from it.”
Her son has already taken an official visit to Michigan and Ole Miss, and will attend his third official visit this weekend to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. Gary has an official visit set up to Southern Cal on Jan. 15.
The Crimson Tide are in the running for Gary’s fifth official visit along with UGA, LSU and Clemson, among others. Coney said she would be fine with visiting Alabama again, and will respect her son’s decision to go wherever he pleases. She just wants to make sure he will be able to enjoy his college tenure.
“I think he would be super successful (at Alabama),” Coney said. “Would he be super happy as he is being successful? I don’t know. Because to me at Alabama is all work, no play.”