Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs has taken the basketball world by storm in the past 24 hours since his game-winner against UCLA in the Final Four. But with his newfound fame is the ever-present reminder that he could have been a college football player instead. And Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows it.
Speaking to the media after a recent Alabama scrimmage, Saban reflected on how he viewed Suggs as a quarterback at Minnehaha Academy. He recalled Suggs being "a really good (football) player" but acknowledges that he can't begrudge Suggs picking basketball given how good he is.
“Well I vaguely do recall him as a player and he was a really good player," Saban said, via 247Sports. "He's a really good basketball player, you know, too, so I can't argue with anybody about the choice that he made in terms of, you know what he's known future and how he's trying to, you know, build a career in athletics. So he was a fine young man he was a good leader. He was a very talented player, and you know I enjoy watching him play...”
As a basketball recruit in the Class of 2020, Suggs was a five-star prospect and the No. 11 player in the country per 247Sports. He was the No. 2 combo guard in the nation and the No. 1 prospect from the state of Minnesota.
Jalen Suggs comes from a superb family of college and professional athletes. His second cousin, Terrell Suggs, was a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker and a two-time Super Bowl champion. His other cousin, Eddie Jones, was a first-round NBA Draft pick and a three-time All-Star.
Tomorrow Suggs will get a chance to compete for a national title and presumably go to the NBA afterwards.
But as the 19-year-old guard works his way up the basketball ranks, the what-ifs will likely become all the more interesting.
Do you think Jalen Suggs would have been a good football player?