Here's why Saban named the assistant his offensive coordinator.
Nick Saban has a new offensive coordinator. Alabama is promoting assistant coach Mike Locksley to the position.
The opening came after Crimson Tide OC Brian Daboll left for the same position with the Buffalo Bills. He's the sixth offensive coordinator under Saban to leave for another gig.
Paul Finebaum has weighed in on Saban's decision. He likes it. The SEC Network also believes he knows why the move was made.
The college football analyst thinks Saban promoted Locksley with recruiting in mind. He needed to make a move that wouldn't cause too many waves within the program or out on the recruiting trail.
“I think Nick Saban made a pragmatic decision," Finebaum said. "He didn’t listen to the critics and listen to the noise and go out there and hire someone from a certain category. He knew that promoting Mike Locksley was the best thing to do right now — especially from a recruiting standpoint.
“I think everything at Alabama revolves around recruiting, and Saban’s not overly concerned that the right play call will be made next football season. We just saw it last season with Daboll, if you have the right people, you can make the right calls. (Saban) may have been a little concerned about recruiting, which sounds unbelievable but Alabama may have slipped a fraction. I think he felt Locksley as the coordinator was key to that.”
Locksley, 48, has been with Alabama since the 2016 season. Prior to that, he was an assistant at Maryland and the head coach at New Mexico.
The decision to hire Locksley as offensive coordinator was a popular one among Crimson Tide players. Several Alabama athletes took to Twitter before the hire was made to campaign for him.